Bandari assistant coach Ken Odhiambo has bemoaned the wrangle between Football Kenya Federation and Kenya Premier League Company  that has led to the suspension of the league kick off.

Odhiambo revealed the delay in the league kick off has adversely affected the teams training program

''As coaches we normally have  a pre season training program that is time bound but once the league season kick off is delayed we are forced to introduce new things in the training which were no there and this might be counter productive. The league remains suspended and we don't know for how long we shall continue playing these pre season build up friendly matches''

Odhiambo was speaking  after the clubs 1-0 win over Modern Coast Rangers in the  pre season friendly match played at KPA Mbaraki Sports Club

He stated the team was forced to play friendly matches that were not in their program resulting to injuries. He gave an example of a friendly match played against Mwatate United played at Wundanyi Stadium last week in which some players picked up injuries due to poor state of the pitch

He further added players are always motivated to play league matches  as opposed to friendly matches

The league kick off is yet to be determined following a stand off between FKF and KPL company over the composition of the league. While the FKF relegated Sofa Paka and Muhoroni United for failing to meet the  club licensing requirement, KPL went ahead to release  16 teams fixture that included  the relegated duo. This forced the federation to suspend the league but the two relegated clubs through their fans went and obtained a court injunction under certificate of emergency barring the KPL organizers from releasing the  fixture until the case is heard and determined.

Other KPL clubs that have expressed concern over the suspension of the league  kick off date include AFC Leopards whose chairman Dan Mule  revealed the delays have been costly to the club

Comment

Photo Credits: Arigi Obiero

Kenya Rugby Union Chairman Richard Omwela has told Kenyanstar that the resignation of Kenya Sevens Strength and conditioning coach Ian Gibbons yesterday was not a Surprise. In an exclusive interview for the Kenyanstar of the week Column, Omwela confided that his board was most likely going to fire Gibbons had he not resigned ultimately terming the resignation as ‘inconsequential.’

"It [the resignation] does not come as a surprise at all. We have had several unresolved issues with him and we were nowhere close to getting a common ground" Said Omwela. "In fact if he had not resigned we would have sacked  him." he added. 

“Look, he was quoted just before Wellington saying how unfit our team is, but it is his job to ensure the team is up to the required fitness levels before any competition." Lamented Omwela.  "We have asked him to try and spend more time with the team but to no avail. He stays in London and would for instance insist on flying in on Thursday when the team is flying out for a competition on Sunday, So what time will he spend with the team." Added a visibly irritated Omwela. 

Omwela noted that current head coach Innocent Simiyu would have to double up his efforts and also take up more duties as the union worked to find Gibbons replacement.

“The burden definitely falls on the head coach Simiyu to also take up the fitness responsibility as we scout for a replacement. We call upon qualified Kenyans to apply for this job because we believe that they can deliver,” Omwela said. 

KRU through the statement below yesterday confirmed Gibbon’s departure;

Kenya Rugby Union Statement On Ian Gibbons

The Kenya Rugby Union wishes to confirm that Ian Gibbons has stepped down from his role as Kenya Sevens Strength & Conditioning Coach. We wish to thank him for his service during his time with the Kenya Sevens set up and wish him all the best in his future endeavors. 

The Kenya Rugby Union is in the interim making arrangements to fill the S&C role and will make an announcement in due course.

The KRU Chairman, Richard Omwela, will be a feature sports person on next week's Kenyanstar of the Week column. Keep it Kenyanstar till then to read about Rugby, his aspirations and  input to the game thus far and the absolute need for corporate governance in administration of sports in Kenya

Comment

Beijing Olympic Games 800m gold medalist, Wilfred Bungei of Kenya has quit athletics to pursue a career in politics in order to inspire youth to believe in themselves.

Bungei, 37, former world No. 1 in 2002, claimed the major title he coveted for long when he won the Olympic title in a time of 1:44.65 with a dominant front-running performance.

"As a motivational speaker who has been inspiring the youth, I want to go one step higher to offer political leadership and open for them opportunities that can impact on their living," he told reporters at the weekend during Kenya's National Cross Country Championships held in Nairobi.

Bungei has declared interest in vying for the Emgwen Parliamentary seat located in western Kenya that was at one time under the representation of another former athlete, Elijah Lagat who won the Boston Marathon in 2000.

Kenyans will go to the polls on Aug. 8 to elect almost 1,900 public officials including the president, senators, county governors, members of the national assembly, members of county assemblies, and women county representatives.

"I want to champion for change in sports management in the country and bring transparency in order to restore lost glory especially in athletics after we found ourselves on the wrong side of doping," he said.

Bungei said if elected to the national assembly, he will sponsor a Bill in Parliament that will cater for sportsmen and women in their retirement, especially after many of them fall into financial difficulties upon leaving athletics.

He said he will champion for the education of young athletes, most of who start earning a lot of money at a tender age and thereafter fall into financial ruin due to lack of acumen in handling their finances.

Comment

Egypt’s U-20 national team defeated Kenya in a warm-up game for the U-20 African Cup of Nations, which will be held in Zambia from February 26 to March 12.

The Pharaoh’s U-20 team dominated the first-half of the game, with Kenya having only one dangerous chance and the Egyptians turned their dominance into goals when Petrojet’s Ahmed Mostafa won a penalty, which was scored by Karim Nedved, in the 20th minute.

In the 33rd-minute Al Ahly’s Ahmed Hamdy doubled Egypt’s lead, before Zamalek loanee Mostafa Mohamed scored Egypt’s third goal of the game, ending the first-half 3-0.

The young Pharaohs had a solid lead at the half-time break, but the Kenyans made a comeback in the second-half as Ovellah Ochieng scored in the 50th minute to pull one back for the visitors.

Eight minutes later, Ahmed Mostafa received a second yellow, forcing the Egyptians to continue the game with 10 players.

Kenya dominated the second-half, as Ovellah managed to score Kenya’s second and final goal of the game in the 84th minute, ending the game 3-2 to Egypt.

Comment

Belgian Club Lierse SK has confirmed on its official website that it has accepted an offer from Beijing Renhe F.C. for the services of Ayub Masika. The Kenya international joined Lierse from K.R.C. Genk in the 2016 summer transfer window, and his impressive displays have caught the attention of Beijing Renhe FC. The 24-year-old winger scored six goals in 20 appearances with the club this season.

Beijing Renhe FC was relegated to the second division in China in 2015 and secured a fourth place finish in the 2015-2016 season. The new season will begin in the first week of March.

The Belgian club also stated that the transfer will give the club financial stability and will give the player a new journey and opportunity. However, the club’s main goal is to focus on the league and secure a promotion play-off spot.

Comment

Action in the Nationwide regional leagues continued this past weekend.

Nairobi Region

SportPesa Quins III registered the highest score in this region with a 56-0 win over Stormers in the 12pm kickoff at the RFUEA  while the Northern Suburbs Cubs  were too strong for Masaku, running off with a 44-3 result. 

