Struggling side AFC Leopards face a daunting task when they face Tusker FC on Sunday 28 May, 2017 at the Kinoru Stadium from 15:00. Leopards have recently been recording unwanted results and will be hoping for better results when they play the reigning champions.


Tusker
After losing two of their first matches, Tusker have gone on to display good performances and are unbeaten in ten games since then. They are currently on a good run, having won all six of their last six league fixtures and will be looking to add Sundays match to their tally. They are currently 3rd in the table standings and a win will see them move into the top two positions, and might even get the top spot if Gor Mahia lose out to Posta Rangers. The Brewers have managed six clean sheets so far, scoring sixteen goals in the twelve matches they have played. They will however have to tighten up the defense which has not been so impressive, letting in a massive twelve goals.


The Brewers will miss the services of defender Cercidy Okeyo, who is still out with an injury. In the last six years, Tusker has faced Ingwe twelve times, coming out victorious on seven occasions. They lost to Leopards only once and the other four encounters ended in draws.


Leopards
Ingwe had a good start to the season, winning their first two matches and were placed at the top of the table standings. Things have however turned ugly for them of late, winning none of their last six mathes and have moved to position twelve in the table. They have so far lost five matches, a result which has seen head coach Stewart Hall linked with an exit from the club.  A win against Tusker will take them to ninth position, joint in points with other two teams.


In their first twelve matches of the season, Leopards have managed only three clean sheets, conceding twelve goals compared to the ten that they have managed to score. They have also recorded not so good results away from home, winning two matches and losing three. Overcoming Tusker has been a hard task for them, winning only once in their last twelve encounters. They have lost seven times and drawn four times in the same years.

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Posta Rangers and Gor Mahia battle out for three crucial points in Round 13 of the Kenyan Premier League On Sunday 28 May at the Nyayo Stadium, a game that will kickoff at 15:00.


Posta Rangers go into the match following a 1-0 loss to Ulinzi, which was their first defeat of the season while Gor’s last match ended in a 1-1 draw against Thika United. Kógalo will be looking to cement the top spot of the table with a win and add more stability to their title chase. Posta will also be eyeing a win to take them back to the top three positions, where they were squeezed out following a series of draws and their latest loss.


Head To Head
The two teams have met eight times in the Kenyan Premier League, with Gor coming out victorious on three occasions while Posta have won only once. Three of the encounters have ended in a draw. In the last four league fixtures, Gor have won thrice and drawn once compared to Posta’s one win and three draws. Gor will also be seeking motivation from their performance away from home this season, where they have won five of the six matches that they have played on the road. In terms of goals scored this season, Gor have notched in seventeen goals whereas Posta have only scored nine goals. Posta however have the majority number of clean sheets, having not conceded in eight matches while Gor have recorded six clean sheets.


Security Concerns
Ahead of the match on Sunday, Posta Rangers Club Chairman John Tonui was quick to assure attending fans of tight security measures that have been put in place to ensure a safe, enjoyable and thrilling encounter between the two sides. ``“Security plans have been streamlined with a total of 200 policemen to be deployed on the ground; from GSU, AP and other police units. We urge football lovers to come in masses and enjoy the match in a peaceful way,’’ said Tonui.

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fThe match will be played at the Moi Stadium on Saturday 27 May from 15:00.


Those included in the squad are Masoud Juma and Bolton Omwenga, Calvin Odongo being left out of the travelling squad although he returned to training. Sharks will miss the services of Steven Odhiambo, who is out with an ankle injury. The William Muluya coached side will be seeking to put more misery on Western Stima, who are winless in tfour of their last league fixtures.


Head To Head
The two sides have not met in the Kenyan Premier League, this season being the first for Kariobangi Sharks in top flight football. They have however performed better than their opponents, currently sitting 5th in the table standings after six wins, two draws and four losses. They are also on a good run, having not lost a match in their last six fixtures. Western Stima on the other hand languish in the last position of the league table after registering only two wins in twelve of their opening matches. They have lost seven matches and drawn twice.


Kariobangi Sharks Squad
Goalkeepers: Jeff Oyemba, Robert Mboya .
 Defenders: Bolton Omwenga, Pascal Ogweno, Geofrey Shiveka Michael Bodo, Wycliffe Onyango .
Midfieders:  Osborne Monday, Sven Yidah, Patillah Omoto, Mike Isabwa, Matthew Odongo,  Ovellah Ochieng,  Elli Asieche .
Strikers:  Ibrahim Kitawi, Rodgers Omondi, Duke Abuya and Masoud Juma .

 

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AFC Leopards SC coaching job is one that needs guts and b***s  of steel for any soccer coach with intent to take over the Club. Apart from the over expecting fans, the Club has bizzare working environment that has always seemed to work against it. Many coaches who have left have feigned all sorts of excuses from family commitments to new offers on their exit.Here's a list of all the AFC Leopards coaches since 2013.

1. Tom Olaba:
3 months: Jan - Mar 2013

2. Luc Eymael:
5½ months: Apr - Sep 2013

3. James Nandwa
6½ months: Sep - Apr  2014

4. Pieter De Jongh
7½ months: May - Dec 2014

5. Zdravko Logarusic
9 months: Feb - Oct 2015

6. Jan Koops
2 months: Jan - Feb 2016

7. Ivan Minnaert
6 months: Mar - Aug 2016

8. Ezekiel Akwana
2 months: Sep - Oct 2016

9. Stewart Hall
8 months: Nov 2016 - May 2017

Stats by IngweFan

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Chemelil Sugar condemned Ulinzi Stars to their first loss in five matches after overcoming them 2-1 on Saturday 27 May at the Chemelil Sports Complex. This was the 13th game for both teams in the Kenyan Premier League this season.


Ulinzi Stars produced a swift counter attack three minutes into the match but Smith Ouko was there to stop the progression. In the 8th minute, Cylus Shitote put Stephen Waruru through but the latter was unable to find the target, his effort going wide. Ulinzi were on the attacking end once again in the 19th minute but Benjamin Oketch did well to block Samwel Onyango’s cross. Two minutes from the break, Chemelil got their first goal of the match through Jaffary Odeny who nodded in a rebound after Jacktone Odhiambo had blocked Neto’s effort.


In the second half, Ulinzi made two early changes in the drizzling encounter, bringing in Enosh Ochieng and Evans Amwoka for Waruru and Michael Otieno. Victor Majid doubled the lead for the hosts in the 74th minute from the spot after Geoffrey Kokoyo had handled the ball in the area. Oscar Wamalwa pulled one back for the Soldiers in 83rd minute, also from the spot after a careless challenge by Benjamin Oketch. His effort was however not enough to salvage anything for Ulinzi Stars as the game ended 2-1 in favour of Chemelil Sugar.

At the Thika Sub-County Stadium, Thika United were held to a 1-1 draw by Muhoroni Youth to take their winless run to nine consecutive matches. Muhoroni were first to score through Bliss Kityo in the early minutes of the game. Thika were however able to find an equalizer in the 12th minute, Eugene Mukangula unleashing a shot outside the box that went past Muhoroni goalkeeper. Thika remain 16th in the table with ten points, with Muhoroni one place above them with eleven points.

