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Unpaid hotel bill haunts amputee footballers

Over 100 players and officials from six countries participating in the Africa Cup of Nations for Amputees face detention at Sportsview Hotel in Kasarani owing to unpaid bills amounting to Sh3.8 million.

The players and officials are in the dark on whether it is only the Kenya team that will be detained, or all representatives from the six participating nations.

The tournament kicked off last Saturday and ends on Wednesday in the final match between Liberia and Angola. Liberia are the defending champions.

The Kenya Federation of Amputee Football (KFAF) on Wednesday morning held a joint press conference with the vice president of the Amputees Football Federation of Africa Habiba Lamido and delegation heads from Ghana, Liberia, Angola and Sierra Leone at the hotel.

They pleaded with the Kenyan government and well-wishers to help settle the bill accumulated so far.

They also want the hotel’s management to clarify whether visiting teams will be held responsible for the failures of the host federation.

“The hotel should clarify to us now whether we shall all be detained in case KFAF fails to raise the money, so we can make arrangements to postpone our flights back home beyond tomorrow,” lamented Amartey Adesah, the chairman of the Ghana Amputee Football Federation.

KFAF treasurer Charity Kamau said Sports View Hotel had on Tuesday agreed to give the players and officials food, but she could not give assurances on what lies ahead.

She further accused the Government of neglecting the amputees team.

“We were told the Government is no longer funding events, but they have granted our able bodied brothers FKF Sh41 million for the Cecafa tournament. All we are asking for is Sh3.8 million. Are we not Kenyans too?” she posed.

The hotel’s manager Marion Kago said management will meet later on Wednesday to decide on what action to take should KFAF fail to offset the bill.

“So far we know for sure that Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company has agreed to pay Sh500,000 and we hope that other well-wishers will follow suit. For now I cannot say whether we will detain anyone until I have an official communication from the board,” she said.

Well-wishers can send donations through Mpesa paybill number 850900.