The Community Rugby Association (COMRAS) edged out Impala III 23-19.

Rift Valley Region

Only one fixture took off in this region, Egerton Wasps posting a 27-3 win away to hosts KPA Eldoret.

Eldoret RFC, Eldoret Falcons and Kitale RFC benefitted from walkovers after their opponents (Kericho,Molo and Nakuru KITI) failed to honor their fixtures.

Central Region

Fourth placed Kiambu RFC were too strong for Murang’a, crushing the region's basement side 49-12 while third placed Chuka edged out  fifth placed Dedan Kimathi 5-3.

Embu RFC and MKU Thika benefited from walkovers after their opponents Zetech and Nanyuki were no shows on Saturday.

Western Region

Shieywe were 17-12 winners over Webuye in the region’s only fixture.

Collated Results, Saturday 18 February 2017

Nairobi Region

SportPesa Quins III 56 Stormers 0

Northern Suburbs Cubs 44 Masaku 3

Comras 23 Impala III 19

Rift Valley Region

KPA Eldoret 3 Egerton Wasps 27

Eldoret RFC 24 Kericho 0

Eldoret Falcons 24 Molo 0

Kitale 24 Nakuru KITI 0

Central Region

Chuka 5 Dedan Kimathi 3

Kiambu 39 Murang’a 12

Embu 24 Zetech 0

MKU Thika 24 Nanyuki 0

Western Region

Shieywe 17 Webuye 12

Comment

Menengai Cream Homeboyz won the second leg of the KRU Women’s 10-A-Side series with a 27-0 win over Mwamba at the United States International University grounds on Sunday 19 February 2017.

They led 17- 0 at the interval by way of tries from Irene Otieno, Linet Moraa and former Kenya Lionesses playmaker Mary Musieka who also added a conversion. Sophia Ayieta took the score to 22-0 before Otieno landed her brace to seal the result.

The winners booked their place in the final with a 20-5 win over Top Fry Nakuru while Mwamba edged out first leg winners Northern Suburbs 22-15 in extra time to set up the clash with Homeboyz.

Collated Results

Menengai Cream Homeboyz 46 University Warriors 0

Mwamba 27 Shamas 0

Northern Suburbs 31 Comras 0

Top Fry Nakuru 10 Standard Chartered Impala 5

Menengai Cream Homeboyz 31 Shamas 0

Mwamba 41 University Warriors 0

Northern Suburbs 12 Standard Chartered Impala 5

Comras 0 Top Fry Nakuru 14

Shamas 27 University Warriors 0

Menengai Cream Homeboyz 19 Mwamba 5

Standard Chartered Impala 45 Comras 0

Northern Suburbs 17 Top Fry Nakuru 10

RANKING SEMIS

Standard Chartered Impala 17 University Warriors 0

Shamas 25 Comras 0

CUP SEMIS

Northern Suburbs 15 Mwamba 22

Menengai Cream Homeboyz 20 Top Fry Nakuru 5

SEVENTH PLACE FINAL

Comras 5 University Warriors 0

FIFTH PLACE FINAL

Standard Chartered Impala 12 Shamas 0

THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF

Northern Suburbs 12 Top Fry Nakuru 7

CUP FINAL

Menengai Cream Homeboyz 27 Mwamba 0

Comment

Menengai Cream Homeboyz on Saturday earned their first ever win at the KCB Sports Club in Ruaraka, startled leaders KCB, posting a 33-24 result.

Mean Machine, after 11 successive defeats, registered their first win of the season, stunning pre-match favorites Blak Blad 16-10 at the University of Nairobi grounds.

There was drama galore at the Impala Club, hosts Resolution Impala Saracens racing to an early 32-7 lead in early second half before three successive yellow cards saw them reduced to 12 men, Mwamba coming to within two points of the Sarries, the scores 35-33 before conceding from the maul, the Sarries just nicking it 40-33.

Nondescripts and Western Bulls was close, the Bulls leading 15-10  at a point , trailing 18-20 with five to play before a penalty and converted try saw Nondies claim the 30-18 result.

There were routine wins for SportPesa Quins and Kabras Sugar, Quins with the 33-14 win over visiting Top Fry Nakuru at the RFUEA as Kabras Sugar posted a 35-17 home win over the Strathmore Leos at the Kakamega Showground.

Collated Kenya Cup match day 13 results

KCB 24 Menengai Cream Homeboyz 33

Mean Machine 16 Blak Blad 10

SportPesa Quins 33 Top Fry Nakuru 14

Kabras Sugar 35 Strathmore Leos 17

Nondescript 30 Western Bulls 18

Resolution Impala Saracens 40 Mwamba 33

Mombasa Stun Kisii In Championship Action

Mombasa RFC snapped leaders Resolution Kisii’s recent fine run of form, posting  a 20-6 win at the Mombasa Sports Club on Saturday 18 February 2017.

USIU tamed hosts JKUAT Cougars with a 41-19 win over hosts JKUAT Cougars in Juja as South Coast Pirates edged out Kisumu 10-9 at the St. Joseph’s Primary School in Ukunda.

Visiting Moi University were awared the 24-0 walk over against Thika. Moi made the 320km trip to Thika, only for it to emerge that Thika lacked a venue to host the fixture.

Collated KRU Championship Results

Mombasa 20 Resolution Kisii 6

USIU 41 JKUAT Cougars 19

South Coast Pirates 10 Kisumu 9

Thika 0 Moi University 24

-- KRU Media 

Comment

A group of Derby County legends made a playing comeback on Thursday by featuring in a walking football tournament to support the Derby County Community Trust’s annual trip to Kenya.

The Kenya Cup, which ran in partnership with Richmond Villages Retirement Homes, saw former rams Archie Gemmill, Roger Davies, Roy McFarland and Kevin Hector don their football boots again in Repton, reminiscent of the Derby’s title winning era of the 1970s. 

Walking football was the sport on offer and is a growing phenomenon amongst the older generations, providing an excellent outlet for those looking to return to the sport after many years’ absence. 

Teams of over 60s from across Derbyshire took part, all to raise money for the Rams in Kenya project which will see over 60 volunteers return to the African country this summer.

During what will be their sixth visit, volunteers will spend time funding the installation of running water, building classrooms, providing resources, supporting teachers and completing maintenance and site improvement. Money raising events such as the Kenya Cup prove vital in making the trip possible. 

In what was a fantastic fundraiser, the ex-Rams showed great vigour and hadn’t lost that competitive edge. They eventually finished the day runners-up to Riverside following a 3-3 draw and loss on penalties in the final. 

The trip began in 2012 and has grown since 13 volunteers departed on the first visit. 164 volunteers have now taken part across the five trips. 