 

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A Benjamin Muchuma late goal rescued a point for Nzoia United against a visiting Sofapaka side at the Sudi Stadium on Saturday 27 May, 2017. Nzoia had gone into the match fresh from a 3-0 win over Muhoroni Youth and were looking to repeat the same feat, but that was not to be.


Nzoia started the match as the stronger team, pressing hard from the start for an early opener. In the 13th minute, they had their first chance after a Lawrence Juma corner found Luke Namanda who executed a superb volley but was unable to find the target. Masita Masuta wasted a glorious chance for the hosts in the 20th minute, shooting wide after Festus Okiring had floated in a good free kick. Nzoia found themselves trailing four minutes later courtesy of Maurice Odipo who headed in a cross from Charles Okwemba. Luke Namanda was on the wasteful end once again in the 25th minute, failing to tap in a free ball. Sofapaka decided to make an early change, Ezekiel Okare coming in for Wonok Pate in the 27th minute.


In the second half, Nzoia decided to ring changes in search of an equalizer; Victor Omondi, Brian Yakhama and Benjamin Muchuma coming in for Geoffrey Kariuki , Patrick Kwitonda and Luke Lamanda respectively. Benjamin Muchumi proved to be a worthy substitute in the 86th minute, tapping in a cross from Masuta to secure a point for the hosts. The result takes Nzoia’s point tally to seventeen points while Sofapaka now have twenty points from thirteen games, putting them in 5th place of the league table.

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Muhoroni Youth chairman Moses Adagala has said that he will expose FKF CEO Robert Muthomi a move likely to spark off a new round of debate between the two parties, Muhoroni Youth and Football Kenya Federation(FKF).

Speaking to Mulembe FM on Saturday afternoon during the station's sports show, Adagala spared no words in faulting the Federation on how they treat his Club.

" I will soon be exposing him. He has no success to show with his Club(Nakuru Allstars) but he is always seeking to fight me."

" Muhoroni Youth means a lot to the community and we have no apologies despite the fights we have been through."

Adagala lashed at the FKF CEO for unilaterally banning the Club's homeground without receiving the referee's report.

" Our ground is not banned. This is pure witch-hunt by someone in the federation and I will expose him soon."

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Muhoroni Youth’s squad that will clash with Thika United on Saturday May 27 at the Thika Sub-County Stadium from 15:00 has been released. Muhoroni will be pursuing a reversal in last week’s performance where they were humiliated 3-0 by Nzoia United. Prior to that, they had also lost 2-1 to Ulinzi Stars.


Salim Sowedi reclaims his starting role in between the sticks, taking over from Gradius Ochieng who played in the Nzoia match. The two sides have met six times in the last three years, with Muhoroni coming out victorious on four occasions compared to Thika’s one. They have drawn once. Thika United have won twice, drawn thrice and lost seven times this season and are placed 16th with nine points. Muhoroni Youth sit one place above them in the table standings in 15th with ten points after recording two wins, four draws and six losses.


Starting XI:Salim Sowedi, Robert Mudenyu, Walter Ouma , Jacob Faina, Paul Muchika Muchika , Collins Agade , Ambrose Ayoyi , Onyango Maxwell, Walter Omanga, Bliss Kityo, Daniel Otieno.
Subs: Gradus Ochieng, Eric Baki, Fred Otieno, Tom Adwar, Mboya,  Mohamed Mwachiponi, Thomas Venval.

 

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Former Homeboyz back-row Joshua Chisanga will not be available for selection for Simbas friendly against Germany on Saturday 27 May, 2017 at the RFUEA. Chisanga, who plays for the Falcons in England, will however feature for the Kenya 15s team in their upcoming matches.


Speaking to Kenyan-star, Team Manager Simiyu Wangila confirmed that Chisanga will not be in the team for Saturday, but might play as soon as Uganda’s match. ``He (Chisanga) has only trained from Wednesday. It’s only fair that we give other guys who have been training in the same position… So he will be given his chance as the training goes on. Don’t be shocked to see him for Uganda or other games that are coming up because he’ll now have gelled into our system and seen what it takes to be in the Kenyan sorroundings.’’


Simbas match against Germany kicks off at 16:00. Here are the squads for both sides.


Germany:
Sean Armstrong, Raynor Parkinson, Timo Vollenkemper, Kehoma Brenner, Jaco Otto, Jarrid Els, Harris Aounallah, Dale Garner, Michael Poppmeier, Jörn Schröder, Pirmin Stöhr, Luis Ball, Antony Dickinson, Chris Howells, Ben Ellermann, Daniel Cook, Jamie Murphy, Marcel Coetzee, Erik Marks, Damien Tussac, Tim Menzel, Mikael Tyumenev, Julius Nostadt, Christopher Hilsenbeck, Dasch Barber, Samy Füchsel, Mathieu Ducau, Felicien Vergnon, Marcel Henn.


Kenya Simbas
15. Tony Onyango (Homeboyz), 14. Darwin Mukidza (KCB, Vice Captain), 13. David Ambunya (Quins), 12. Patrice Agunda (Quins), 11. Jacob Ojee (KCB), 10. Biko Adema (Nondescripts), 9. Samson Onsomu (Impala), 1. Moses Amusala (KCB), 2. Peter Karia (KCB), 3. Dennis Karani (Impala), 4. Wilson Kopondo (Quins, Captain), 5. Simon Muniafu (Impala), 6. Eric Kerre (Impala), 7. Davis Chenge (KCB), 8. Martin Owila (KCB).


Replacements:  16. Philip Ikambili (Homeboyz)17. Oscar Simiyu (KCB), 18. Bramwell Mayaka (Homeboyz), 19. Oliver Mang’eni ( KCB), 20. George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), 21. Kelvin Masai (Homeboyz), 22. Leo Seje Owade (Impala), 23. Dennis Muhanji (Quins).

 

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Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso targets a fifth straight win when the boys take on Chemelil Sugar on Saturday away in Awasi. Ulinzi has won four matches on the trot, results that take the team to second on the log with 24 points, two shy of leaders Gor Mahia.

“It is a very tough match because Chemelil at home are not an easy opponent. For us our target is to keep on playing how we have been playing and doing even better. So far we have done well especially winning four games in a row. It is not an easy feat,” Coach Nyangweso said.

He has also praised the team’s collective responsibility for the improved performance, saying the boys have shown great attitude in training hence the result.

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Ulinzi Stars take on Chemelil Sugar in Round 13 of the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday 27 May, 2017 in Awasi from 15:00.The Soldiers will draw their motivation from their impressive run of matches that has seen them win four matches in a row.


Although head coach Benjamin Nyangweso acknowledged that the match against Chemelil will be difficult, he insists that their target is to come out with a win. “It is a very tough match because Chemelil at home are not an easy opponent. For us our target is to keep on playing how we have been playing and doing even better. So far we have done well especially winning four games in a row. It is not an easy feat.’’


Head to Head


The two teams have met six times in the last three years, Ulinzi winning three times while Chemelil has won only once. The two teams have settled for a draw twice. In recent matches, the teams have also recorded different results. While Ulinzi have won all their last four matches, Chemelil are winless in their last six and have lost three consecutive matches.
Ulinzi are 2nd on the league table after picking up seven wins, three draws and two losses. On the other hand, Chemelil are in 12th place after registering three wins, five draws and four losses.

