Firat cries out as unpaid Harambee Stars wages puts strain on his family

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FOOTBALL Firat cries out as unpaid Harambee Stars wages puts strain on his family

Festus Chuma 20:26 - 12.09.2023

Turkish coach Engin Firat laments unpaid wages while leading Kenya's national football team, despite government promises; struggles explaining situation to family.

Months have passed since Harambee Stars head coach Engin Firat last received his paycheck.

While the country rallies behind the national football team, behind the scenes, the Turkish tactician's voice rises in a cry for remuneration.

Firat's frustrations were palpably evident following Harambee Stars' unexpected 1-0 defeat to South Sudan on Tuesday. 

Speaking in a post-match press conference, Firat highlighted that the true ordeal was not the unpaid wages. 

Instead, the herculean task lay in rationalising the situation to his family, especially when he's investing personal funds.

"I haven't been paid for months, but that's not the issue," Firat admitted with a hint of distress in his voice. 

"The real challenge is explaining to my family why I continue with the job without receiving compensation. I have to justify to them why I invest my time and money and not for the family's sake."

However, what intensifies Firat's situation is the broken promise from the government's end. 

Back in June, Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, assured Firat that the ministry would settle his outstanding dues soon.

Fast forward to September, and Firat is still awaiting that commitment to materialise.

The experienced gaffer was appointed as the head coach on September 19, 2021, on what was initially a three-month stint. 

Impressed by his performance and dedication, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) announced an extension of his contract for a substantial period, leading up to 2026.