Volunteers also get the opportunity to take part in the Rift Valley Adventure Day which is a visit to the Nakuru National Safari, Thompson falls and the equator. There is also the chance to visit the Menengai Crater, an elephant orphanage and the giraffe manor in Narobi.

Facilitated by African Adventures, the trip benefits both the Derby County Community Trust and the impoverished areas around Nakuru in Kenya.

Comment

Kenya's Ulinzi Stars will face Egypt's Smouha in the round of 32 of the CAF Confederation Cup. This is after Ulinzi Stars defeated Al Hilal Benghazi in post match penalties. Smouha, based in Alexandria reached the Confederation Cup after finshing third in the Egyptian Premier League last season and jumped to the round of 32 thanks to the draw. Ulinzi Stars beat Al Hilal 1-0 in the return match taking the score to a 1-1 on aggregate and sending the tie into penalties which they won.

Smouha will host the first leg match in Alexandria on weekend of March 10-12 while the second leg will be in Kenya and is set to be held between 17 and 19 March.

Elsewhere, Kenya Premier League champions, Tusker were sent crashing out of the CAF Champions League preliminary round after losing 2-1 to Mauritius side, AS Port Louis 2000. The result on Sunday saw the Brewers crash out 3-2 on aggregate as the first leg had ended 1-1 in Nairobi a week ago. Ephrem Guikan was the hero for the hosts with a quickfire brace that dashed Tusker’s hopes of progress against the Mauritius side. The Mauritius side will now meet Sudan’ s Al Hilal in the first round.

In the meantime, CAF mandarins are expected in the country today to start inspections on match venues that will go a long way to determine whether Kenya will host next year’s African Nations Championships. During the meeting held over the weekend at Moi, Kasarani and chaired by FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the LOC discussed a wide range of issues touching on the country’s level of preparedness and the upcoming Caf inspector’s visit scheduled for between today and Friday.

Comment

Kenya’s Titus Ekiru was the surprise victor at the 33rd edition of the Zurich Maratón de Sevilla on Sunday (19), improving the course record at this IAAF Silver Label Road Race to 2:07:43. In the women’s race, Spain’s Paula González successfully defended her title with a massive career best of 2:28:54.

Perfectly paced by Spain’s Jesús España, the men’s race kicked-off at a steady 3:02 clip to target the 2:08:14 course record set last year. The opening 10 kilometres were covered in 30:28 with all the key favourites comfortably travelling behind the two pacesetters, España and Amanuel Mesel of Eritrea.

Pacing over the same circuit which witnessed his debut last season, España led the top group exactly until the half marathon point, with the clock reading a promising 1:04:05. Seven men were in contention, the nearest being unheralded 25-year-old Ekiru and compatriot Shadrack Kipkosgei.

Once Mesel – a 2:08:17 marathon runner who lives for much of the year in Madrid – took command of the race the tempo heated up by some four seconds per kilometre. That whittled down the group gradually and by the 30 kilometre point only four men remained in contention: the Kenyan trio of Ekiru, Kipkosgei and Kipkemboi Kinsang and Ethiopian Tariku Kebede, a 2:12 performer. Mesel dropped out after signing off on a brisk 29:40 10km split to leave the favourites on a perfect path to crack 2:08.

From then on the race turned into a marvellous exhibition from Ekiru, who dictated the pace relentlessly despite the modest career bests of 1:02:26 and 2.15:43 he brought to Seville. He left his three pursuers behind some 1:48 into the race with six kilometres remaining. His 2:00:50 split at the 40th kilometre clearly suggested the course record was going to be broken although Ekiru still had to hold off Kebede, who was still in pursuit during the waning stages in the stadium.

Ekiru held on for the victory in 2:07:43, five seconds clear of the Ethiopian who was contesting his third marathon. Kipkosgei completed the podium in 2:08:26, a career best by more than a minute.

“It’s true that my PB was only 2:15:43 but I’ve been training with several 2:05 marathoners in recent months and I managed to follow their pace in our training sessions so I knew I could run quite fast,” Ekiru said. “Anyway, I didn’t expect to win.”

Comment

Kenya women's and Tanzania men's wheelchair tennis singles teams on Sunday respectively qualified for the Wheelchair Tennis World Cup scheduled for May in Italy during the PNB Paribus African World Team Qualifiers held in Nairobi.

Phoebe Masika won her match against Lucy Shirima 6-2, 6-3 whereas her counterpart Jane Ndenga beat her opponent, Rehema Selemani 7-5, 7-5 to book Kenya a ticket to the World Cup.

In the men's category, Kenya's Collins Omondi beat Tanzania's Juma Hamisi 6-2, 7-5 but Peter Munuve lost to Navatus Temba from Tanzania 0-6, 2-6.

This forced the quartet to play in the doubles to determine the men's slot, which was won by Tanzania 6-3, 6-1.

The eight teams that took part in the event are Cameroon, Egypt, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

Comment

Leonard Barsoton and Irene Cheptai captured the men’s and women’s senior titles at the Kenyan Cross Country Championships in Nairobi on Saturday (18). With their victories today at the Uhuru Gardens Grounds, the pair, along with U20 winners Richard Kimunyan Yator and Sandra Chebet, will be leading the east African powerhouse at next month's IAAF World Cross Country Championships Kampala 2017.

FIRST NATIONAL TITLE FOR BARSOTON

The men's senior race saw Japan-based Barsoton, the U20 silver medalist at the 2013 World Cross Country Championships, surprise the field and take his first national title in strong fashion.

The race started at steady pace with Vincent Rono and former world cross country champion Japhet Korir exchanging the early lead. The first break came shortly after half-way with Police trio Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki and Barsoton gradually moving to the front. Nicholas Kosimbei, the 2014 world U20 10,000m champion, made a bold move with just over two laps remaining but Barsoton and Kamworor quickly responded and broke from the field. 

With a lap to go it appeared to be down to Barsoton and Kamworor --who resumed training less than two months ago-- with Bedan Karoki leading the challenge. Barsoton forged on to a comfortable victory while Karoki closed quickly to overtake Kamworor at the line for second.

Behind the trio, early leader Rono finished fourth with current 10km and 15km world record holder Leonard Patrick Komon making a notable comeback to finish fifth and punch his ticket to Kampala. Newcomer Leonard Lagat from Keringet finished sixth and will represent Kenya for the first time in his career.

CHEPTAI OVERPOWERS LOADED FIELD - WOMEN’S RACE

The senior races opened with a very competitive women's contest. As all the favorites watched each other for the first two kilometres, Alice Aprot, the reigning African cross country champion, decided to take the leader’s role and upped the pace.

Behind her a high quality group formed, including Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon, 5000m specialist Cheptai, fast-rising Lilian Kasait, Police champion Caroline Chepkoech and Olympic silver medallist Hyvin Kiyeng. By six kilometres the group was reduced to four with Cheptai, Kasait, Kipyegon and Aprot building a small gap.