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AFC Leopards continue their rebuilding days after landing Burundian hit man Alexis Kitenge, this time they have signed up a Ugandan midfielder beating Tusker to the signature of the youngster.

Keziron Kizito has reportedly agreed terms to join AFC Leopards despite earlier reports that appeared in the media that he had agreed to join Tusker.

With Leopards facing Tusker this weekend, the match could turn to be a grudge match following the developments.

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Lilian Kasait came second behind  Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba in Eugene on Friday during a non league Diamond league event.

The women’s 5000m, which was not a Diamond League discipline, produced a commanding display by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who won in 14:25.22 from Kenya’s Lilian Kasait Rengeruk (14:36.80) and Sifan Hassan (14:41.24).

Dibaba had been on the hunt for the world record of 14:11.15, held by her sister Tirunesh, but after passing 3000m in 8:39.21, the wheels slowly began to fall off. Nonetheless, she fought to the finish to clock the second fastest time in the world this year.

In the women’s national 800m, Charlene Lipsey took command of the race early in the second lap and ran the legs off her competitors, powering home to victory in 1:59.87 from Chrishuna Williams (2:00.62) and 17-year-old Samantha Watson, who was third in 2:01.47. Gabriele Stafford took the women’s national 1500m in 4:07.79.

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A strong Kenyan contingent is expected to dominate proceedings once again at the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday (28) as the event, an IAAF Bronze Label road race, reaches its 15th year.

With several thousand competitors expected to descend on Scotland’s capital city for the full 26-mile race and the adjoining half marathon, Eddah Jepkosgei is returning to defend the title she won last year.

With the event starting in Edinburgh’s city centre and then looping out to the coast, the expected warm conditions could point to a repeat triumph for Jepkosgei who 12 months ago took victory in 2:39:53, six minutes outside the course record set in 2005.

But 2005 World Championships representative Hayley Haining, who scored second place in 2016, is also back with the university lecturer still very much competitive at the age of 45.

The women’s elite field additionally includes London 2012 Olympian Olga Dubovskaya, who is returning from the birth of her first child last year, and 2015 Brighton Marathon victor Pennina Wanjiru Ndungu.

The main marathon, still regarded as the second-largest in the UK to London, has become part of an overall two-day running festival which is now incorporating junior races on top.

Mark Woods for the IAAF

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Eugene classic witnessed as an 18-year-old came back from near-disaster at the penultimate water jump to win in 8:58.78, the second fastest run of all time and a world U20 record and the announcing of a new star.

On the first evening of action at the IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, many had expected the women’s 3000m steeplechase to prove another demonstration by world record holder Ruth Jebet, but a new star emerged in the form of Kenya’s Celliphine Chespol.

In the non-Diamond League event, Chespol moved to the front with 600m remaining and appeared poised for victory, but gasps went through the crowd as she stopped suddenly after emerging from the water to fix a loose shoe. The move cost her the best part of 20 metres, with both Jebet and Kenyan compatriot Beatrice Chepkoech taking an immediate advantage.

However, Chespol recovered it steadily over the following 300 metres, then powered away up the home straight to win in convincing style, taking seven seconds off her world U20 record of 9:05.70.

Chepkoech came through strongly for second in 9:00.70, with Jebet third in 9:03.52.

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Nzoia Sugar host Sofapaka on Saturday 27 May, 2017 at the Sudi Stadium from 15:00. They will be looking to replicate last weekend’s performance where they humiliated Muhoroni Youth 3-0 in Round 12 of the Kenyan Premier League.


They will however have to dig deep for the win as Sofapaka will not be easy opponent, Batoto Ba Mungu defender George Maelo insisting that they are heading into the match in search of a win. ``spirit and morale of the team has been commendable and a win will be great. Nzoia is a big team and given that they won (last weekend) while we drew, they will (also) be looking for a win.’’


The two sides have never met before in the top tier league, with this season being the first for Nzoia Sugar in the Kenyan Premier League. They have however performed almost similarly so far, Nzoia having won four matches compared to Sofapaka’s five. Nzoia will also be seeking to overcome their bad home record which has seen them win none of the matches at home. Boniface Omondi, who has scored four goals this season, will be the man to watch for the Nzoia side as he tries to add on to his tally and put more pressure on Ulinzi’s Stephen Waruru who is the leading scorer.


Sofapaka are currently sixth on table with nineteen points while Nzoia United sit third, three point adrift of their opponents.


Full squad
Mustafa Oduor, Bernard Mangala, Edwin Wafula, Festus Okiring, Joakim Oluoch, Geoffrey Kariuki, Peter Gin, Juma Lawrence, Edgar Nzano, Jonathan Lodaket ,Luke Namanda, Boniface Omondi, Victor Omondi, Benjamin Muchuma, Masuta Masita, Patrick Kwitonda, Elvis Rupia, Brian Yakhama

 

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Rewind, briefly, to the point when GorMahia suffered their first loss of the season against a resilient Western Stima. Marcelo Ze Maria’s initial reaction to that slim defeat in April had been one of fury. He was livid, humiliated, crushed and looked helpless in finding a solution in what might have hit him and the boys that day. 

It took a while for those emotions to simmer down and rational thought to return but then, as he gave his back to the Moi Stadium pitch, reality seems to have sank in; the 2017 season was never going to be easy.

“We gave our all today but the goal couldn’t just go in. They (Stima) gave us a good game but we have to keep on working to ensure we win our next games. We know there are no easy games in this league but ours is not to lose focus,” Ze Maria said then

Now return to the present. Gor Mahia are currently a top of the log despite having been not at their best for the better part of the first leg but margins point to a title race that will be the tightest in recent years.

Adaptability

The same group of players who failed to find a way past Western Stima and later past a young Mathare United side have achieved eight wins; the most in the division. If there had been initial doubts in the demands being placed upon them by a coach who insists upon total commitment, then they have been  allayed. 

Plenty has been made of the switch in formation since his arrival, instigated in the latter stages of their game against Ushuru Fc. Adopting three at the back has clearly been a masterstroke and a tactical tweak that has hurt opposition.

“The change of formation must suit the players I have at my disposal. It will be a gradual process but I am happy that the team is willing to learn and implement my style of play,” Ze Maria’s sentiments months after replacing Frank Nuttal in the GorMahia hot seat last season.

Trust

Ze Maria inherited a filtrated environment after the unceremonious departure of Nuttal but despite the pressure that comes with coaching one of the biggest teams in the region, he has managed to keep his charges on toes; building trust and transforming some of his fringe players to beaters; Kenneth Muguna, Oliver Maloba, Wellington Ochieng and Timothy Otieno to mention a few.

“Tuyisenge will be out for some time but we believe we have players who can fill his void. GorMahia is made of more than one player and I believe those at my disposal would do the job,” Ze Maria prior to the derby match against AFC Leopards.

Trend Setting and Title duel

The quite celebrations conducted in front of the club’s own fans in the Mashemeji derby were a show of unity and reflected a remarkable transformation. “The boys deserve a pat on the back for the good performance. Considering the magnitude of the game, they gave their best but we have a lot of games between now and the end of the season so I can only urge them to maintain focus and replicate the same show in our forthcoming assignments.

