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“Bonuses Greased our way to Afcon in Egypt,” says Shikalo

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Bonuses were a game-changer for Kenya’s national football team
Harambee Stars qualification to last year’s African Cup of Nations
(Afcon) in Egypt.

Yanga and Harambee Stars goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo has admitted that
earning big bonuses on their way to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations
finals in Egypt was a major motivation for the players.

With each player in the squad assured of at least Sh.750,000 Shikalo
said the money motivated the players to play their hearts out hence
qualifying for the Afcon.

The goalkeeper said the money earned from bonus payout has changed and
improved the lives of Harambee Stars players.

“Since I started playing football, I have never received such a
substantial amount of money. And I don’t think that applies to myself
only. We were lucky to have been those who have earned the highest
amount of bonuses ever while representing the national team” he said.

Shikalo said the money helped him finish the construction of his
mother’s house which had stagnated for some time.

“When you get such kind of money, you want it to make a difference and
to remember the occasion. For me, it helped me finish off a number of
projects and one of them was to complete the construction of my
mother’s house,” he explained.

He added: “I want to thank Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the
Ministry of Sports for making this possible and I hope the remaining
part of the bonus can be sorted out quickly.”

Shikalo is also grateful for the high-level training the team had in
France prior to the tournament in Egypt.

“It was a big motivation to train in France and play the build-up
matches we did against Mauritius and Congo and personally, I want to
have another opportunity to once again qualify for the Africa Cup of
Nations finals but this time be able to play.

“There are many opportunities every time a team qualifies for such a
major tournament. First of all, there are a lot of agents following
teams and so it gives us a platform to showcase our talent.”

Shikalo also admitted that he took long to join Yanga due to the fact
that he had a lot of offers on the table and needed to make up his
mind where to go.

“Before Yanga, there were clubs in Zambia chasing my signature. That
is why I declined to go in the first year as I needed time to make up
my mind. There was also interest in Dubai and all these had to be
considered,” he said.

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Harambee Stars keeper Patrick Matasi exalts AFCON bonuses, Ethiopian experience

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In life, there is always that big break that comes your way and changes your life forever.

For St. George’s and Harambee Stars goalkeeper Patrick Matasi it was helping the Kenya national team qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals last year in Egypt.

The qualification ushered in a big payday which enabled the former AFC Leopards, Posta Rangers and Tusker player to complete his house in Kakamega town.

And so, every-time Matasi travels to Kakamega, he does not have to worry where he will spend the night. More importantly, his wife and child put up in the three-bedroomed magnificent bungalow.

Besides that, Matasi explains that he also completed the construction of his mother’s house in the village.

“The preparations ahead of the qualification matches for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals were always top-notch right from our first match against Sierra Leone.

“That is why even before our last match against Ghana away we held discussions with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in regards to the bonuses to agree on how to divide the same.

“This helped us to focus and had nothing bothering us ahead of the training camp in France. For myself, I added the money to what I had received as the sign-on fee from my move to St.George’s and I completed my house in Kakamega,” he explained.

“My mother’s house was also not completed and I went ahead to complete the same so that she can have somewhere decent to stay,” said Matasi.

The goalkeeper was one of the outstanding players in the tournament and he admits that it created interest in some of the biggest clubs on the continent including former African champions league winners T.P Mazembe.

Matasi saved a penalty from Sadio Mane during Kenya’s second match against Senegal which the former lost 3-0.

“We did our best despite this being our first time in the tournament. The lack of experience was a big factor but now we have learned and we believe it will better next time. This was a good opportunity for us and it helped expose a lot of our players and with it several opportunities,” said Matasi.

Being in his second season in Ethiopia, Matasi says he has settled and is looking forward to doing even better.

“The first season was tough as I had to live in camp where the food was predictable. I have now moved into my own house and it allows me to sample different dishes.

“On the pitch, I had a not so good first leg in the first season conceding 11 goals. The second leg was better with only two goals conceded. I was looking to do even better this season but it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic,” he concluded.

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“Mwendwa is an inspiration to grassroots football Leadership,” asserts FKF Nairobi Boss

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FKF Nairobi West Branch secretary Caleb Malweyi has attributed current FKF President Nick Mwendwa as an inspiration to grassroots leadership.

“The level of integrity the current FKF President, Nick Mwendwa, upholds is a source of inspiration for me as a leader to try us much as possible to deliver on the ground in order to materialize his dream,” said Malweyi

He further revealed that operations at the grassroots have been smooth because of the bar that has been placed by Mwendwa.

Malweyi who is the FKF Nairobi West branch elect said one to work smoothly with Mr. Nick Mwendwa one has to match the same level of honesty and integrity.

“This is shown by how the current administration is very transparent in their affairs especially in terms of their accountability; in that they present an accounting report on a yearly basis to its branch governors, hence putting them in good books with its members,” he quipped.

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Instructor Welcomes Mwendwa’s Referees Development Program

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FKF North Western Branch secretary Caleb Amwayi and referees instructor has lauded FKF President Nick Mwendwa for developing and improving the quality of match officials.

 Amwayi said the move by the current federation to waive charges on the Physical Endurance Tests (PET) has gone a long way in encouraging new referees to take up officiating as a career.

“The liberalized management system by the FKF President Nick Mwendwa has raised the bar in football, in that, new referees can take up officiating as a career after the current Federation scrapped of the charges on the Physical Endurance Tests (PET),” said Amwayi.

The efforts by the federation to waive charges on the Physical Endurance Tests (PET) has enabled 3000 referees to get trained over the last four years.

Amwayi said the big number of referees trained so far will insulate football from lack of match officials in sustaining the game of football

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