Engin Firat faces unpaid salaries as Harambee Stars prep for 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers


Engin Firat faces unpaid salaries as Harambee Stars prep for 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Festus Chuma 16:34 - 22.05.2024

Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat reveals unpaid salary issues amid preparations for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Africa's football scene is not without its challenges and one pressing issue has come to light regarding the Harambee Stars' preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. 

The team's head coach, Engin Firat, has revealed that he has not been paid for the last five months raising concerns about the management and financial stability of the national team.

The Turkish tactician brought this issue to the forefront during a press conference aimed at discussing the upcoming qualifiers. 

Despite the financial setback, Firat expressed his dedication to the team and the country. 

"When I mentioned sacrifices before, what I meant was that it's only a temporary issue, lasting just five months. We face many problems, but we don't publicize our struggles; instead, we fight for the country and choose not to share our problems externally," he explained.

Firat, who was appointed head coach in September 2021, is under contract with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) with a reported stipulated monthly salary of Ksh 1.5 million. 

This agreement brings his annual earnings to Ksh 18 million, culminating in a total of Ksh 54 million over his three-year contract. 

Originally, Firat had sought a monthly wage of Ksh 6 million, but this was negotiated down  to the current rate.

However, the non-payment has accumulated a significant debt of Ksh 7.5 million owed to him by the government, a situation that underscores the financial difficulties faced by the federation.

Dedpite the challenges Firat remains focused on his goals despite these challenges. 

"There are indeed real delays, and that's a fact. However, I don't dwell on them. My focus is on achieving results and bringing joy to the nation," he stated.

The financial woes come at a critical time as Kenya currently stands third in Group F, with teams like Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burundi, The Gambia, and Seychelles competing for the top spot. 

The group's leader will secure a place in the 48-team World Cup, set to take place across 16 cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

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