His sentiments were however different when his side was held by Tusker FC and Thika United respectively; the Brazilian claiming that teams always came in their duels with a negative approach something he termed as a backward idea. His notion was, his side always set the style of play for his opponents who had a special plan they execute in only games involving his team.

“Every team comes to play GorMahia with a negative tactic. All they do is to waste time and the officials help this by not adding the appropriate time,” his sentiments after the Tusker stalemate. “I think our opponents today played for less than 30 minutes in the second half and the referee ought to have added more time." He added.

“It is still too early to say who will win the title because we are a head with a small margin. All we know is we have to concentrate on our games and take them as they come if we are to win the title,” Ze Maria said after their week 12 1-1 draw against Thika United.

The end to the first leg of the season is just a game away but one feels Ze Maria has tasted all the ingredients that he feels will help him wrestle the title. His team seem unstoppable on a good day, their conviction swollen and the manager a man inspired. 

READ: 

Ze Maria: When You Are At Gor Mahia, The Expectation Is A Win In Every Match

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Simbas 15s Team Manager Simiyu Wangila has urged his side to proceed to Saturday’s match against Germany with utmost caution, as the German side is very strong and should not be underrated. Simbas face Germany on Saturday 27 May, 2017 at the RFUEA Grounds, with the two sides placed 23rd and 24th respectively in the rankings.


``We have to go into the match with a lot of caution….we respect the Germans quite a lot. If you look at their games during the European circuit, they have actually been featuring very well and it is a team that is not to be taken for granted. That is why we had to go down to South Africa and fine-tune ourselves,’’ said the team manager.


Wangila also talked on the importance of Wilson Kopondo and Biko Adema coming back into the team. Kopondo was out for a long period due to injury while Biko Adema was representing the country with the 7s team. ``If you have been looking at the Kenya Cup, Kopondo’s return has been quite a wonderful thing for us. He has also missed playing on the pitch with the national team and now he is back. For Biko Adema, the exposure he has got playing with the 7s team has been awesome and using him at the position that he has been playing, we want to give him a chance and see what he can give us after going through the sevens circuit. He is now back here and we are sure that on Saturday, he will put in a very good performance.’’


Wangila summed up by expressing what it means for the Simbas to win Saturday’s match against Germany. ``Winning that game is very important for us so that the confidence level of the team can be up there as we go into the African Cup and Elgon Cup.’’

 

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Kenya 15s captain Wilson Kopondo conveyed his joy in returning to the Simbas squad after a two-year absence. Kopondo was named the captain for the 15s side and will be assisted by Darwin Mukidza.


Speaking to Kenyanstar during the team naming event on Thursday, Kopondo said that he is happy to be back in the team and to represent the country. ``It feels great to be back, that is for sure. I love the game a lot and being involved in it to represent my country is something that always makes me happy. I am also glad to be part of a team which has put in so much effort in recent months.’’


On the team selection, Kopondo was satisfied with the assortment of new and experienced players. ``I like the blend a lot; blending experienced players, returnees and the new talents who have been standing out regardless of the situation is a very good thing. Bringing together fresh new talent, experience and the Cape Town vibe is very nice.’’


The captain also detailed what they need to do to beat a strong Germany side, who are only one position below them in the rankings. ``Technically, they (Germany) are very sound so we have to be strict defensively and also quick on our feet. They are a technical team so we will try and disturb their rhythm…we will also try to run them a lot and see if they can be able to keep up with our high altitude.’’


Simbas face Germany on Saturday 27 May, 2017 at the RFUEA Grounds.

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Kakamega Homeboyz coach Mike Mururi believes that his players have recently gained momentum and can match any team’s competition in the Kenyan Premier League. Homeboyz have not lost in three of their last league fixtures, winning two and registering a draw. Their most recent win was against a struggling AFC Leopards side.
The good run has seen them rise to 7th position in the table with seventeen points, and Mururi’s thought is that the players have now come together as a team and understand each other more. ``I must say the boys have picked up form. We want to maintain the same form in our next match, and the next. We are capable of competing with any opposition in the league and just need to be consistent. I think we have finally gelled together as a team, and the players understand each other more.’’
Kakamega Homeboyz next match is away to Bandari on Saturday.

Comment

5 debutants are lined up to make their debut this weekend, as Kenya 15’s Simba takes on Germany in a Test match on Saturday at the RFUEA Grounds.

Speaking during the naming of the squad, team manager Wangila Simiyu said, “We have a pool of 36 players and those who have been selected have merited to be in the team. With young players like Ikambili and Mayaka coming in, it shows that Kenya Cup is becoming a competitive league.”

Led by captain Sean Armstrong, the German side arrived in the country Tuesday, and will be looking to get things going over Kenya. The European nation is also in contention for the World Cup in 2019, and the match will be as key to them as it will be for Kenya.

Here are the squads for both sides.

Germany:

Sean Armstrong, Raynor Parkinson, Timo Vollenkemper, Kehoma Brenner, Jaco Otto, Jarrid Els, Harris Aounallah, Dale Garner, Michael Poppmeier, Jörn Schröder, Pirmin Stöhr, Luis Ball, Antony Dickinson, Chris Howells, Ben Ellermann, Daniel Cook, Jamie Murphy, Marcel Coetzee, Erik Marks, Damien Tussac, Tim Menzel, Mikael Tyumenev, Julius Nostadt, Christopher Hilsenbeck, Dasch Barber, Samy Füchsel, Mathieu Ducau, Felicien Vergnon, Marcel Henn.

Kenya Simbas

15. Tony Onyango (Homeboyz), 14. Darwin Mukidza (KCB, Vice Captain), 13. David Ambunya (Quins), 12. Patrice Agunda (Quins), 11. Jacob Ojee (KCB), 10. Biko Adema (Nondescripts), 9. Samson Onsomu (Impala), 1. Moses Amusala (KCB), 2. Peter Karia (KCB), 3. Dennis Karani (Impala), 4. Wilson Kopondo (Quins, Captain), 5. Simon Muniafu (Impala), 6. Eric Kerre (Impala), 7. Davis Chenge (KCB), 8. Martin Owila (KCB).

Replacements:  16. Philip Ikambili (Homeboyz)17. Oscar Simiyu (KCB), 18. Bramwell Mayaka (Homeboyz), 19. Oliver Mang’eni ( KCB), 20. George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), 21. Kelvin Masai (Homeboyz), 22. Leo Seje Owade (Impala), 23. Dennis Muhanji (Quins).

Comment

AFC Leopards SC have made a clear intent to improve their fortunes in the league, first by replacing the departing coach Stewart Hall with Dorian Marin, but now have gone a step higher by a signing highly-rated striker.

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Taxes on online betting firms will be lowered if recommendations of a House committee to reduce levies introduced in March by Treasury secretary Henry Rotich are adopted,  reports the Business Daily.

“The committee further adopted amendments to clauses… maintaining the status quo on taxation of betting, gaming and lotteries and having the proceeds go to sports fund,” noted the report from the committee.

Mr Rotich proposed in March to raise the tax rate for betting firms to 50 per cent of gross profits from 7.5 per cent.

