The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli now wants Kenyan footballers to be put on the government's payroll.
Speaking to members of the press on Thursday after meeting the late Joe Kadenge family, the trade union boss contended that paying the Harambee Stars players would go along way in improving soccer in the country.
He cited government salaries as the the reason why powerhouses of African football like the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the Lions of Teranga of Senegal and the Leopards of DR Congo were excelling in international football.
"Those at the Harambee football players, if you want them to produce results, put them on salaries like other countries, " he said.
"Mobutu did it in Congo, he is the one who promoted the Congolese in football. Abacha did it in Nigeria, that is why Nigerians are playing that. In Senegal, the government put efforts."
Atwoli said that the salaries should continue even when the players go into retirement.
He bemoaned the neglect that veteran soccer stars in the country had suffered, saying that they deserve to be treated better given their contribution to the country.
Atwoli's remarks came in the wake of the Harambee Stars group stage exit from the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).