Punish officials who messed up Star’s trip

The debacle that marked Harambee Stars’ trip to Cape Verde on Monday for the return leg of the 2018 World Cup qualifier is unacceptable and those responsible must be punished.

There is no way players going to do national duty can be subjected to such torture and humiliation and be expected to perform well.

Not only does that show irresponsibility on the part of those concerned with managing the welfare of the players, it also demonstrates that they do not care about them.

Worse, the problem is perennial, meaning that the authorities, namely the Federation of Kenya Football (FKF) and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts, have abdicated their responsibility of promoting sports.

A look at the circumstances that surround the Cape Verde trip is depressing. The players were not paid their allowances until they held a sit-in at their Kasarani camp.

Second, the chartered plane they were to use had not been paid for and the owner was not ready to release it, knowing the agony of trying to get money from the government or FKF.

Third, foreign-based players had to pay for their tickets to Nairobi to link up with the team and it took a painful push to get the refunds. Fourth, the players never had a chance to train properly because of the confusion surrounding the trip.

What is even more infuriating is the fact that the government had released Sh17 million for the trip and the preparations, but the money was not available when required.

FKF and other sporting organisations are badly managed and dogged by corruption and plunder of resources. The officials should be held responsible for the mess. Sports Minister Hassan Wario and his team must also account for the shameful state of sporting organisations.