KPL petitions Treasury to re-evaluate 50% tax on sports betting firms

Kenyan Premier League has joined the call  that has been made by several sports bodies and personalities to the government to reconsider their plans to tax betting firms.

A statement from the KPL CEO Jack Oguda reads,

"The Kenyan Premier League would like to petition the Government to re-evaluate its recent budgetary proposal to introduce a uniform 50% tax across board on betting, lottery, gaming and competition firms.

The Kenyan Premier League is one of the many sporting institutions in the country, which has benefited greatly from sponsorship by betting firms and if this industry struggles to meet their business targets, they will be forced to withdraw funding to sporting institutions.

Apart from Kenyan Premier League, four (4) other football clubs, namely AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia,Mathare United and Sofapaka, are sponsored by betting firms and through the funding the league and the clubs have been able to meet the cost of operations of the various aspects that the sports sector demands.

Clubs are able to meet Match day expenses (hiring of government owned sports facilities,ambulances, police officers, ball boys, ticket firms, as well as PR & Marketing firms, Match Day travel and accommodation, etc) as well as pay salaries and allowances of players, technical bench members, Referees, Match Commissioners, Stewards and other staff working directly or indirectly during the Match day events. From this alone it is clear that there are other industries which benefit from a vibrant sports industry which is currently anchored on the success and exponential growth of betting firms.

Collapse of betting will therefore not only lead to a collapse of the sports sector but also other industries which rely on sports for their revenue. The gains made by the sports sector on the back of sponsorship from betting firms will therefore be negated and reversing the retrogression will not be easy even with the creation of the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund.

The Kenyan Premier League is in support of Government initiatives which are aimed at promoting the sports sector but with the imminent shutdown of betting industry as a result of the new tax rule,chances are that the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund will have little capital to operate with as it will be funded by proceed from the betting, gaming, lottery, and competition industry. There will therefore be no guarantee that sporting institutions will continue to benefit from funding equivalent or surplus of what is already being offered if the National, Sports, Culture and Arts Fund will not be in a position to raise enough money to achieve its goals.

Engaging directly with betting firms gives sporting institutions an edge to negotiate for sponsorships on terms that will lead to growth of the industry at an individual level but with the National, Sports,Culture and Arts Fund, the case will be different as there will be hundreds of other entities which will be competing for funding from one source. With that outlined, it would therefore be of benefit if the betting firms are supported with policies that will lead to their continued growth rather than collapse for the sake of the future and prosperity of the sports sector. "

The sports industry has benefited immensely from betting firms' sponsorships and the recent announcement by the government to tax the businesses' 50% has ruffled feathers with experts warning that it could lead to withdrawal of sponsorships.

Antonio Conte says other Premier League sides need to find a solution to Manchester City's record-breaking form.

City are 11 points clear at the top of the table after winning an unprecedented 15 matches in a row, while Conte's Chelsea trail them by 14 points in third place.

Chelsea's head coach said: "We must try to find the right solution to contend the title, to try to fight them. Not only Chelsea, but the five top teams."

"Manchester City are not a surprise for me. At the start of the season all the people said the league was for two contenders - Man City and Manchester United.

"This is a great team, but this team was a great team last season.

"During the transfer market they reached their targets. We must pay great attention, not only in England, because Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe.

"I think also you must be lucky, because in many games they won in the last minute.

Conte appeared to suggest, however, that he was becoming frustrated at the difficulty his side were having reeling in Pep Guardiola's City.

He said: "Time is moving on and Manchester City are continuing to win, this is the problem.

"We must be realistic. In the last nine games we won seven times, drew one - to Liverpool - and lost one. And the distance improved for Manchester City.

"In nine games, when you win seven times and draw only once - it's possible to draw against Liverpool - and lose only one game, and stay 14 points less…"

Chelsea host Southampton on Saturday, and Conte said he expects to have Alvaro Morata back after the striker missed the win over Huddersfield on Tuesday with a back injury.

However, Chelsea will again be without David Luiz, with Conte admitting he did not know how long a knee injury would keep the defender out for.

