Have you ever been late paying a credit card bill? Health insurance premium, even a magazine subscription? Well, the Kenya Football Federation [KFF] knows what that’s like, except in their case, they forgot to pay their national dues.
Just four hours before an African Champions League match between Eritrean champs Al Tahrir and Kenyan champs Tusker, the Confederation of African Football [CAF] called off the game because the KFF had not sent in their $6500 subscription fees, and suspending the KFF from all continental club competitions until the matter is resolved.
Not only that, but Tusker spent close to $60,000 preparing the game-that-never-happened. D’oh.
The Kenyan government’s Commissioner for Sport, Gordon Oluoch, is pissed, saying that the KFF knew the ban was coming and still went ahead with pre-game arrangements:
“What is more baffling is to let the Eritreans stay in Kenya for a whole week under such circumstances. The most honourable thing to do is to resign and let those who want to run the sport do so.”
KFF’s secretary general, Sammy Obingo, is adamant that he sent in the check on February 11th, although the CAF could not verify that they’d received it. In the meantime, Obingo’s planning a trip to Zurich today to meet with FIFA regarding the matter, and he is confident that Tusker will be reimbursed.
Pressure is mounting for the Kenyan soccer chiefs to resign following the disgrace, but KFF chairman Mohamed Hatimy is playing a stout defense:
“We paid the amount in full on Feb 11 and yet we were still barred from playing. Rwanda, which was also barred by CAF, were allowed to play after confirming they sent in the money to CAF.”
Damn Rwandans. Always catching those lucky breaks.