The tax would fund sports, culture and the arts, he said.

This prompted an uproar from gaming firms which warned that the seven-fold tax hike would suffocate the fledgling industry and hurt supporting businesses including telecomms and media companies.

If adopted, sports betting firms will continue to enjoy lower taxes of between five and 15 per cent.

The companies have been paying five per cent tax on lottery, 7.5 per cent on betting, 12 per cent for gaming and 15 per cent for prize competition.
Apart from this, players in the gaming industry pay 30 per cent corporate tax.

Gaming industry executives said about seven million Kenyans have registered for betting services.

Comment

Dorian Marin will be the new AFC Leopards tactician replacing Briton Stewart Hall who has decided to part ways with the club. 

The Romanian, Marin, has had stints in Uganda and also Ghana at club level. Besides that, the 56 year old tactician has overseen a number of national football teams among them Eritrea. 

Kenyanstar has exclusively learnt that Stewart Hall had a hand in the appointment of the Romanian who was a front runner for the Sofapaka FC job in 2012. Besides that he was also one of 4 finalists who were set to take over the Egyptian national team job. 

Marin is expected to continue with Stewart Hall's project at the club and hence the transition should be smooth. 

Marin is further expected into the country anytime this week. 

Multiple reliable sources within the club have told Kenyanstar that AFC Leopards is in the process of finalizing its transfer business that include among others Wesley Onguso and two highly rated internationals.

Comment

Indiscipline and suspect officiating continues to rock the Kenya premier League, and the man at the top continues to give the incidences a blind eye. Players and clubs have continued to display unbecoming conduct, and the trend is growing by the day.
 
The exit of broadcaster Supersport has delivered a mountain of issues to contend with, both on and off the pitch. Of key concern has been the decline in officiating standards and the fast rise of indiscipline cases.
 
Few weeks back, AFC Leopards tactician Stewart Hall was embroiled in a bitter exchange with Thika United players, and would exchange nasty words with a section of Thika players. The incident would then boil over to a nasty exchange between Hall and Thika player Sosthenes Idah. The two, would later mend fences with Hall giving the player Ksh.400 for ‘a beer.’ questions still linger; Why didn't the ref issue any caution or dismiss the coach? Did the match commissioner report the incidence? If so, why has KPL not acted?
 
In another contest, as Gor Mahia faced off with Kakamega Homeboyz, Gor Mahia shot stopper cynically tagged striker Wycliffe Ochomo who was headed for goal. The referee, Andrew Juma never acted on the same. No One was sent off, nor was a penalty awarded. Whether KPL reviewed the same or not, remains a mystery.
 
In Afraha, Joseph Mbugi was making the headlines for the wrong reasons. The Posta Rangers player had an agricultural tackle on AFC Leopards' Allan Katerega, and he rightfully got dismissed by referee George Mwai. The player, would walk off the field, but still remain close to the touchline and not the dressing room.
 
It only gets worse. Kariobangi Sharks defender Pascal Ogweno made the most of this filthy show, when after getting sent off, the player snatched the referee's card, and threw it. Michael Bodo, his teammate, tried to pick up the ref’s card, probably trying to cover up for Ogweno’s sins. The referee Moses Simiyu almost seemed overpowered on the scene, forcing Ogweno’s teammates to intervene. While KPL talked tough, the football federation and the national team selectors looked the other way. Less than a month after his actions, Ogweno was rewarded handsomely with a national team call up leaving the nation in shock.`
 
The trouble grew on. Muhoroni Youth and their chairman Moses Adagala were at the centre of controversy. After going down to a massive defeat at the hands of Nzoia, goons at Muhoroni Youth descended on a section of the Nzoia team, seriously injuring some of them. FKF through president Nick Mwendwa opted to ban the stadium. KPL in a quick rejoinder decided to ‘overrule’ FKF’s decision saying that the venue would still be used until the match report was assessed.
 
Just last weekend again, Gor Mahia and Thika United were caught in a tempered match, where both sides even traded blows. Interestingly, a player like Wellington Ochieng’ who clearly deserved a sent off, was just shown the yellow card.
 
These incidences continue to pile up, and although both KPL and FKF have expressed strong interest and desire to ensure discipline, the lack of match reviews, the national team call-up to Pascal Ogweno and the reign of a seemingly untouchable Moses Adagala, say otherwise.

Comment

The Kenya 15s team that is set to play Germany on Saturday 27May 2017 at the RFUEA Grounds has been named by Team Manager Wangila Simiyu. Speaking at the Grounds during the naming event on Thursday, Wangila affirmed that the selection of the team was based on current performance of players.


``The change in squad has told you that many players are coming up and are ready to step up for national duty. National team is chosen according to performance of players in their respective teams. We are also developing depth for years to come and not only for Saturday’s match and that is where young players come in. Basically, we recognize and appreciate hard work.’’


He also urged the fans to turn up for the game in large numbers, for the love of the game and to support the team which he says will not disappoint come that day. ``We urge all people in Nairobi and outside the city to come for the game and fill up the stadium. On the pitch there will be fifteen players and our sixteenth player is the fans, who we really rely on.’’


Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Richard Omwela echoed his sentiments, saying that he hopes that the fans will avail themselves in large numbers. ``I hope that the fans of this beautiful game will be there in numbers on Saturday and cheer for our team. That will boost the morale of the players and the whole squad at large.’’


There are some notable new faces in the team for the Saturday friendly match; Philip Ikambili of Menengai Cream Homeboyz, Oscar Simiyu of KCB, George Nyambua of Kabras Suga and Leo Seje of Impala Sacrens all being included in the Simbas team for the first time. The team will be captained by Wilson Kopondo, who is making a comeback into the team and will be deputized by Darwin Mukidza who plays for KCB.


Squad
Tony Onyango (Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Darwin Mukidza (KCB, Vice-Captain), David Ambunya (SportPesa Quins), Patrice Agunda (SportPesa Quins), Jacob Ojee (KCB), Biko Adema (Nondescripts), Samson Onsumu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Wilson Kopondo (SportPesa Quins, Captain), Simon Muniafu (Resolution Impala Saracens), Erick Kerre (Resolution Impala Saracens), Davis Chenge ( KCB), Martin Owila ( KCB)


Replacements
Philip Ikambili (Menengai Cream Homeboyz)Oscar Simiyu (KCB), Bramwell Mayaka ( Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Oliver Mang’eni (KCB), George Nyambua (Kabras Sugar), Kelvin Masai ( Menengai Cream Homeboyz), Leo Seje Owade (Resolution Impala Saracens), Dennis Muhanji (SportPesa Quins)

Comment

He is a man of many faces. One of the continent’s most elite coaches, and a man worth his salt. His best exploits in Africa have probably been with Tanzania moneybags Azam, where he set up a fantastic team that gave bigwigs Simba and Yanga a challenge for their dominance.
 
After parting ways with Belgian Ivan Minnaert, and a disastrous season remainder overseen by Ezekiel Akwana, AFC Leopards set up a committee to interview and recommend the best tactician for the club ahead of the 2017 season. Speculation was rife that the club would go for experienced African coaches either from West Africa or Burundi. After running through various contracts and interviewing several applicants, the AFC Leopards committee settled on Stewart Hall.
 
