Mathare hopeful for new season despite financial strain

Mathare United coach Salim Ali is optimistic of a fruitful season despite the financial blow of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s staff and players.

Salim says player fitness levels are below par but added the drop was expected given the Government’s delay in lifting its suspension on all sports activities.

The tactician added that some of the signings they made for the new season were based on an understanding that players made financial compromises owing to the hard economic times.

Salim has urged the Government to do more in terms of providing bail-out packages for a sports industry that was already struggling even before the pandemic hit.

“I wish to request the government to assist footballers like any other sport. Players are going through tough times which is likely to hinder their performance,” Salim told Citizen Digital.

Mathare, who were 8th on the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) standings at the time it was suspended in March, have re-signed Moses Mburu and also acquired the services of Boniface Akenga (NSL Police SC), Eugene Wethuli (Nairobi Stima) and Martin Werunga (Nzoia Sugar).

The Slum Boys host Kakamega Homeboyz in their season-opening fixture on November 21 before taking on Wazito FC and champions Gor Mahia FC respectively in the subsequent gameweeks.