The Barclays Premier League continues this weekend, with ten matches lined up for between Saturday December 16 and Monday December 18, 2017.

Below are all the fixtures (All times are in EAT)

 

SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER

Leicester City 15:30 Crystal Palace

Arsenal 15:00 Newcastle United

Brighton & Hove Albion 18:00 Burnley

Chelsea 18:00 Southampton

Stoke City 18:00 West Ham United

Watford 18:00 Huddersfield Town

Manchester City 20:30 Tottenham Hotspur

SUNDAY 17TH DECEMBER

West Bromwich Albion 17:15 Manchester United

AFC Bournemouth 19:30 Liverpool

MONDAY 18TH DECEMBER

Everton 22:00 Swansea City

 

The Kenya Hockey Union Leagues continue this weekend where a total of nine matches from all the three leagues have been scheduled to be played at the City Park Stadium.

Saturday

On Saturday, Chase Sailors will be seeking to get their season back on track when they face fellow strugglers Strathmore at noon. Both sides have been posting negative results, Strathmore sitting winless in their last five fixtures while Sailors have only won one of their last seven.

The match will then be followed by a ladies' one pitting second placed Strathmore Scorpions against Sliders, who are currently sixth on the log. A win for Strathmore will see them cement their place in second while Sliders might move to within a point of fifth placed JKUAT with a victory.

Parkroad Badgers will also be in action later on when they tackle Nakuru, a side that has won two of its last assignments.

Sunday

On Sunday, the Women's Premier League will see leaders Telkom take on bottom placed University of Nairobi (UoN)in what is a battle of two contrasting teams. While Telkom have won all their matches this season, UoN have not registered even a single victory and have only three points so far. A win for the leaders will move them to just one point shy of reclaiming the title.

In the Men's category, Kenya Police will be hoping to increase their lead at the top to the 70-point mark when they face Sikh Union from 17:00. The law enforcers overcame Sikh 3-1 in the previous meeting between the two sides back in May.

Below are all weekend fixutres:

 

PREMIER LEAGUE MEN

Saturday, December 16th

Chase 12:00 Strathmore CITY PARK  

Parkroad 16:00 Nakuru CITY PARK  

Sunday, December 17th

Strathmore 11:00 Nakuru CITY PARK  

KCAU 15:00 Sharks CITY PARK  

Sikh 17:00 Kenya Police CITY PARK

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE MEN

Saturday, December 16th

Rovers 18:00 MSC CITY PARK  

Sunday, December 17th

Wazalendo Masters 09:00 MSC CITY PARK

 

PREMIER LEAGUE WOMEN

Saturday, December 16th

Sliders 14:00 Strathmore CITY PARK  

Sunday, December 17th

UON 13:00 Telkom CITY PARK

 

Zanzibar will face Kenya in the finals of this year's CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup after seeing off Uganda Cranes 2-1 in the second semifinal played on Friday December 15, 2017 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

Uganda were gifted a free kick just outside the box in the 14th minute but Muzamiru Mutyaba blasted the ball over the bar for a goal kick.

Zanzibar heroes on their part showed that they meant business, Makame Hassan opening account for them in the 22nd minute after being fed with a pass from Ibrahim Hamad.

The goal prompted Uganda to make an early change, which they did by introducing Joseph Nsubuga for Shafiq Bakaki in the 28th minute. One minute later, the Cranes leveled matters through Derrick Nsibambi who did well to connect to Allan Kyambade's cross.

Their downfall however came ten minutes into the second half when substitute Nsubuga Joseph committed a reckless challenge on Ibrahim Hamad inside the box as he tried to thwart an impending attack, prompting the referee to show his a straight yellow card and point to the penalty spot. 

Mohamed Issa 'MO Banka' is the player who stood up to take the spot kick and successfully smashed it past Uganda keeper  Ismail Watenga to take his side back on the steering wheel.

Despite being reduced to ten men, the Cranes tried hard to notch an equalizer but were unsuccessful in their attempts, thus shutting down their quest to defend the regional title.