Kasait, the 2013 world U18 3000m champion, led most of the last two kilometres only to be outsprinted by Kasait in the last 50 metres.

Kipyegon finished third while Aprot, reigning world cross country champion Agnes Tirop and Kiyeng claiming the final qualifying spots. 

CHEBET AND KIMUNYAN TAKE U20 TITLES 

The competition kicked off under pleasant conditions with the women’s U20 6km race. After a conservative opening lap, Nairobi teammates Sandra Chebet and world U20 steeplechase champion Celliphine Chespol began to push the pace. A lead pack of 20 was soon whittled down to six with the full South Rift region squad of Mirriam Cherop, Sheila Chelangat, Joyline Cherotich and Emaculate Chepkirui following in that order.

With less than two kilometres remaining, Chebet upped the tempo to run away to a commanding victory. Chespol was next across the line but there was drama on her heels when Cherop, the African junior cross country champion, collapsed 350 metres from the finish. That left the final Kampala team spots for Chelangat, Chepkirui, Cherotich and newcomer Esther Muthoni.

Conversely, the men’s U20 contest got off to a quick start, with Wesley Ledama and Richard Yator, respectively the 2016 world U20 5000m bronze medallist and 2015 world youth 3000m champion, taking command. A group of 14 quickly formed reducing the pace until the five-kilometre mark when Ledama again upped the tempo to break up the group.

Only Yator, Ronald Kirui, high-schooler Nicholas Kimeli and Edwin Kiplagat were able to respond. Waiting patiently, Yator pulled away for good with 400 metres to go to kick to his seven-second victory.

Ledama, who did most of the leading, was beaten to third by fast-closing Meshak Kyuguti who surprised the field with an impressive closing kilometre.

Kiplagat, world U20 steeplechase champion Amos Kirui and Ronald Kirui finished fourth through sixth to claim their team spots. 

 

Leading Results -

MEN (10km) :

1. Leonard BARSOTON (Police) 28:56

2. Bedan KAROKI (Police) 29:02

3. Geoffrey KAMWOROR (Police) 29:03

4. Vincent RONO (Nairobi) 29:06

5. Leonard KOMON (Coast) 29:09

6. Leonard LAGAT (South Rift) 29:14

 

WOMEN (10km) :

1. Irene CHEPTAI (Police) 31:48

2. Lilian KASAIT (South Rift) 31:51

3. Faith KIPYEGON (South Rift) 32:13

4. Alice APROT (Prisons) 32:19

5. Agnes TIROP (Police) 32:47

6. Hyvin KIYENG (Police) 32:52

 

U20 MEN (8km) :

1. Richard KIMUNYAN (Central Rift) 23:03

2. Meshak KYUGUTI (Southern) 23:10

3. Wesley LADEMA (Nairobi) 23:13

4. Edwin KIPLAGAT (South Rift) 23:15

5. Amos KIRUI (South Rift) 23:17

6. Ronald KIRUI (South Rift) 23:22

 

U20 WOMEN (6km) :

1. Sandra CHEBET (Nairobi) 19:25

2. Celliphine CHESPOL (Nairobi) 19:47

3. Sheila CHELANGAT (South Rift) 19:50

4. Emmaculate CHEPKIRUI (South Rift) 19:52

5. Joyline CHEROTICH (South Rift) 19:54

6. Esther MUTHONI (Nairobi) 19:57

Comment

Here is the business that has been happening from last Friday throughout the week in the world of sports. 

Puma resurgence continues with strong financials

German sportswear company Puma has posted a 33-per-cent increase in operating profit to continue its financial improvement on the back of a year of major sporting events.

New Super League seeks to shake up triathlon

Hamilton Island in Australia has been announced as the host of a new triathlon series that aims to create an entertainment property that will take triathlon into the mainstream.

Funding not an issue for Vegas stadium, says Raiders president

Oakland Raiders president Marc Badain has insisted that financing the NFL American football team's proposed move from California to Nevada will not be an issue, despite the project having recently lost one of its key backers.

European Tour furthers innovation strategy with new GolfSixes event

Golf's European Tour has continued its drive for innovation in the sport by unveiling a new event entitled GolfSixes.

'Landmark' pact set to herald peace in kiteboarding

World Sailing on Monday hailed the signing of a "landmark agreement" which aims to unite the kiteboarding community and end a period of turmoil in the sport.

Amsterdam to host 3x3 basketball showpieces

Fiba, basketball's global governing body, has announced that the Dutch city of Amsterdam will host the 3x3 Europe Cup later this year and the 3x3 World Cup in 2019.

Formula E secures fresh Chinese investment

CMC Capital Partners, a leading Chinese investor in the sports and entertainment sectors on Tuesday announced an investment in Formula E Holdings Limited, the official promoter of the Formula E electric car-racing championship.

MEPs call for Commission inquiry into F1

The European Commission could launch an investigation into alleged "anti-competitive practices" in the Formula One motor-racing world championship after Members of the European Parliament voted to support an inquiry.

Turkey confirms plan to re-enter bidding arena for European Championships

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) on Wednesday confirmed it will bid to host Uefa Euro 2024, following up on a pledge it made when exiting the race for rights to the 2020 edition of the showpiece national team tournament of European football's governing body.

LFP and FFF launch first overseas office in Beijing

The French Football League (LFP) and French Football Federation (FFF) on Thursday joined forces to inaugurate their first overseas office in Beijing, China.

FIA slams 'malicious' criticism of role in F1 takeover

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has hit out at "inaccurately informed" and "malicious" reports concerning its role in the takeover of Formula One by US mass media company Liberty Media.

You are now informed! Be sure to read again next week on Friday to catch up on the latest in the world of sports. 

Comment

Michael Jordan hasn't played an NBA game since 2003 and his last with the Chicago Bulls was 16 years ago. Yet Jordan earned approximately $90 million in 2013. Jordan made hundreds of millions from endorsements during his career, but 2013 was his biggest year yet. His 2013 payday was more than any retired or current athlete, outside of Floyd Mayweather.

Jordan’s hefty earnings are mostly attributable to the incredible success of Nike’s Jordan Brand. Other partners for Jordan, the man, include Gatorade, Hanes, Upper Deck, 2K Sports, Novant Health and Five Star Fragrances. He also owns seven restaurants, a car dealership and 80% of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

High-profile athletes like Michael Jordan and David Beckham have founded global business empires on the careful use of their images. However, the widespread use of smartphones and social media has made it increasingly difficult for athletes to protect their images because their pictures or videos can be uploaded to the internet and, within seconds, accessed by millions of people. 

Protecting an image is not just about money; an athlete’s reputation can be severely damaged through their unauthorized association with certain products or enterprises such as tobacco, alcohol or gambling.