On 19th October 2016, the club officially announced that Briton Stewart Hall would take over the reigns. The football nation, and the Den itself was thrown back in awe and wonder. Prior to Hall’s appointment, everyone would have put their head to Stewart Hall ever coaching the club. Not after a failed season, where they flirted with relegation. Hall arrived just in time to get everything flowing right.
 
Stewart Hall got to the Den, and set out his priorities. The management gave the tactician  a free hand. The AFC Leopards Executive Committee further set out targets for the coach, which included a top three finish and a good run in the league cup..The coach recommended a bunch of players to the club and also picked his assistant, Dennis Kitambi a man with whom they had worked with at Azam.
 
In his plans for the season, Stewart Hall stated that he would be targeting a top five finish by end of June, and ensure that his side finished six points adrift the log leaders, as the worst case scenario. Hall further noted that an additional striker would bolster Leopard's run in the second Leg.
 
Then the season started brightly, with a 3-0 soaking of newbies Nakumatt. The Den got into a frenzy, everyone thought that the title was in sight, and Leopards were celebrating. The entire club got carried away. Stewart Hall remained cautious, murmuring loudly, “We are still way below the league’s big boys.”
 
After two or so rounds of wins, things started going south. To date, Leopards is yet to taste a victory in six outings.
 
Things started heading south for the Leopards when two of  its key players Paul Kiongera and Dennis Sikhayi were injured. Having opted for a 3-5-2 formation at the start of the season, the absence of the duo hit Hall’s plan hard. He was left exposed with no proper backup. Defeats started flowing in.
 
In an interview with Kenyanstar after his side fell to Sofapaka in Machakos, Stewart Hall then admitted that his side had not planned for the injuries and there was need to give the boys time to develop. That was never music to the AFC Leopards fans. The sweet relationship with Hall, was getting bitter.
 
The derby against Gor Mahia was fast approaching. In an exclusive interview with Kenyanstar, Hall stated that his side was doing their best to win the match. He however, famously said that the derby would not really count much. “Kelele mingi sana.(Too much noise). It’s just any other three match with three points,” he said then.
 
His side was however, caught totally flat footed, played like amateurs, panicked under the crowd and picked the ball thrice from the net against Gor Mahia on derby day. The Leopard was subdued totally. Stewart Hall was agitated. In his post match address he blasted his players infamously referring to them as ‘scared rabbits.’ His side was battered on the pitch and psychologically. Although the run of defeats served to prepare Hall’s coffin, the Gor Mahia defeat hammered the last nail on it. Hall has suffered the greatest defeat in his career, and he could no take it anymore.
 
Defeats ran on. Hall would later inform the AFC Leopards Executive Committee that he would leave the club in June.
 
The big question however, lingers; - Was Stewart Hall always ready to leave Leopards the day he was appointed?
 
In his first address of the season in Limuru with Kenyanstar, Stewart Hall was asked if he was at Ingwe to stay. The tactician noted that, “I have principles and every time my principles are threatened, I leave,” adding, “Sometimes I have left jobs because they haven't been able to match the basic principles. I once signed a three- year contract as national team coach for a Caribbean country. I Left after six months. I did the qualifiers for the World Cup in South Africa 2010 and as soon as we were eliminated, I quit. I sat down with the president  of the FA and he wondered why I was leaving, and I told him they were wasting their money. I can't do anything here. The players and facilities are not good enough. Why are you paying me when I cannot work with these facilities and players. You are wasting your money paying me big salaries yet you need to invest in balls and facilities? I Told them they were wasting their money. He thought I was crazy. If ever your philosophies and principles don't match mine, I leave.”
 
Hall’s statement at the start of the season, would be taken lightly by the fans. However, those words would seem to be fulfilled.
 
The Caribbean country Hall was referring to was St Vincent of Grenadine currently ranked 177th in the world. He quit the nation despite signing a three year contract.
 
Hall would then take up a job at Zanzibar, signing a 5-year contract. His stay there never went beyond a year, as he quit to join Azam.
 
At club level, he also had quit Pune FC of India, where he left saying, “When I came here, the club had already signed most of the players. I could only sign two foreign players and another Indian player. But I was not happy with the players I had and told the club so.”
 
Again, Hall would join Sofapaka. Then, Sofapaka was doing well and had deep pockets. Many expected he would transform the club a great deal. However, Azam came knocking again, with bigger offers, and he left. Sofapaka president Elly Kalekwa told the Standard, “Azam have doubled his salary and other incentives apart from offering him a three-year contract. After consultations with the club’s leadership, it was agreed that he leaves by mutual consent. We do not intend to stand in his way as he seeks a better life elsewhere and wish him well.”

“We have agreed not to demand anything from him despite the fact that he is leaving in the middle of his contract.”
 
It is at Sofapaka, where he had his shortest stint as coach.
 
He even quit Azam. At the end of the 2015/2016 Vodacom Premier League season, which was his third spell in Tanzania,  Hall stepped down as the Azam FC head coach, for failing to meet targets. He laid considerable blame on the football federation for always favouring Yanga and Simba.
 
Having suffered his greatest career defeat at Leopards and with the club not ready to invest heavily to get him the top players he wanted, Hall certainly felt that this was not his place. Interestingly, in an interview with Kenyanstar earlier, Hall had noted that his salary at Leopards was not even half of what he earned as bonus in Azam FC. In his own words, he was at Leopards to test his abilities and try succeed where there was little resources and no money. That statement left many questions lingering.
 
Weeks before that, Hall had been caught in the middle of tight places, where news filtered in that Tanzania giants Yanga were after his signature. The coach turned down the reports. However, Kenyanstar would speak to Hall’s agent George Bwana on the reported interest. George confirmed that indeed Hall was prime target for big clubs.
 
“I brought Stewart Hall to AFC Leopards late last year and he is on a two-year contract and want him to succeed at Leopards. While i was away in Zambia, I read the reports on the press that I was trying to destabilize Leopards .The truth is I got inquiries for Stewart Hall from a Tanzania club. That is very true. The contract that we have with AFC Leopards for Stewart Hall is such that, there is an exit clause. That goes for every contract. When that club made inquiries, I explained to them that they shouldn't talk to the coach because he has a contract and a job to do.  Having had a good start, I told Hall that we wouldn't wish to antagonize his stay at Leopards. The coach will stay because he has a contract with AFC Leopards. However, if whoever wants Hall can meet the release clauses that are agreeable to the AFC management, then we will deal. For now, Stewart Hall is an AFC Leopards coach. He has interests not just from Tanzanian clubs, but also outside Tanzania. There are several other inquiries. Stewart is a big coach,” he said.
 
Again, George’s statements put a question mark on Hall’s future.
 
In another exclusive interview with Kenyanstar, three days to the derby against Gor Mahia, Stewart Hall shockingly admitted that he had massive interest from outside the country, and that he had received immense pressure from his family.
 
“When I came to Leopards, my wife was so agitated and that she almost divorced me. She thought I was crazy,” he said, adding, “Yes, there is massive interest from all around the world, not just Africa. Infact, I currently have an offer from North America and my wife would pack my suitcase now if she heard I am going there. She is excited about moving there too. However, I currently love Nairobi. My home is fantastic, it’s a cool place and I love the weather too,” When pressed further to comment on his future, he smiled away. Probably, this meant that it was no longer a matter of if, but when. Eventually, when was June.
 