Zanzibar Heroes will now face hosts Kenya in the finals slated for Sunday December 17, 2017at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. The two sides met once in a Group A encounter, with the match ending in a barren draw.

 

Zanzibar Starting XI: Mohammed Abrahman  18, Ibrahim Mohamed Said  15, Adeyum Ahmed Seif 20, Abdulla Salum Kheri  13, Issa Haidar Dau  8, Abdul azizi Makame Hassan 21, Mohamed Issa Juma 10, Mudathir Yahya Abass 4, Ibrahim Hamad Ahmada, 17, Feisal Salum Abdallah, 3, Suleiman Kassim Suleiman,

Subs:  Ahmed Ali Suleiman  1, Nassor Mrisho Salim 30, Mohd Othman Mmanga 6, Ibrahim Abdallah Hamad 2, Abdullah Haji Shaibu (Ninja) 5, Seif Abdallah Rashid (Karihe) 12, Hamad Mshamata Makame 9, Khamis Mussa Makame 28, Abdul swamad Kassim Ali,

Uganda Starting XI: Ismail Watenga (GK); Nico Wakiro Wadada, Shafiq Bakaki, Bernard Muwanga (Captain), Aggrey Madoi; Allan Kyambadde, Muzamiru Mutyaba, Tadeo Lwanga; Derrick Nsibambi, Hood Kaweesa, Militon Karisa 

Subs: Tom Ikaara (GK), Benjamin Ochan (GK), Joseph Nsubuga, Ibrahim Sadam Juma, Nelson Senkatuka, Allan Kateregga, Daniel Isiagi, Tom Masiko, Paul Mucureezi.

 

Zanzibar head coach Hemed Suleiman Morocco has named his starting lineup that will take on Uganda in the second semifinal of the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup on Friday December 15, 2017 at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu. The match kicks off at 15:00.

Replacements

The coach has duly replaced the duo of forward Suleiman Khamis and midfielder Amour Suleiman “Pwina” who were ruled out of the tie due to injuries. Left-back Mwinyi Haji Ngwali, who is suspended after accumulating two yellow successive yellow cards, has been substituted by Adeyuni Saleh.

Road to semis

Zanzibar have been the surprise package in the tournament so far as not many thought that the team would reach this far. The Heroes kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Rwanda before seeing off their brothers Tanzania 2-1. 

They then held hosts Kenya to a barren draw but lost 1-0 to Libya in their final Group A match. The performance saw them finish second in the group and were as a result paired against Uganda in the semifinals.

 

Starting XI:

Mohammed Abrahman (Wawesha) 18, Ibrahim Mohamed Said (Sangula) 15, Adeyum Ahmed Seif 20, Abdulla Salum Kheri (Sebo) 13, Issa Haidar Dau (Mwalala) 8, Abdul azizi Makame Hassan (Abui) 21, Mohamed Issa Juma (Banka) 10, Mudathir Yahya Abass 4, Ibrahim Hamad Ahmada “Hilika” 17, Feisal Salum Abdallah (Fei Toto) 3, Suleiman Kassim Suleiman “Seleembe” 7 (nahodha).

Subs:

Ahmed Ali Suleiman (Salula) 1, Nassor Mrisho Salim 30, Mohd Othman Mmanga 6, Ibrahim Abdallah Hamad 2, Abdullah Haji Shaibu (Ninja) 5, Seif Abdallah Rashid (Karihe) 12, Hamad Mshamata Makame 9, Khamis Mussa Makame (Rais) 28, Abdul swamad Kassim Ali (Hasgut) 22.

 

KRU Championship side Ngong Warriors will on Friday 15 December, 2017 hold a fundraising dinner as they seek to raise cash to  enable them honor their remaining fixtures this season.

Gianluigi Donnarumma has denied writing to AC Milan demanding they rip up his contract, while his agent, Mino Raiola, said sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli is making the most of the controversy.

Milan fans revealed a banner during their 3-0 Coppa Italia win on Wednesday night in which they said they had run out of patience with Donnarumma, who earlier in the week was accused of having asked Milan to annul his contract due to "psychological violence" when he signed it in the summer.