Unlike other countries, personality or image rights are not explicitly recognized in Kenyan law. As a result, athletes whose images have been exploited are likely to find themselves having to initiate court action in a legal system which is ill-designed to protect their individual image rights. Consequently, many are turning to the use of trade marks.

A trade mark provides a legally enforceable right in relation to the use of an image, symbol or words associated with a person or other entity.

Trade marks can be particularly helpful because they can extend beyond the athlete’s image, to their name, signature and other images associated with the individual athlete. Essentially, if there’s some unique image associated with you, you can apply to trade mark it. Usain Bolt, for example, has entered his famous “winning pose” in the United States Trade Mark Registry, preventing its use by others.

  • Once you have trade marked an aspect of your sporting personality, you can:
  • Exclusively use your trade mark to start a brand, or sell a product;
  • More easily prevent people ‘piggy backing’ off your image;
  • Sell or licence the exclusive use of your trade mark for profit;

Get nation-wide coverage for your exclusive use rights to your trade mark. This is critical because if you do not have a trade mark and someone infringes your rights, any action you may have against them could be limited by state jurisdiction. Nation-wide coverage is also the first step to be taken if you want to later consider expanding your rights in other countries.

What should you do?

Professional athletes should give serious consideration to whether their image, or part of it, should be trademarked. This will provide them with a course of action in trade mark infringement if their image is exploited at any time. 

For some athletes, the registration of a trade mark may seem excessive. However it is important that all athletes know what rights they have in relation to their sporting images, and the options available to them if they think they may be being exploited. 

Trade mark registration is included in the services offered under Kenyanstar Athlete Branding and Marketing Services. Should you need any further information or to sign up for our services please contact us

Comment

Pauline Naise belongs to a different class, a rare one, with a few names ahead of her. A class of Kenyan stars who have represented the country at International level  in two(or more) different sports, and have excelled at it. The likes J.J Masiga for Rugby and Football,  Aasif Karim for Tennis and Cricket, Carl Tundo for Motorsport and Golf and Collins Omae for Rugby and Athletics. 

Comment

Kenya are down to 24th in the latest rankings released by World Rugby on Monday 13 February 2017. The Simbas, whose last assignment was the 34-10 win over Hong Kong last August in Nairobi have 59.28 points and been overhauled by Germany who climbed to 22nd on 60.73 points courtesy of a shock 41-38 win over Romania in Rugby Europe Championship action on Saturday.

Comment

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union officials are currently cooling their heels at a prison somewhere, most probably Industrial Area Remand Prison. They agree that they disobeyed court orders because their cause is just and that man was not made for the law but the law was made for man. But the law is an ass (foolish); they have to go to jail. I used to wonder if it is ‘an ass’ or ‘an arse’ until I came to my own conclusion for the sake of it. To the rich it is the animal ass (donkey) to the poor it is the behind (body part).

Back to football. Sofapaka FC and Muhoroni Youth have been relegated for failing to comply with CAF regulations for licensing clubs. Sofapaka have won the league once and FKF Cup on several occasions. Muhoroni Youth won the Top 8 Knock Out Cup last season. We are not talking about light weight football clubs but two community clubs worth their name in the top flight league. But the law is the law, an ass. The two clubs are meant to play in the NSL this season.

It has always been said that institutional clubs are not good for Kenyan football. This is because the sponsoring institution’s core business is not football so the clubs tend to be the first casualty when costs have to be cut. Then because football is just another non-essential department, the club will never develop and bypass the institution because it will be a monster they cannot tame. This makes clubs like Sofapaka and Muhoroni important for the growth of football in Kenya. 

The small remedy is that two community clubs in Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo Kericho have been promoted to the top flight. That is a good development, but what is the guarantee they will not end up like Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth. EllyKalekwa the Sofapaka President insists that he showed he has enough money in his account to run the club. Adagala the Muhoroni Chairman claimed that Muhoroni Sugar Company has assured him of tenders which will enable him to run the club through the season. The truth is the two clubs have struggled to pay players in the last two seasons. 

Everyone who has run a business will tell you that once in a while, things get thick. The case of Sofapaka and Muhoroni is not unique. It does not mean that they are the worst run club this side of the Sahara. Football does not pay in this country, it runs on individual passion and some clean money from FIFA, Supersport and corporates that turns dirty before it trickles down. For Kalekwa and Prezda to run the two clubs this far is good example of sacrifice, despite the pain caused to players and coaches. 

Should we let the two clubs to go down to NSL where they will not get the KES. 8 million they get annually from KPL/Supersport. This is the only lifeline the clubs have so we can rest assured that they will close up as soon as this season ends.  FKF should talk to partners, including FIFA to extend some grants or loans so that the clubs can work out a formula to be sustainable. The law does not think, but it was made for our good. If the law inhibits our growth, then it beats logic to execute it as it is.

A few people at KCB and Vihiga County might gain by the relegation of the two clubs but Kenyan football will lose. Kalekwa and Adagala have come too far to be crushed by a piece of law I believe all clubs in Kenya scored below average. As we wait for the ruling by the John Ohaga led Sports Tribunal, either way it goes, let us count the cost of the outcome. Let football win.

@stuttistician

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Savannah Cement fc from Arthi River toured Coast for two pre season  build up friendly matches losing to Coast Stima in their first match last saturday before sharing the spoils with Changamwe United with a 3-3 score line the following day. Speaking during the post match interview Savannah team manager Donald Otieno is satisfied with the performance of the team and looks forward  to a better season this year.

''Im happy with our  preparations. We fielded new signings who are younger and stronger and combined well with the rest of the team. We have a good team capable of lifting the title this season''

The team travelled without  national soccer team Harambee Stars under 17 trialists Zidane Ochieng, Ibrahim Ali Athumani and Kenneth Mukura as well as under 20 trialists Sebastian Njoroge and James Kinyanjui who are all students but Otieno confirmed  they will be available for duty once the league kicks off.

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Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat once again took an overwhelming victory at the eDreams Mitja Marato Barcelona, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race, winning comfortably in 1:08:15 on Sunday (12).

Her time was more than three minutes outside the half marathon world record of 1:05:06 set by her compatriot Peres Jepchirchir in Ras Al Khaimah last Friday, but Kiplagat – who broke the world record at this race in 2014 and 2015 – had stated before the race that she was not targeting a world record.

The windy conditions clearly hampered the athletes’ efforts. Paced by Kenyan Dickson Kipchumba and Spain’s Marc Roig, Kiplagat had requested a steady 3:10 steady pace with them for the first half of the race. As agreed, the trio reached the 5km point in 15:47, 37 seconds ahead of the chasing group formed by USA’s Sara Hall, Ethiopia’s Kuma Dibaba, Ireland’s Fionnuala Mc Cormack and Portugal’s Jessica Augusto.

After covering the second five-kilometre segment in 16:03, Kiplagat reached 10km in 31:50 while Dibaba and Hall trailed behind by 68 seconds, themselves 11 seconds ahead of Augusto and 25 clear of McCormack.

Although Kiplagat’s pace dropped further in the second half, she increased her advantage over Dibaba to 94 seconds. Augusto was in third another 20 seconds back but eight seconds clear of Hall in fourth.

At the tape, the former world record-holder signed her fourth win in a row in Barcelona with a relatively modest – by her own lofty standards – 1:08:15, more than a minute quicker than her winning run in Barcelona last year.

Dibaba finished second in 1:09:49 while Augusto took the third place on the podium in 1:10:36, some 43 seconds ahead of a fading Hall with McCormack completing the top five in 1:11:35.

“I’m satisfied with my win but also a little bit disappointed as the wind has annoyed me a lot,” said Kiplagat, who will turn 30 later this month. “I would have liked to run under 1:06 today but at this early stage of the season I’m not at my peak as I’m still in full preparation for the London Marathon in April. I love to come back to Barcelona every year; I realise people already know me and really appreciate me.

“It’s OK, records are there to be broken,” she added when asked about Jepchirchir’s world record earlier in the week. “I’m now happy for her and we’ll try to regain the record in the future.”

Held in conjunction with the women’s race, the men’s contest kicked off at a brisk pace with the hopes of bringing the 1:00:04 course record within 60 minutes.

The Kenyan quintet of Meshak Koech, Leonard Langat, Abel Kirui and Joel Kimurer ran alongside Ethiopia’s Zewdi Million Yehualashet in the footsteps of pacemaker Victor Kimutai Chumo who led them through the first five kilometres in 14:18. But the 10km clocking of 28:45 suggested the pre-race target was already out of reach. Yehualashet had lost ground at that point, so a Kenyan podium sweep was guaranteed.

Once the pacemaker Chumo pulled out of the race, Koech, Langat and Kimurer went through the 15km point in 43:15 while two-time world marathon champion Kirui ran 16 seconds behind the leading trio. They passed 20km in 57:53 and the key movement came during the closing kilometre when Langat broke away from Koech and Kimurer to cross the finish line victorious in 1:00:52.

Koech – whose only notable performance before today was a 2:18:58 marathon clocking last year - was a surprisingly close second in 1:00:54 while Kimurer also finished within 61 minutes. Kirui, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, was fourth in 1:01:30.

“My target was to run inside 60 minutes but it was not possible because of the wind,” said Langat, who was contesting just his second race in Spain following an appearance at the 2011 Valencia Half Marathon. “Anyway, the circuit is flat and very fast so I would like to return next year.”

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It has taken me time to finally sit down and write this article a week since AFCON 2017 closed in Gabon and players are settling back with their clubs. There was something missing in this year’s African premier soccer show. I am yet to put a finger on it because like it happens in many periodic shows, the problem began long before it manifests.

Let me start from our next door neighbours. Uganda went to Gabon after a 39 year absence from AFCON; they showed up, saw but did not conquer. They gave a good account of themselves though reports coming out of Uganda are that players saw the qualification as an end in itself. Their dream was for better allowances and appearance fee. Immediately the squad was cut down and names forwarded to CAF, The Monitor reported that the players were taking no prisoners from FUFA and the government.

On the other side, eventual winners Cameroon won the title despite their run in with their federation over allowances. It is the coach who recorded their displeasure with the lack of respect shown by the officials but still insisted that his players will give their best. The coach had assembled a second rate squad after seven top players turned down call ups to the national team. They came from behind to beat seven time winners Egypt 2-1 in the finals.

There was nothing outstanding about this year’s AFCON. Even as the MVP Christian Basogog from Cameroon stood out, there was something missing about his play. He terrorized defenders but may be the reason he won the gong was because he played more matches than most of the players. Fabrice Ondoa was outstanding in Cameroon goal just as 44 year old Essam El Haddarydefied age to get Egypt to the final, but still- something was missing. The golden boot went to DRC’s Junior Kabananga who scored three, yes three goals.

DRC players spiced up the show with their goal celebration dance fimbu(whip). Oh yes, this is Africa and we love to dance. Fimbu might be the best thing to happen to AFCON since Roger Milla’s corner flag dance in the 1990 tournament. Africa is about courage, heroism and space to enjoy and have fun. Even Ghana players who are known to flower the show looked like they couldn’t wait for the show to come to a close.

The problem might be the straight jacket box that European football puts our players in. It curtails their creativity and expression. Only four out of sixteen coaches were African and none of them got their teams to the semi-finals. As I write this, my finger is pointing to lack Africa in the Africa Cup of Nations. This is the reason one week after the show; there is nothing out of the ordinary to talk about. 

Meanwhile the Public Relations office at the CAF office in Cairo is sleeping on the job in regards to publicizing the tournament before it kicks off. I still can decide if I should sprinkle sugar, salt or pepper on this story.

@stuttistician

 

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Under-age Kenyans are being “lured” without their consent or knowledge to compete for other countries, a top kenyan official has said, welcoming a move to stop athletes switching allegiances.

The International Association of Athletics Federations on Monday said it was freezing all new transfers of allegiance, with IAAF president Sebastian Coe saying that the “present rules are no longer fit for purpose”.

Kenya has suffered particularly badly: since 2003 more than 60 Kenyan-born athletes have given up their nationality to run for another country, most notably for Bahrain and Qatar.

During the Rio Olympics, 20 former Kenyans competed for adopted countries, including Ruth Jebet, who upset her former compatriots to win the first Olympic gold medal for Bahrain in the 3,000m steeplechase.

“We fully support the move to put to an end the transfer of innocent young talented Kenyans without justification and due process as the law provides,” a top sports official at the education ministry, Eliud Wambua, has said.

Wambua, also a member of an Athletics Kenya (AK) youth committee, said many under-age children were transferred to other countries without their say-so, often after their parents were “enticed” with money.

“The change of allegiance has been a big blow to this country. Some of our innocent children have been lured away without their knowledge by people masquerading as their coaches, managers and agents.

“Other countries have opened a supermarket on Kenya by taking advantage of the young ones, who sometimes don’t understand they are being forced to forfeit their nationalities.”

Wambua said Kenya had no problem with any athlete trying to earn a living by competing for another country but they must only do so when they are old enough and given clearance by the national federation.

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Gor Mahia coach José Marcelo Ferreira is staying at the club, club chairman Ambrose Rachier has said.

Speaking yesterday in a long ranging Kenyanstar of The Week Interview, Rachier admitted that indeed he has been receiving immense pressure from the fans following a false start to the team’s pre-season campaign that has seen them lose all three matches played. “The pressure from social media and the fans is there, but we cannot make rush decisions and dismiss the coach because of this pressure. He is staying and we have not made plans to part way with him,” he said.

