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Dennis Oliech: Harambee Stars Icon Plans to Tackle Unpaid Player Wages if Elected FKF President
- Harambee Stars legend, Dennis Oliech, said he has a plan to tackle unpaid player wages
- The former Gor Mahia striker has thrown his hat into the ring in the FKF Presidency race
- Kenyan football has been plagued for a long time by player strikes due to unpaid wages
Dennis Oliech, a former Harambee Stars forward, has outlined his strategy to address unpaid player wages in Kenyan football, should he be elected president of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).
Expanding on his candidacy intentions, the former player stressed his commitment to instigating 'a new era of leadership devoid of personal interests'.
He has thrown his hat into the ring for the FKF presidency, either as a sole candidate or in collaboration with Hussein Mohammed and former teammate, McDonald Mariga.
The menace of players striking due to overdue or insufficient payments has plagued Kenyan football, even leading to instances of match-fixing in the past.
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Oliech has outlined his proposed solution to this problem, stressing the importance of fair treatment for players.
"Football is not about books, it is about players being treated well; eating well and sleeping well," Oliech said during an interview with Radio Jambo, as reported by Pulse Sports.
He advocated a new system of adopting bank transactions for player payments to ensure transparency and accountability.
The former striker also criticised clubs for neglecting their players, leading to prolonged strikes and tarnishing the image of Kenyan football.
He highlighted the inherent dangers of such situations, citing the susceptibility of match-fixing as players become desperate.
In addition to addressing wage issues, Oliech proposed implementing a standardised salary structure across all clubs to ensure fair compensation for players at every level.
Beyond domestic concerns, he raised concerns about Kenya's readiness to host major continental tournaments like the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
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He stressed the urgency of developing essential infrastructure within the next two years to avoid losing hosting rights, drawing inspiration from the football powerhouses of West Africa.
"I've had conversations with a FIFA representative who stressed that we must be prepared within two years; otherwise, we risk losing the hosting rights," Oliech said in an interview, as quoted by the Citizen.
Furthermore, Oliech urged Kenyans to foster a more robust football culture akin to countries like Ivory Coast, where football serves as a unifying force and a pathway to success amidst economic challenges.
In line with his advocacy for grassroots development, he partnered with a non-governmental sports organisation to launch the Dare To Dream Festival 2023 to discover and nurture young sporting talents in Nairobi's Dagoretti area.
The festival showcased various sports disciplines, highlighting Oliech's commitment to nurturing the next generation of Kenyan athletes.
Oliech: 'Why I turned down Ksh890m offer'
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Sports Brief also reported in 2021 when Oliech explained turning down an offer to change his citizenship from Kenyan to Qatari in 2004.
At the height of his career, the former Auxerre goal-scorer received a Ksh890 million offer to ditch the Harambee Stars for the Arab nation.
Just 19 at the time, Oliech was one of the most sought-after talents alongside big names like Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie.