What you need to know:
- She however promised the federation would look for money to award Dogo, Thika custodian Monica Karambu and other players who excelled on the pitch.
- FKF Secretary General Barry Otieno asserted that was the only money available this season, but they would endeavour to improve the league next season and even offer a better award.
Was it a league or a tournament?
This is the question that continues to trouble Women's Premier League club coaches after Thika Queens, who bagged the league title on Sunday, were handed a paltry Sh350,000 as prize money.
Thika Queens, under the tutelage of Benta Achieng’, saw off Gatundu Sports (Gaspo) FC 3-0 in the play-off final at the Agricultural Show ground, winning its second league title aftter their exploits in 2016.
The amount not only shocked the football fraternity, but drew the wrath of women football coaches and stakeholders, who accused the federation of not doing much to enhance the growth of women's football in Kenya.
Even the best player and the league’s top scorer, Mwanahalima ‘Dogo’ Jereko went home empty handed despite scoring 21 goals in the competition.
“I advise our girls to play football and engage in other hustles. In the past a number have left the game because of stress. Even coaching doesn’t pay. We are just offering our services for free,” said one of the coaches of a team participating in the WPL, who sought anonymity for fear of reprisal from the federation.
Others said the money was too little even to cater for the accommodation expenses of a single match, calling on teams in the league to prioritise participating in sponsored tournaments such as Chapa Dimba.
“Even regional tournaments sponsored by private firms like Safaricom to grow talents offer Sh1 million. Where is the federation taking money for the growth of football? “asked another coach.
However, Football Kenya Federation Vice President Doris Petra, who presented the award in Nakuru, agreed that the amount was too small, but was better than last season where Vihiga Queens got Sh250,000.
“I have consulted and have been told that there was no meeting where it was agreed the winner would take the Sh1million prize money and a trophy. We don’t have money and that is what we could afford. It was only agreed that the money would be higher than Sh250,000, but not the amount some of them are quoting,” Petra told Nation Sport from Nakuru.
The official also took issue with coaches who claim that both Zone A and Zone B should be unified into one league, saying it is not possible due to financial constraints.
“It is the clubs that agreed the current Zone format continues. When we had league, how many walkovers were being issued? I agree we have to invest a lot to grow women football, but blame games will not take us anywhere,” added Petra.
She however promised the federation would look for money to award Dogo, Thika custodian Monica Karambu and other players who excelled on the pitch.
FKF Secretary General Barry Otieno asserted that was the only money available this season, but they would endeavour to improve the league next season and even offer a better award.