Gor Mahia’s latest friendly saw them fall 2-0 to Ugandan Premier League newbies Onduparaka, something that Rachier says made him summon the coach right away. According to the KPL vice chairman, he had a lengthy discussion with the former Brazilian international and was satisfied that he would deliver. “I summoned the coach today and he gave satisfactory reasons why we have lost all the 3 matches,” Rachier said. According to the club boss, the tactician blamed the losses on a couple of things. In Sudan, the coach mentioned that the team was still fresh from holiday and the players had hardly had enough time to train together. Against Thika, the coach said that he tried out all the players available, and didn't feature his best team as his intention was to watch each player individually. According to Rachier, Ze Maria laid blame on lack of fitness for the loss to Onduparaka, who he noted were much fitter then.

“It was important to sit with the coach and find out the real issues. It would set a bad precedence is we sacked the coach based on the performance in pre-season. We have given the coach very clear targets and indicated to him that we want good results once the season starts,” Rachier said, adding, “The coach assured us that results will be better.”

While looking back at the clib’s recent history with coaches, Rachier noted that pressure from the fans at times leads to the office parting ways with coaches. He regretted the behaviour of some coaches, particularly the man Ze Maria replaced -Frank Nuttal. He said, “There are some coaches who get to the club, perform well then later team up with fans, incite them and start making some crazy demands. They feel they are demigods . The best thing to do is part ways with such coaches very fast and avoid further destabilization of the team.”

Ze Maria managed to take Gor Mahia to second place on the log last season, narrowly missing the title.

Read the full Ambrose Rachier's Kenyanstar of the Week Interview here. 

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Lawyer Ambrose Rachier has been Gor-Mahia football Club's chairman for  close to 10 years, since 2008 and was given fresh mandate by the 'Green Army' in December 2016 to steer Kenya's most successful football club for another four years a period he believes will be his last term at the helm of the club. During his 10 years at Gor-mahia, and in particularly the last six seasons, Rachier has won the League three times and finished second in the other three making him the Kenya Premier League Limited Chairman for three straight years and Vice Chairman for the other three. Rachier has also tried on two occasions to ascend to football's top most office in the country but both attempts were unsuccessful. Ambrose Rachier gave an Interview for the Kenyanstar of the week column incidentally on the morning he was slapped with a ban by FKF for 'bringing the game to disrepute' ...

KS: In Brief for those who do not know you, who is Ambrose Rachier? 

I'm a loyal Kenyan Citizen, 68 years old, a family man, a lawyer, Scholar, Teacher, Sports enthusiast, A fan of Gor-Mahia but most above all a leader... Of-course i tried my hand in politics but swore never to go back there after the lessons i learnt.    

KS: How long have you been in football administration?

Since i took over Gor-Mahia leadership in 2008

KS:  Let's talk about Gor-Mahia, You've been at the helm for a long time now, This is the 10th year i believe... Has it been a success story for you. 

Gor-Mahia has had tremendous improvement! I Insist Tremendous improvement under my chairmanship and i can outline various areas where these improvements are there for all to see.

 When i took over the club had just a handful of active fans and no funds at all. We now have a phenomenal return of the fans or what we like to call the green army and you can see, this in itself is a source of income for the club. We've also had a number of sponsors come on board since then, We've had Tuzo, Sportpesa and Crown Larger.  

I took over when the club was narrowly escaping relegation, Our performance on the field of play has since improved and in the last six years we have either won the league or unluckily finished second. One of these league wins has been unbeaten the entire season.

We have improved corporate governance and introduced structures, we now have a fully fledged secretariat with a CEO running the club and we now hold well organized elections. 

We have been steadily improving player welfare through better pay and simple things like a club bus to ease movement. We are also acting like a spring board, providing young players with opportunities to play in better leagues out of the country. You will remember George Odhiambo, Aucho, Olunga and most recently Erick Ouma. 

Last but probably very key is that i helped in founding and setting up of the Gor-Mahia Sacco which is very key to the Gor-Mahia Family. The Fans, players and even officials can save funds and access credit facilities via the Sacco.  

KS: Some people... most people agree and are happy with your record but they think you have steadied the ship and should allow someone else to sail it to harbor. 

Of-course Samuel I'll not be Gor-Mahia Chairman forever, this is probably my last term and i still have a lot to offer a lot to offer especially if i get the tranquility in the last four years...

KS: What do you have up your sleeve? Say a five year plan...? 

Three main things that need to be done... 

For starters we plan to develop an academy and run a very solid youth team. Our football will go nowhere without investment in academies.  There is no country in the world that has done well in football without investment in academies, even the much talked about Ghana National team they have been playing together from a very young age. The big players you hear about, the likes of Mesut Ozil and his Germany Teammates have been in academies from the age of five years.   

Secondly i plan to launch a Gor-Mahia stadium project... And this is not just a stadium but a soccer village that will also include a residential area for our players and staff. So a player signing for Gor-Mahia would mean that among other things they get a house for the entire duration of their contract. Infrastructure is another very important necessity in football and unless we invest in Infrastructure we are headed nowhere. 

Lastly i intended to put a lot of effort into player welfare at Gor-Mahia. Things like insurance cover should be include on the sign-up package for Gor-Mahia. Football is largely about the players so if we don't invest in them then we will have no football to enjoy. 

All these are achievable and i intend to go forth with them, they are not just pipe dreams. 

KS: When you say solid youth team, what does it mean with regard to what you currently have? The one that takes part in the KPL youth Tournament.  

That is an Ad-hoc youth team that we recruit mainly from the schools and largely on a need basis. Most of the other times they are on their own. I talk of a youth team that will be part of the club with a substantial budget to run it. This will also lower our cost of recruitment because it is expensive to recruit players. 

KS: Gor has done well locally over the past six years, twice near champions, then champions three times in a row, unlucky not to make it four but then, What is the secret? What ensures you stay at the top level? 

I think it's good leadership, and not just from me but most of the people elected into office with me over the last years have shown great leadership so credit to all of us and also to those who have been electing. 

KS: Having said that, Why isn't this performance not replicated in continental competitions? Fair to say not just by Gor-Mahia but by most Kenyan teams with few exemptions?

Thank you, that is a very important question and there are two reasons for it ... 

First is our calendar. We need to align our calendar with all other major leagues. The thing is when continental competitions begin, most other leagues have been ongoing and are probably halfway while for us we haven't even started, we are just getting off pre-season. our teams are therefore playing teams that have already jelled and worked out functional formations. While not impossible, it is very difficult to win against a team that is already in rhythm while you are only starting. 

Second, is lack of support from the federation. It is very expensive to compete in the continental competitions and support from the federation would go a long way. Federations in other countries support their clubs. 

KS: You have been KPL Chair for three years, Vice Chair for another two and this year is your third as Vice Chair. The other chairmen on the council must also appreciate the challenge our calendar poses with regards to continental competitions, why hasn't this been fixed once and for all?   

