Adel Amrouche is not only an unhappy Harambee Stars coach, but is also a ‘prisoner’ of Football Kenya Federation.
The Belgian tactician has borne the brunt of FKF’s legendary incompetence and inefficiency and has been rendered homeless on more than one occasion after he was locked out of his apartment due to non-payment of rent, theDaily Nation can reveal.
Amrouche, who says he has not been paid his salary for more than two months, has more than once written to the FKF boss Sam Nyamweya over his predicament, and all he gets are promises which are never kept.
Sunday, it emerged that he is on a fresh collision course with the FKF which announced at a Press Conference, where he was conspicuously absent, that his contract had been renewed for a further five years.
“We have extended his (Amrouche’s) contract by five years effective start from the beginning of next year. The government has pledged to pay his salary and we will work out the modalities with the Ministry of Sports,” Nyamweya said.
Despite FKF’s announcement, Amrouche — who led Harambee Stars to getting a first ever away point against Africa Champions Nigeria during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers back in March, and also led the national team to its first regional trophy in 11 years during the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup — is unhappy with the way he is being treated.
His salary does not come in time and he has considered quitting because of lack of professionalism from FKF, something which has not come as a surprise to many football fans.
“Listen, I have bills to pay and needs to look after. I am waiting to hear from the federation on this (payment) subject,” the tactician said in an earlier interview.
Documents and correspondence between him and the federation seen by Nation reveal that he has been pleading with FKF to pay him his dues, allowances and even refund him monies he has spent while on duty, to no avail.
Because of that, he has been in embarrassing situations more than once when he was locked out of his apartment, leaving him at his wits end, and forcing him to use unconventional means to put his point across.
When Amrouche missed the Stars’ opening match of the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup against Ethiopia, it was not because he was under the weather as it was said, but it was in protest over the bad treatment he has been receiving from FKF.
It is sad that even his assistant, James Nandwa, told the media that the coach was unwell, yet Amrouche was busy negotiating with the FKF president to pay him his dues so that he could avoid being locked out of his apartment.
“Mr Chairman, it is 15:41 on Saturday 17th August (2013) and I just got a visit from the director of the apartments. She has threatened to take the key, kick me out and call the police,” Amrouche sounded that desperate in one of his many emails sent to Nyamweya.
“This is the third time this incident is happening. The last time she took the key for four days which I spent out in the cold without a change of clothes, money and medication and I think we have reached the limit and she will call the police.”
In another email, a desperate Amrouche wrote: “Dear Sam Nyamweya, Sorry, I am not happy with the situation I am in. Let’s start with the problem of salary. It is always late. As of now, I have not been paid for two and a half months and that is a breach of my contract.”
“I have been locked out of my apartment and I do not have access to my personal effects including my passport and medication. I am a prisoner in this country and I think we will have to change the way we do things if I am to continue staying and working here,” the August 10, 2013 email read.
In spite of the fact that he is a prisoner of FKF, Amrouche last week met President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Arts and Culture Hassan Wario at State House and made a commitment to improve the fortunes of the team.
Wario promised the former TP Mazembe (DRC) and Burundi national team coach that the government will pay for his salary arrears, while the President is said to have promised more goodies during a private meeting with the national team players and officials in which FKF officials were locked out.
“Mine is to assure Amrouche that he is going nowhere and that we are going to deal with all his issues,” Wario said.