The CS challenged the federation to come up with a plan that could help footballers’s welfare is catered for once they stop playing after Athletics Kenya launched the Mwanariadha Pension Fund.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has challenged the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to follow in Athletics Kenya's footsteps by developing a pension package plan to assist in caring for retired players' welfare.
Namwamba was speaking during the launch of the Kenya Broadcasting Company (KBC’s) partnership with FKF that will see the FKFPL broadcasted over a seven-year period, joining Azam TV in doing so.
The CS challenged the federation to come up with a plan that could ensure footballers' welfare is catered to once they stop playing after meeting former AFC Leopards midfielder Ezekiel Otuoma at Nyayo National Stadium during Harambee Starlets' 1-1 draw with Botswana on Wednesday.
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Otuoma's career had to come to an unfortunate end after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Syndrome.
“As part of that (Talanta Hela) program, we have agreed with many federations, not just the Kenya football Federation, (to come up with a pension scheme for retired players,” Namwamba said.
“Early this morning (Thursday), I had a ceremony with Athletics Kenya where we were launching Africa’s first ever pension scheme for athletes and the endowment fund for retired athletes.
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“It is part of this program and we have put in significant money in both programs. Pension schemes and endowment funds.
"The next thing I want to see yesterday after watching our Harambee Starlets at Nyayo, you and I ran into former player Otuoma, who has been put down by a nervous generative condition.
“What arrangement do we have when we lose players like Otuoma at his prime and run into challenges such as afflicting that young man?
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Mwanariadha Pension Fund launched to provide financial security for athletes, with substantial government support and widespread commitment.
“I want to come to another ceremony like I have done with Athletics Kenya to launch a pension fund and an endowment fund for retired footballers.”
The Kenya Footballers’ Welfare Association (KEFWA), which is headed by former Harambee Stars defender James Situma, was created to purely cater for footballers’ welfare claims, but Namwamba believes the Talanta Hela Pension Scheme program could also help solve matters.