FKF Premier League

‘We are now broke’ – FKF Premier League referees cry out over pay

07:58 WAT 22/12/2021
KPL referees (Kenyan referees).
The men in black have appealed to the new caretaker committee to help clear their outstanding salaries saying they are broke and have bills to pay

Referees officiating in FKF Premier League have cried out to the caretaker committee to come to their rescue and pay their salaries accrued from the start of the current season.

A top referee, who did not want to be named, has told GOAL the referees have not received salaries since the season kicked off despite their commitment to honour and officiate top-flight matches across the country.

‘So, who will rescue us?’

“Imagine we have not been paid since the FKF caretaker team took over. In fact, we have not been paid since this season’s leagues kicked off because the office led by Nick Mwendwa never paid us in the six rounds of matches we officiated before FKF was disbanded,” the referee, who did not want to be named told GOAL.

“Some of us also did Women Premier League matches and were not paid a single coin since last season. There are those who have over 15 matches that we have not paid.

“We never received a single payment for the FKF Shield Cup last season despite the same having a sponsor [in Betway] and when the caretaker committee took charge, they told us we should forget about the unpaid matches under Mwendwa since it’s not in their powers to authorise payments which they were not part of.

“So, who will rescue us? But still, we have gone for a number of matches under the caretaker committee but they keep on promising week in-week out they will pay. We as referees are now broke. We spend a lot in preparation and travelling a lot to honor matches.”

‘It’s now getting worse’

The referee continued: “We have families, fees to pay, bills to pay. It’s now getting worse as some of the referees have to rely on the teams they are officiating to get fare and lunch just to honor matches.

“Everyone is calling for excellent calls on the field yet we officiate with a lot of pain, hunger, and brokenness. There is no one to talk to because we fear victimization by the powerful government.”

Since the caretaker committee took charge of running the top-tier, teams have played four rounds of matches.

When taking charge from Mwendwa, the committee led by retired Justice Aaron Ringera promised to cater for referees pay after every single match and also give the 18 teams taking part in the league monthly grants of Ksh300, 000 for facilitation to honour matches.

Efforts by GOAL to get a comment from a member of the committee to shed light on the referees’ matter proved futile as our calls went unanswered.