The 18-year-old was visibly upset about the treatment he was given by Milan's fans and he posted a message on Instagram, denying having made any such demands to the Rossoneri.

"It was a horrible evening and I didn't expect it!" Donnarumma wrote. "I never said nor wrote that I've suffered moral violence when I signed my contract. Despite everything, I look ahead and concentrate on the next game..Forza Milan!"

Mirabelli said his club "know where the evil comes from" in reference to Donnarumma's agent Raiola, who he suggested was trying to seek a move for his client.

Raiola replied with a statement in which he insisted he was not behind the story, saying instead that Mirabelli has something personal against him.

"I take note of what Mirabelli says about and against me -- after all, we are in a democratic country and he can say what he thinks," Raiola said in the statement published by La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mirabelli has a personal problem with me and he is using Gigio Donnarumma to attack me, but I am not one to get involved in a media circus and, moreover, I don't want Gigio to be dragged into this.

"I will reply to Mirabelli at the appropriate time and place. Gigio has nothing to do with this and he's not done any harm, so it's not right to use him to wage war on me, also because quite clearly Milan's problem is not Gigio, nor [his brother] Antonio. Strangely, neither Mirabelli nor Milan have remarked on the banner which appeared at the stadium.

"We never obliged Milan to sign Antonio, it was Mirabelli's choice, and he should now defend it as such. I would like to remind you that, this summer, there were some financial and sporting offers for Gigio which nobody would ever have turned down, but Gigio and his family made their decision with their hearts.

"I respected this choice. My interest today is only that Gigio is left in peace and quiet so that he can do his best. This should also be the priority of Milan's sporting director and if that is not the case, it should be the priority of Milan's owners and those who represent him.

"This controversy suits Mirabelli at the moment because it diverts the attention from what Milan's real problem is: their technical project. I've got nothing against Milan, in fact I would like to see them be successful. I remind you that I have four players in their first team and I have a vested interest in my clients obtaining good results, but it's not only because of this -- I think it is important for Italian football that Milan return to being protagonists in Italy and in Europe.

"Now [Gennaro] Gattuso has arrived and he's a person I have a lot of time and respect for, and I wish him the best possible. I've read a lot of falsities and absurd things that don't even warrant a response or a denial.

"I've never spoken in public about my clients' contracts in the past and I'm not going to do so now. I've had an open, courteous and professional line of communication with [Milan's general manager] Dr [Marco] Fassone, who I've also met recently. If there were any problems and if it were necessary, I would meet Dr Fassone and we would find solutions.

"But this does not only apply to Gigio or Antonio, but also to any of my other players."

Donnarumma extended his Milan contract until 2021 in the summer, after initially rejecting their offer of a new deal and angering Rossoneri fans in the process.

He had a change of heart less than a month later, committing to a deal that made him the club's best-paid player and the third highest-earning goalkeeper in Europe as Milan flexed their muscles on the transfer market, investing almost €230 million on new players and showing their ambitions.

One of those arrivals was Leonardo Bonucci, who was made club captain after joining from Juventus and was seen comforting Donnarumma in the dressing room of San Siro on Wednesday night.

He has also backed Donnarumma after experiencing his own share of controversy at Juve last season, which prompted him to consider a move.

"Gigio's a fantastic lad, on and off the field," Bonucci told a group of young Milan fans, according to La Gazzetta. "We're all with him.

"There were certain things that happened [last season] which led to both [Juventus] and I taking this decision. When Milan came in, I jumped at the chance to join them, also thanks to the work of Fassone and Mirabelli.

"With Juventus, we decided to go separate ways. It happens that you have arguments in life. Wearing and winning with this shirt makes you go down in history."

 

Battle for the last spot of this year's CECAFA Senior Challenge finals goes down on Friday December 15, 2017, with defending champions Uganda taking on Zanzibar at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu from 15:00.

Antonio Conte says other Premier League sides need to find a solution to Manchester City's record-breaking form.

