Former Kenya's star footballer McDonald Mariga has come out claiming that the current football situation in the country is worse compared to his time as a player.
Mariga speaking on Sunday, October 24, on a local radio station claimed that the national team’s current players lack the motivation to perform on the pitch because of the peanuts they receive in form of allowances they get from the government and Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
The former Harambee Stars player in an interview with Radio Jambo claimed the current group of Stars players take home about Ksh750 a day as allowances.Harambee Stars players celebrate during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on October 14, 2018.Daily Nation
He noted that during his time as a player in the period between 2003 and 2018 he received between Ksh5,000 and Ksh10,000.
“The Harambee Stars players are paid something below Ksh1,000 but during our days under former FKF president Sam Nyamweya we received Ksh5,000, and when we were on away duty, we would be given Ksh10,000.” Mariga stated.
Mariga stated the current situation is difficult for the players, forcing them to have more than one job to sustain themselves.
“Our players have been forced to have two jobs because they cannot survive with the salary that comes from playing football. Their concentration is split as a result and they cannot perform for the national team,” Mariga added.
Mariga also claimed that the federation recently asked him to help pay for a player's hotel room accommodation.
“Mwendwa asked me to pay a hotel ticket for Gonzalez Ismael when we were in Morocco and the flight delayed. He has the receipt but has never paid me. Nyamweya too never paid me air ticket refunds I used when travelling for national team duty,” Mariga noted.
Mariga also highlighted that Kenya's world ranking in football made it impossible for him to join one of the biggest teams in the Premier League.
“The poor ranking by Kenya on the FIFA table denied me a move to Manchester City. The state of football is disappointing, and I am going to seek President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to do something about it,” Mariga highlighted
The former Inter Milan player added that the challenges that denied him a move to English Premier League side Manchester City in 2010 are still existent in the local game.
Our efforts to reach the president of FKF Nick Mwendwa were futile since he did not reply to our calls or text messages by the time of publication.
Mariga also added that he would be seeking for a legislative position in the Kibra constituency come the 2022 General Elections on a United Democratic Movement (UDA) ticket.Harambee Stars Captain Mohamed Musa (third right) leads his team to acknowledge fans before match kickoff against Ghana during African Cup of Nations Qualifier match at Moi Sports Centre Kasarani. Sept 8, 2018.The Standard
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