Finally, Hall is set to exit the club, six months into his two-year contract. What now? Kenyanstar has reliably learnt that Hall has indicated that the Tusker tie in Meru will be his final match in charge, and that he has already advised the club on what areas to boost, ahead of the second leg as he ends his short stay in Nairobi and departs to move with his family. That’s it.

Comment

AFC Leopards will stick to their short and long term objectives set late last year despite the impending exit of main architect, Coach Stewart Hall. 

Highly placed Sources at the club have intimated that Leopards will still target a top five finish in the current season while developing a squad to compete in subsequent league seasons. This is in fact informing the process to replace Hall with the felines preferring a candidate who will make no recruitment demands out of a carefully crafted two year plan. 

Ingwe is targeting to recruit a maximum of four more players in the June transfer window to beef up their squad for a top five finish.    

Leopards had a good start to the league with four wins and a draw in the first six matches but has seen their fortunes dwindle with no win in the last six matches. 

Speculation is rife that  the impending departure of the English Man might have gotten to the players head but Hall will still be in charge when Leopards play Champions, Tusker FC this weekend. 

READ:

Comment

In the run up to 2016 Gor Mahia elections, someone shared with me that Luo politicians were afraid to fund candidates opposed to the incumbent AmbroseRachier. Their main fear was to go against the Luo political kingpin and Gor Mahia patron, RailaOdinga who was behind Rachier. This meant that an economically endowed Rachier was up against candidates with lean financial muscle, he won.

On 29th June 2013, AFC Leopards’ went to the polls at Kasarani. Businessman Alan Kasavuli was elected Chairman and Nairobi politician George Aladwa won the Secretary General seat. The election was peaceful but the intrigues that preceded it were typical of elections in the two clubs with biggest following, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

The results were expected because Aladwa was emerging as the leading Luhya politician in Nairobi and Leopards’ is typically a Luhya club. He had lost the Makadara parliamentary elections in March of that year so here is a man of limited education looking for soft landing. In February was the Mayor of Nairobi and by June was a citizen. I often bumped into Aladwa with a host of hangers on in the streets of Nairobi. Kasavuli beat financial expert Dr. Walter Onyino.

After the elections I saw Aladwa in the streets with an Ingwe fan I knew. I approached him and proposed to him that I had a wonderful idea I wanted to share with him. He quickly noted that I knew one of his aides and asked him to organize a meeting later for us to discuss it in detail; I am still following up to meet Aladwa to date. That is not the reason for writing this; my take is that Kenyan politics is behind the underdevelopment of Kenyan clubs, unfortunately the solution lies with our politicians.

I can share what I wanted to share with Aladwa now that he is back swimming in his waters of Makadara parliamentary elections. I first met Georgie, as Aladwa is known, in Makongeni area back in my days as a political activist and noted his mobilization skills. To rise from a school dropout, to a tout and end up as Mayor is no mean feat. I knew if I sold to him the idea that he can rise to the Luhya kingpin position through Ingwe, he will buy into the idea. He only needed to let Kasavuli the businessman run the day to day matters of the club then he does what he does best, mobilize Luhyas into club structures.

I knew his heart was elsewhere, he was just cooling his heels in Ingwe to remain in the limelight. This was going to be a win-win situation. He just needed to set up Ingwe branches in every constituency and determine the officials. Once that was set, he would return to Nairobi and sit pretty knowing that he had point men from Nairobi down to the villages in Western Kenya. These branches then had to submit annual subscription to Ingwe which would lead to the club having a steady stream of cash. Aladwa would then walk out at the right time with a network across the Luhya nation, which never happened.

Today, Leopards are in the same position with Gor Mahia. That place where a Tanzanian TFF official was heard saying about Gor during the 2015 Kagame Cup in Daresalaam; these are just noisemakers without money. The problem never seems to go even with a change of guard. Currently Daniel Mule is the chairman of Ingwe while Lawyer Ambrose Rachier is at K’ogallo elected in June and December last year respectively. 

Romours have it that Ambrose Rachier paid for the ODM ticket for Gem parliamentary seat but lost it to Raila’s cousin Jakoyo Midiwo. So Raila always has a political debt he owes Rachier which Gor Mahia unknowingly picks the tab. Rachier is the A to Z at Gor Mahia, the other officials are flower girls (and page boys). When the club is stuck and money is required, Rachier foots the bill only to pocket the gate collections without consulting anyone. No one will know how much was raised because no one knows the amount of money he chipped into the club the last time cash was needed. That is how he justifies his position at the club and fans, including progressive Luos have bought into it. Meanwhile the club is run from his Mayfair Court offices at Ralph Bunche Road even when the decoy office was open at Nyayo Stadium.

Until Sportpesa came along, both clubs were struggling financially. The money Sportpesa pays seems to have taken the officials back to comfort zone.To date, both clubs do not have operational offices or official merchandise vendors.  Even the CAF Club Licensing rules could not bring out the best of the two giants. Like the rest of the clubs, FKF looked the other way on many requirements. Meanwhile, the online pages of the two clubs are as active like bee hives. The problem is no honey flows from the fans to the clubs.

It is difficult to separate the Luo and Luhya politics from Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards’ respectively. This means that the only hope these clubs have lies in the networks and influence the politicians from the two communities have over their people. The problem is our politicians are selfish and myopic. Somehow when the clubs stretch out begging bowls once in a while, the politicians reach out to their pockets to massage their egos and feel relevant and not to help the clubs become self-sustaining. 

In our tribal based politics, the best place Luos and Luhyas can show this country that they are fit to lead is in football. The biggest irony of our times is that Kenyan football is dominated by the two communities yet they don’t call the shots where it matters. Even in areas where they enjoy near monopoly dominance, other communities including foreigners call the shots. Politics is diminishing the stature of our two big clubs but in there lies a way out as well. It boils down to more leadership and less ujuaji. Mutajua Hamujui!

@stuttistician

 

Comment

Gor Mahia coach Marcelo `Ze Maria’ Ferreira has criticized Thika United for their time wasting tactics in the second half of their match which ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday 21 May at the Stadium.  Thika were leading for a better part of the game until the final minutes when Godfrey Walusimbi earned a point for Ko’galo with a sublime free kick.


In Ze Maria’s view, Thika United wasted a lot of time in the second half and he felt that the referee should have added more than five minutes at the end of the match. ``I feel that the referee should have added more than just five minutes at the end of regular time. Thika were always on the ground during the second half. They didn’t play at all, just wasting time. I think we played only 35 minutes in the second half.’’


Ze Maria also believed that his team should have killed the match in the first half but his strikers were unlucky to get a goal. ``We created many chances and should have won the match in the first half, but the strikers were not lucky.’’


Gor Mahia are at the summit of the table standings with twenty six points, two more than second-placed Ulinzi Stars. They have so far won eight, drawn and lost two apiece in the twelve matches that they have played.