City are 11 points clear at the top of the table after winning an unprecedented 15 matches in a row, while Conte's Chelsea trail them by 14 points in third place.

Chelsea's head coach said: "We must try to find the right solution to contend the title, to try to fight them. Not only Chelsea, but the five top teams."

"Manchester City are not a surprise for me. At the start of the season all the people said the league was for two contenders - Man City and Manchester United.

"This is a great team, but this team was a great team last season.

"During the transfer market they reached their targets. We must pay great attention, not only in England, because Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe.

"I think also you must be lucky, because in many games they won in the last minute.

Conte appeared to suggest, however, that he was becoming frustrated at the difficulty his side were having reeling in Pep Guardiola's City.

He said: "Time is moving on and Manchester City are continuing to win, this is the problem.

"We must be realistic. In the last nine games we won seven times, drew one - to Liverpool - and lost one. And the distance improved for Manchester City.

"In nine games, when you win seven times and draw only once - it's possible to draw against Liverpool - and lose only one game, and stay 14 points less…"

Chelsea host Southampton on Saturday, and Conte said he expects to have Alvaro Morata back after the striker missed the win over Huddersfield on Tuesday with a back injury.

However, Chelsea will again be without David Luiz, with Conte admitting he did not know how long a knee injury would keep the defender out for.

The Barclays Premier League continues this weekend, with ten matches lined up for between Saturday December 16 and Monday December 18, 2017.

Below are all the fixtures (All times are in EAT)

 

SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER

Leicester City 15:30 Crystal Palace

Arsenal 15:00 Newcastle United

Brighton & Hove Albion 18:00 Burnley

Chelsea 18:00 Southampton

Stoke City 18:00 West Ham United

Watford 18:00 Huddersfield Town

Manchester City 20:30 Tottenham Hotspur

SUNDAY 17TH DECEMBER

West Bromwich Albion 17:15 Manchester United

AFC Bournemouth 19:30 Liverpool

MONDAY 18TH DECEMBER

Everton 22:00 Swansea City

 

Gianluigi Donnarumma has denied writing to AC Milan demanding they rip up his contract, while his agent, Mino Raiola, said sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli is making the most of the controversy.

Milan fans revealed a banner during their 3-0 Coppa Italia win on Wednesday night in which they said they had run out of patience with Donnarumma, who earlier in the week was accused of having asked Milan to annul his contract due to "psychological violence" when he signed it in the summer.

The 18-year-old was visibly upset about the treatment he was given by Milan's fans and he posted a message on Instagram, denying having made any such demands to the Rossoneri.

"It was a horrible evening and I didn't expect it!" Donnarumma wrote. "I never said nor wrote that I've suffered moral violence when I signed my contract. Despite everything, I look ahead and concentrate on the next game..Forza Milan!"

Mirabelli said his club "know where the evil comes from" in reference to Donnarumma's agent Raiola, who he suggested was trying to seek a move for his client.

Raiola replied with a statement in which he insisted he was not behind the story, saying instead that Mirabelli has something personal against him.

"I take note of what Mirabelli says about and against me -- after all, we are in a democratic country and he can say what he thinks," Raiola said in the statement published by La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mirabelli has a personal problem with me and he is using Gigio Donnarumma to attack me, but I am not one to get involved in a media circus and, moreover, I don't want Gigio to be dragged into this.

"I will reply to Mirabelli at the appropriate time and place. Gigio has nothing to do with this and he's not done any harm, so it's not right to use him to wage war on me, also because quite clearly Milan's problem is not Gigio, nor [his brother] Antonio. Strangely, neither Mirabelli nor Milan have remarked on the banner which appeared at the stadium.

"We never obliged Milan to sign Antonio, it was Mirabelli's choice, and he should now defend it as such. I would like to remind you that, this summer, there were some financial and sporting offers for Gigio which nobody would ever have turned down, but Gigio and his family made their decision with their hearts.

"I respected this choice. My interest today is only that Gigio is left in peace and quiet so that he can do his best. This should also be the priority of Milan's sporting director and if that is not the case, it should be the priority of Milan's owners and those who represent him.

