I Built A Nice House After FKF Paid Us Our Afcon Bonuses, Says Shikalo

Harambee Stars goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo says he has been living a comfortable life after receiving huge bonuses during the 2019 Afcon campaigns which helped him build a modern house.

Shikalo, who currently plies his trade for Tanzanian giants, Young Africans (Yanga), says that the colossal perks that Football Kenya Federation (FKF) disbursed to the Harambee Stars squad after they qualified for Africa’s most coveted and prestigious tournament, changed the lives of the players, and especially his, after he used part of it to finish the construction of his mother’s house which had stalled for sometime.

The team earned Sh50m bonus for qualifying to the Afcon 2019 that was held in Egypt, with each of the players pocketing at least Sh750,000.

“When you get such kind money, you want it to make a difference and to remember the occasion. For me, it helped me finish off a number of projects and one of them was to complete the construction of my mother’s house,” he explained.

Shikalo describes the event as a turning point in his life and a dream come true, considering that it was the first time he was lining his pockets with such a huge amount, arising from a football activity.

“Since I began playing football, I have never received such an amount of money. And I don’t think that applies to myself only. We were lucky to have been among the players who have earned the highest amount of bonuses ever while representing the national team” he said.

He has thanked the federation and the government for fulfilling their promise to the players, adding that it was his hope as well as that of the rest of the squad that the remaining part of the bonus would be disbursed soon.

”I want to thank Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the ministry of sports for making this possible and I hope the remaining part of the bonus can be sorted out quickly.”

Shikalo has equally expressed gratitude for the high level training the team had in France prior to the tournament in Egypt saying that it led to the impressive performance witnessed in Egypt.

“It was a big motivation to train in France and play the build-up matches we did against Mauritius and Congo and personally, I want to have another opportunity to once again qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations finals but this time be able to play.

He said that the Afcon stage in Cairo had given them a platform to showcase their talents to the rest of the world, and had opened avenues to greater things.

“There are many opportunities every time a team qualifies for such a major tournament. First of all, there are a lot of agents following teams and so it gives us a platform to showcase our talent.”

Asked why he took his sweet time before finally agreeing to a deal with Yanga, Shikalo said that he took long to make decision because he had to look at all the offers that were being dangled before him by other teams.

“Before Yanga, there were clubs in Zambia chasing my signature. That is why I declined to go in the first year as I needed time to make up my mind. There was also interest in Dubai and all these had to be considered,” he said.

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Written by Senior Editor