Footballers hit by effects of Covid-19 send SOS to President Kenyatta seeking State intervention

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 23:29 |
Gor Mahia fan Jaro Soja (left) talks to President Uhuru Kenyatta when the team paid the President a courtesy call at State House in 2014 after winning the KPL title. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

More than 40 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) players have been kicked out of their houses due to accrued rent bills occasioned by the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the People Daily has learnt.

The players who are  now living with either relatives or friends have issued a ‘Save Our Souls’ appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta as the respiratory flu continues to bite.

A survey by People Sport yesterday found out that Posta Rangers, one of the few KPL sides perceived to be stable owing to the fact that it is managed by a parastatal, is leading in the number of players and officials who have been thrown out of their houses due to unpaid rent.

 Twelve of 12 of Posta’s first team unit has been affected, while 2008 league champions Mathare United has eight players thrown out of their premises. Chemelil Sugar and Nzoia Sugar playing unit have also been affected heavily in the ongoing pandemic.

“Last week when players of a section of Kenyan Premier League (KPL) teams received Sh 10, 000 each from the Ministry of Sports to cushion them during the ongoing pandemic, no member of Posta Rangers received anything.

Sports Minister Amina Mohamed omitted us saying that as a parastatal we were among the stable teams in the league, yet we have not been paid three months salaries,” said a senior Posta Rangers player who sought anonymity.

He added: “Last week one of our technical bench officials had to lose his house holds to auctioneers after failing to pay rent for three months and after being kicked out he is currently seeking refuge at his brother’s house. We are calling on President Uhuru to intervene and save the situation.”

Amina Mohamed last month announced a Sh 20 million kitty to cushion 12 out of the 18 KPL team players which meant that each player and technical staff of the 12 teams would pocket Sh 10, 000 a month for the next three months.

The first bunch was issued last week, but to the players and technical officials who received, the amount is like a drop in the ocean.

Chemelil Sugar captain Philip Mwangale told People Sport that they were going through ‘hell’.

“Because of the company’s financial struggle, we last got our salaries in 2018. Many players left us because they could not handle the challenges here. Some of us now stay in company houses and cannot go to our rented homes because they have been locked.

We live from hand to mouth with some of us now begging because the situation is desperate and when the company gets something we receive between 500-1000 shillings for upkeep.

We have seven players who have been locked out of their houses,” he said.

Nzoia Sugar captain Peter Gin Juma has also confirmed that his squad has been affected heavily with the financial breakdown at the company they work for.

“We have six players whose houses have been locked and have had to share space with friends.

Even though Management is trying, some landlords are impatient because the arrears are too much,” he said.

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