Comment

I am averse to betting for personal reasons but I will confess that the recent Ksh. 221 million jackpot win almost made me reconsider my stand. Kenyans have taken up betting like fish into water which has led to overnight growth of betting firms like Sportpesa. This has also attracted other global players in the industry into the local market. Betting has its negative effects which ended up in parliament. Even before parliament passed the bill, the government proposed severe tax measures beginning next financial year.

The government recently announced plans to tax 50% of betting firms gross profit and a further 30% on net profit. It can never get worse than this for any industry. The truth is, betting firms cannot survive these measures after enjoying great profits in the past. Sportpesa- the biggest player in the local industry – has reacted by threatening to withdraw sponsorship to football, boxing and rugby outfits. Is this sabotage or a genuine distress call?

Amidst all this, Sportpesa was reported to have signed a shirt sponsorship deal with EPL side Everton worth Ksh. 3 billion. This could have been prompted by the relegation of Hull City FC who have athree year deal worth about Ksh. 400 million with Sportpesa. The cry from local fans has been that Sportpesa makes the bulk of its money locally, gives local clubs peanuts but rewards foreign clubs well.

Recently Sportpesa spread across the border into Tanzania where they got into partnerships with local sports outfits. They are renovating the artificial turf in a local stadium while they are now the shirt sponsors of local football giants Yanga and Simba. I waited for the details of the two deals to shed light on the cry of KPL fans but it did not yield any juice for this article.

Sportpesa is giving Simba and Yanga about TSh. 5 billion each which is in the tune of Ksh. 250 million over five years. This is in the range of what Gor Mahia receives though slightly higher than what AFC Leopards earns which is Ksh. 225 million over a similar period. May be the outcry from local fans pushed them to set their ceiling around the amounts they have with Kenyan clubs. 

Sponsorship is not charity. A firm goes into a sponsorship or branding deal with a football club for purposes of brand visibility. Sportpesa is going to get more visibility in Tanzania through the two local clubs than they are getting in Kenya. Tanzanians love their football and they show up for matches in big numbers. The league is also well featured in the local press. Tanzania Breweries Limited the shirt sponsor of the two clubs pulled out of football after it changed hands which meant Sportpesa got the two giants in financial straits. This could be the reason why they may have given in to not so good deals.

Kenyans should build the brand equity of local football in general but most important KPL clubs in particular. Sportpesa will only pay what the brand they are partnering with is worth. There is a big difference between their deal with Everton and what they signed with Hull City yet both clubs played in EPL. If brand equity is a measure of sponsorship then Sportpesa has been good to Kenyan football, especially clubs. Look at their perks for Kenya Rugby Union, Ksh. 607 million over five years and purported Ksh. 360 million over four and a half years as KPL title sponsors.

The term ‘purported’ comes before the KPL deal because unlike KRU, KPL did not reveal the actual value of their deal. That is a big pointer of where brand equity tilts; Kenyan rugby is a better brand than football despite having fewer followers. To attract more funds, clubs must package themselves as institutions worth of any amount they feel they are worth. People do not buy products or brands; they buy emotions associated with them. We must make our clubs and league attractive.

As Sportpesa and other betting firms prepare to fight it out with the government over the new tax regime, clubs must prepare for any eventuality. If the government’s stands its ground, Sportpesa is justified in transferring about Ksh. 400 million annual budget for local sports institutions into part of the tax that the government collects. Only two things are certain in life, taxes and death. Either way, we must play football.

@stuttistics

Comment

AFC Leopards head coach Stewart Hall blamed his side’s missed chances in their 1-0 defeat to Kakamega Homeboyz on Saturday 20 May. A solitary goal by former Leopards striker Mohammed Dialo was enough to condemn Hall’s charges to their fifth loss of the season.


The loss also took Ingwe’s winless streak to six matches, one of the worst runs from any team this season. Speaking after the match, Hall said that his side did not deserve to lose and blamed it on the numerous goal-scoring chances that were missed.


``We played well, but as usual, we missed many scoring chances. We deserved to have scored at least a goal, maybe more. We did not deserve to lose.’’
Leopards had started the season remarkably, winning four of their first six league fixtures and were widely seen as this year’s title competitors. A dip in form has however seen Stewart Hall linked with an exit from the club, with numerous clubs said to be interested in the former Azam tactician. Ingwe are currently 11th on the log with fifteen points from twelve matches.

Comment

Nzoia United coach Bernard Mwalala was elated that his boys finally got a much-needed win after thrashing Muhoroni Youth 3-0 on Saturday 20 May.

 

The win comes a week after the coach had lamented on his side’s 1-0 loss to Gor Mahia, alleging that they had lost unfairly to the league leaders. ``Against Gor Mahia we lost unfairly and the players were very disheartened by that, which is why I am very happy that they won this time.’’

 

Mwalala also praised his team’s overall performance in their match against Muhoroni, particularly the strikers who he termed as exceptional. ``Every department played according to instructions and the strikers were exceptional.

 

Although he was satisfied by the number of goals that they scored, he noted that they had the chance and capability to score even more goals. ``I think we could easily have scored five goals but the 3-0 result is still satisfactory.’’

 

Nzoia United are currently in 9th position after gathering sixteen points from twelve matches and their next match is against Sofapaka.

 

Comment

Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi had mixed reactions after seeing his side fall 2-0 to Tusker on Saturday 20 May. Although he expressed his frustration from losing three consecutive matches, he believed that they created a number of chances but it was just not their day.

 

``This is the third consecutive loss and it is not good at all. The players created chances…It was just not our day,’’ said the former Tusker tactician.

 

Mathare United have actually lost four matches in a row and have only registered two wins in the twelve matches they have played since the start of the season. They sit 17th on the table with nine points, one place above the last position of the league.

 

 

 

Comment

Tusker FC coach George Nsimbe has appreciated his players’ efforts and commitment in their recent games, which has seen them rise rapidly in the table standings of the Kenyan Premier League. The Brewers started this season unexpectedly, losing two of their first league matches including a 5-2 thumping by new boys Nzoia United.


They however picked up from there and have not lost a match since, winning all six of their last matches. They have also moved from the bottom positions to 3rd in the table, locked on points with second place Ulinzi Stars and two adrift of leaders Gor Mahia.


``We are in a good place right now. The players have been very dedicated and the results are there to be seen. We kept a clean sheet today…Good,’’ said Nsimbe after their 2-0 win against Mathare United. Up next for them is a match against a struggling AFC Leopards side, who have not won six matches.

Comment

Posta Rangers tasted defeat for the first time this season after going down 1-0 in the hands of Ulinzi Stars on Saturday 20 May. Rangers coach Sammy `Pamzo’ Omollo was however not fazed at all by the defeat, saying that he knew that their unbeaten run would obviously come to an end along the road.


``I don’t know why people are surprised (by Ulinzi’s 1-0 loss). I knew that our unbeaten run would come to an end at one point this season.’’


Pamzo however chose to dwell on the positives from the match and look forward to their next assignment, which is a game against league leaders Gor Mahia.


``It has happened but it is not the end of the road. Infact, the defeat may be a blessing in disguise because it has exposed our weaknesses and mistakes, which we will work on before we meet Gor Mahia in our next match.”
Rangers weekend’s loss means that they have now gone three matches without a win, having drawn two matches prior to the defeat. They are currently in 4th position in the league table with twenty three points.

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