Giant slayers Harambee Stars have reaped a Sh2 million cash bonus from Football Kenya Federation (FKF) following their gutsy 1-0 victory over Ghana on Saturday evening in Kasarani.
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa paid out the money yesterday before the players were given time off until today when they reassemble for tomorrow’s friendly match with Malawi.
Talismanic forward Michael Olunga revealed the sum and thanked the federation for boosting the players’ morale with the bonus. “FKF promised us something and I can reveal that it is Sh2 million. This goes a long way in motivating the team and we pray that the good fortune follows us in the remaining matches,” the Kashiwa Reysol forward said.
Players who snubbed national team call-up will, however, be subjected to internal disciplinary measures by the federation. Skipper Victor Wanyama, Boniface Oluoch and George Odhiambo were cited by an angry Sebastian Migne for snubbing national duty and Mwendwa, who was uncomfortable fielding questions over the issue, hinted at disciplinary measures.
“This is interesting. We called up players for Cecafa and they refused to come but we won. Again, this time we called up players for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier and some refused to come but we won. We are a country of 51 million people and the most important thing is that those who came did what was required of them won,” said Mwendwa.
“The issue of discipline is internal and we will handle it that way,” added a cautious Mwendwa, keen to avert a possible fallout with Kenya’s biggest football name in Wanyama.
Migne, however, adopted a move gloves off approach. He said: “Hugo Lloris is a World Cup winner. He was called up by the national team (France) and he honoured the call injured. I don’t doubt those saying they are injured but I need to look at it.” Olunga was impressed with the state of playing surface at Kasarani and urged the government to invest in upgrading more stadia in the country.
“If they do the same in other grounds like Machakos, Eldoret, Mombasa and Nakuru, then the impact will be bigger. The national team will not be confined to Nairobi and that will help popularise the game elsewhere in the country,” said Olunga whose pressure saw defender Nicholas Opoku score an own goal as Kenya revived their hopes of qualifying for the 2019 Afcon tournament in Cameroon.