Sofapaka in trouble as auctioneers net team bus over pay row


Sofapaka in trouble as auctioneers net team bus over pay row

Festus Chuma 13:00 - 22.05.2024

Sofapaka's team bus is set to be auctioned due to unpaid salaries, highlighting financial struggles within Kenyan football clubs.

Relegation-threatened Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) side Sofapaka is facing significant trouble as their team bus is set to be auctioned following nonpayment of salaries to former players. 

Michael Kibwage and Paul Kiongera have petitioned the commercial court, seeking to auction the bus to recover their salary arrears from the football club.

The bus auction, conducted by Bank Repossessed, Grounded & Auctioneers Sar Sales Nairobi, Kenya, has a price tag of Ksh 1 million. 

Both players have been demanding their payments since presenting their case in court on August 3, 2021. The Sports Dispute Tribunal issued a ruling on January 25, 2022, in favor of the players.

"The Claimant is entitled to payment of salary outstanding as of June 2021, being three months' salary for 2021 and 16 days for September 2020.The breakdown includ Ksh 37,333 for 16 days in September 2020 and Ksh 210,000 for three months in 2021," the tribunal ruled.

"Additionally, the Tribunal awarded the claimant Ksh 242,666 for the period from July 2021 to October 14, 2021, Ksh 150,000 for damages due to discrimination and oppressive conduct, and Ksh 350,000 for the unexpired period of the contract. The total amount was to be paid within 30 days of the decision, failing which it would attract an interest of 12% per annum," it adds.

 The club now faces the grim reality of losing a crucial asset as auctioneers move to execute the court's decision.

This incident mirrors a similar situation faced by Gor Mahia in March 2023 when their player, Wellington Ochieng, auctioned the club's bus due to unpaid salaries and sign-on fees exceeding Ksh 1 million. 

The sale was conducted by Charlton Auctioneers with the vehicle being sold in as-is condition.

It is worth mentioning that the Sofapaka were promised a new bus by former head of state Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014 when the team paid a courtesy call at State House after winning the FKF Cup Competition. 

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.