Women’s Football Club Risks Exclusion Over Financial Challenges
A top-ranking and fast-rising women's soccer club in remote Garashi Ward of Kilifi County risks being excluded from next season's Federation of Kenya Football (FKF) Coast Regional League due to a lack of funds.
Four-year-old Mekatilili Queens FC, which was promoted to the regional league after its sterling performance in the 2020/2021 Kilifi County League season, is now appealing to well-wishers to support it financially to help it achieve its dream of advancing to the top leagues in the country.
Team Manager Alpha Safari Kassim says the team requires transport facilities and financial resources to pay allowances to players and the technical team in order to effectively participate in the league that is set to begin in a few weeks' time.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency in Malindi town Tuesday, Kassim said that the club was planning to start an agribusiness project to raise funds and liberate it from overreliance on well-wishers, who he said had become increasingly difficult to get.
'The club is doing extremely well in the region, but it lacks a stable financial base to fund its operations,' he said while asking donors to come to its aid and provide a vehicle for the team to be able to honour fixtures.
According to the FKF Table, the team emerged second in its first stab at the Regional League, and with the right support, it has a great potential of advancing to the Super and Premier Leagues in the coming years, Kassim said.
He appealed to the Kilifi County Government to support sporting activities in the county by constructing stadia and other sports facilities in order to tap the immense sporting potential among local youths and fight vices such as teenage pregnancies and drug and substance abuse.
'Our players are within the age bracket of between 18 and 35 years, which is the most vulnerable stage of influence into drug and substance abuse and alcoholism,' he said.
Kassim lamented that despite the team performing extraordinarily in the county and regional leagues, 'we have not received any support from local politicians or even the county government, and this has adversely affected the young and potential team'.
The club Matron Ms. Rose Zawadi, echoed Kassim's sentiments, adding that the players needed money to purchase vital items such as sanitary towels while in the camp.
She said that failure to meet the girls' needs could force them to leave the camp in search of alternatives like 'sponsors' who lure them into illicit sexual activities in exchange for money.
Mekatilili Queens FC was formed in the year 2019 in Garashi Ward, but due to a lack of female players and political goodwill then, it had to partner with players from Marafa Ward.
The team was enlisted in the Kilifi County FKF league and clinched the 2020/2021 county league title and booked a spot in the Regional League, where it emerged second in the 2021/2022 season.
Source: Kenya News Agency