I wrote this about two weeks ago and circulated it to my relevant media and sports networks. It has been a while since I wrote…both blogging and sports journalism and in many ways I felt so inspired, writing for a good course. While this article is just a drop in the ocean, it reflects the state of sports in our country- which to say the least is very saddening. Happy to report though that following this and of course many other efforts to pile pressure on the management, some of the players’ allowances were remitted and hopefully they can receive all their dues in the next few days. We however stand firm in #AlutaContinua💪 until the rights and welfare of Kenyan sportsmen are upheld!
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In a man eat man society, Kenyans sportsmen and women continue being on the lower side of this bargain. Our local leagues, characterized by poor training conditions, indiscipline in paying players their dues on time and general lack of emphasis on player wellbeing – sporting in Kenya continues being the classic example of a man eat man society.
The Kenya Premier League is one of the leagues marred with numerous irregularities on player remunerations and well being. For a league boasting the best of Kenyan football talent, teams are still a long way from sufficiently resourcing and upholding the rights of players.
Brookside sponsored Thika United is one such team that has been on the spotlight in the past few months for not remitting allowances to its signed players for months! As is practice in the KPL, players are signed onto teams on contract basis, with clear clauses on payment, rights and obligations. Upon on boarding however, Thika United players are forced to contend with a different reality- of team mismanagement and lack of commitment on payment.
Standard practice at the team has been that players are paid their allowances at the first training session following a weekend game. For the past few months however, the training grounds of Thika United have seen less and less players showing up for trainings, due to lack of consistency in allowance remittance. Further worsening the situation, the management has been silent on when the players will be paid and why they are not being paid. A few spirited players still show up on the grounds and train, and while unmotivated; play their KPL games over the weekends, with the hope that the next training week will bear fruit. Come Monday, the cycle of no pay and silence on the part of the team management continues. Some players in disbelief keep asking themselves, ” How is this same body that isn’t being fed, supposed to win a Premier League title?”
Indeed a sad state of affairs!
The Thika United players are among the hundreds of other Kenyan sportsmen who are barely surviving, yet they fly the Kenyan flag high. We love watching them play, they make us proud; our footballers, our athletes our rugby players, our volley ball players! Its time we returned them a favour, let’s not be silent as our sportsmen suffer and are mismanaged. Its time we demand that like all other professionals, sportsmen deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
We are calling on the management of Thika United to be accountable to the players, the fans, the sponsors and the entire football fraternity on the way forward and their intentions in resolving this stalemate. It is our sincere hope that the course of sports in the country will move towards upholding justice, accountability and integrity!