Because this is the responsibility of the federation. 

KS: Mr. Rachier, What challenges do you face as the Chairman of Gor-mahia? What challenges does Gor-Mahia as a club face  

There are three main challenges; 

For starters finances are still a major challenge as we try to implement our programs and still compete effectively. 

Secondly hooliganism is a big challenge for us in two ways. One because it endangers the lives players and peace loving fans and two because it hinders the growth of our fan base in terms of the actual fans who would like to come and support the team at the stadia. 

The third challenge is the tendency by our fans to try and micromanage people they have elected into office. This is a big drawback to our corporate governance practices. Our fans need to be educated and to understand that  when you give someone a job you have to allow them to do the judge them on the Results, Do not give someone a job and show them how to do it at every stage.... Why then did you give him or her the job in the first place? 

KS: You mention Hooliganism, who does the back stop with?   

The law enforcers. The police need to provide security, arrest the few hooligans masquerading as fans and have them pay with their time. Unfortunately even when these people are arrested they are allowed to walk the next day. The clubs don't own the stadium so it is difficult to task them with security.  

KS: Most clubs only fire a non performing coach. A coach who can't win trophies for them. Gor-Mahia has parted ways with a few title winning coaches, One who won it unbeaten .....

Samuel, the circumstances are different for all of them for those we have fired over the last few years. I can mention a few cases without names. One, sometimes back we fired simply because he wasn't performing, Another one we lost to the National team so there was very little we could do and another one we fired on grounds of indiscipline mainly because in Cohort with a few fans he held the club at ransom with outrageous demands contrary to our agreement and contract. These kind of acts undermine our corporate governance efforts and we had to act promptly. 

KS: In addition to not winning the league, does losing all three pre-season friendly matches so far pass as underperformance for Ze Maria? Should we expect to see him fired soon?       

No you can't fire a coach because he's lost in pre-season friendly matches. Nonetheless I have had an elaborate meeting with the coach and he explained all these losses. He is still getting to understand our new players. In the first match he had just jetted in and very little training had taken place, In the second match it wasn't about winning, he actually played all the 26 players in that single match and in the third match, the one against the Ugandan side like i said this is a team playing in an ongoing league while we are still in preseason. We have however set target for the coach and we can only judge him or take action based on these targets. 

KS: Is it a good or bad thing when Erick Ouma leaves Gor-Mahia for Georgia? 

While i wish Erick all the best at his new club i still believe that this move is ill advised. In my opinion the best for him would have been to stick around, even if not at Gor-Mahia then locally for another one or two seasons to assert his game and probably attract better opportunities. One problem with our football is that we have people calling themselves agents who are not even registered and they are miss-advising these young boys. Sometimes you engage a player and the moment you invite him to take his sign-on fee he arrives with a bunch of people claiming to be his agents. 

KS: Gor-Mahia has won the league three times in a row... We still see your matches with a stadium only quarter full, what will it take to have more people attending Gor Matches? 

 The main issues here are our calendar again and the hooliganism. We cannot ignore the fact that we are competing against elite leagues like the EPL, Bundesliga, Laliga and others. By the time our league starts all these league have gained momentum and it becomes very difficult to convince someone to forget about chelsea and come watch Gor-Mahia even if you get everything else right. It would be much fairer competition if our league started at the same time with all the others. And like i said with hooliganism still an issue then most would be fans would rather stay away from the stadium. 

KS: AFC Leopards Vs Gor Mahia, is this rivalry just a fans conception? As the chairman of Gor-Mahia does it give you more pleasure when you win against Leopards than when you win against any other team? 

Football cannot be sweet without a derby so yes there is a lot of Joy in winning against Leopards and a lot of sadness when they win against us. 

KS:  Talking of AFC Leopards, they are one of the biggest clubs in the country, why do you think they have been struggling in the past few years? 

I think it goes back to lack of tranquility and not allowing elected officials to do their job. Every fan cannot be the club chairman so we have to allow elected officials do their job and replace them when the right time comes.   

KS: Talk to us about you FKF Presidency bid. What did you want to achieve as FKF president that you couldn't achieve as KPL Chairman. 

To answer this you have to understand the different roles of the two organizations. KPL is only the league manager... 

KS: So what did you have in store as FKF President? 

A lot of things and i hope they can still be done. Unfortunately i'm past my sell-by date because i don't think i'll run again but  my agenda revolved around four issues; Development of youth football, Development of Infrastructure, development of women football and Transparency in management. 

KS: Has you being past your sell-by date has anything to do with the ban you've been slapped with? 

No it's  a personal decision i made after my second unsuccessful bid. The ban does not benefit our football in anyway. It is not about individuals, If you ban me today and someone else takes my position tomorrow he will find the same same issues on the table. So the correct thing to do as a leader is to have a discussion with all involved parties and solve outstanding issues. 

KS: So would these same issues be on the table today had you been elected president? 

Not necessarily because what we are seeing today is lack of leadership. It is important that we emulate best practice as it is done elsewhere globally. We need to be very clear in interpreting roles  of KPL and the federation and we need to respect existing agreements because we have been discussing these issues with the federation for some time now. So if i were the president i would offer leadership and will not engage in this discussions with a fixed mind.

KS: Why is CAF licensing an issue for some KPL clubs?  

It is not an issue. The issue is it's execution. The rules are very clear on what should happen to clubs that fail to obtain this license. There are sanctions, penalties but relegation is not one of them! Relegation and promotion should be purely on sporting merit so we have to question the integrity of some of these decisions. Why for instance should a club that hasn't played in the league for all these years suddenly being fronted for promotion at all costs immediately someone becomes president? 

KS: What are the arguments against an 18 team league?  

The federation is in no position to set the number of teams to play in the league, it needs to take advise from the league manager and when deciding who gets promoted and relegated it has to be on sporting merit and not political expediency. We are not opposed to an 18 team league but we have shared with the federation the impact of the expansion  starting with the additional 66 matches. 

KS: So what would be your message to the FKF President when he reads this? 

I plead with the all powerful leader of football in this country to rethink his decision. We are powerless and do not want to defy him. We also do not wish to engage in a fight with him. We are getting late for the commencement of the league and any further delays will make it difficult for us to have a successful season. The constant wrangles are not good for football. We need leadership from the top. As a leader, you cannot be crying foul always. What is the problem? Good leaders bring harmony and find solution to problems

KS: These issues around sports administration across all sports federations and organizations in Kenya seem familiar. What do you think is the major problem? 

Samuel, There is someone who is the overall in charge of the Industry and answerable to the president, what has been his input so far? ..

KS: What has been the impact of the sports act on our sports and football in particular? 

I think there has been no impact and i also think most people do not understand it. I think there should be a complete overhaul of the sports act and simplify it for the benefits of our sports organization. 

KS: Thank you for your time Mr. Rachier ... 

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