"This controversy suits Mirabelli at the moment because it diverts the attention from what Milan's real problem is: their technical project. I've got nothing against Milan, in fact I would like to see them be successful. I remind you that I have four players in their first team and I have a vested interest in my clients obtaining good results, but it's not only because of this -- I think it is important for Italian football that Milan return to being protagonists in Italy and in Europe.

"Now [Gennaro] Gattuso has arrived and he's a person I have a lot of time and respect for, and I wish him the best possible. I've read a lot of falsities and absurd things that don't even warrant a response or a denial.

"I've never spoken in public about my clients' contracts in the past and I'm not going to do so now. I've had an open, courteous and professional line of communication with [Milan's general manager] Dr [Marco] Fassone, who I've also met recently. If there were any problems and if it were necessary, I would meet Dr Fassone and we would find solutions.

"But this does not only apply to Gigio or Antonio, but also to any of my other players."

Donnarumma extended his Milan contract until 2021 in the summer, after initially rejecting their offer of a new deal and angering Rossoneri fans in the process.

He had a change of heart less than a month later, committing to a deal that made him the club's best-paid player and the third highest-earning goalkeeper in Europe as Milan flexed their muscles on the transfer market, investing almost €230 million on new players and showing their ambitions.

One of those arrivals was Leonardo Bonucci, who was made club captain after joining from Juventus and was seen comforting Donnarumma in the dressing room of San Siro on Wednesday night.

He has also backed Donnarumma after experiencing his own share of controversy at Juve last season, which prompted him to consider a move.

"Gigio's a fantastic lad, on and off the field," Bonucci told a group of young Milan fans, according to La Gazzetta. "We're all with him.

"There were certain things that happened [last season] which led to both [Juventus] and I taking this decision. When Milan came in, I jumped at the chance to join them, also thanks to the work of Fassone and Mirabelli.

"With Juventus, we decided to go separate ways. It happens that you have arguments in life. Wearing and winning with this shirt makes you go down in history."

 

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has finally touched down in Nairobi, Kenya where he is set to conduct  football training camps with four community clubs in Nairobi on December 15 and 16.

Henry jetted in on Friday December 15 in a tour organized by the Guinness Made of Black programme, which aims at giving Kenyan football fans a chance to meet the former Gunners forward. The 40 year-old is ultimately partnering with Guinness to celebrate the unique passion of African fans across the tournament.

The French International is well known for his time with Arsenal where he went on to establish himself as the club's leading with 228 goals in all competitions and won two league titles and three FA Cups with them.

Speaking to the Daily Nation, Guinness Kenya Marketing Manager Nduku Wamakau said, “Henry will hold a football clinic for coaches from the teams and later advise players on how to progress in football as a profession, 

“Kenya has so much football talent. However, many times players miss out on the guidance and career advice that can take them to the next level. We believe this camp will be an eye-opener for players who want to grow to become professionals,” she added.

On Saturday, Henry who also played for Barcelona will be at the Impala Grounds for the Guinness Fan Zone.

 

BEN Foster believes Albion need to build on the “bit of momentum” they gained from a battling goalless draw against Liverpool on Wednesday.

Manchester United visit the Hawthorns this weekend for a match that could be the goalkeeper's 200th in a Baggies shirt, and he insists his team will go into the game with a positive frame of mind after their midweek showing. 

“It was a tough match and Anfield is a really tough place to go but I thought the whole team performed really well,” said Foster.

“It wasn’t only a defensive display because when we actually got the ball I thought we tried to go for it and nick something.

“To come away with a clean sheet is no mean feat. There’s going to be a lot of teams that cost a lot more money and have bigger wages than us that come away from Liverpool having conceding quite a few goals.

“So we were really pleased - it’s a good way to bounce back from a disappointing result against Swansea.

“I think we’ll all pat ourselves on the back but we’ve got another tough match on Sunday, and we can at least take a lot of confidence into that.

“I think everyone to a man played really, really well so it’s a little bit of momentum to take into the Manchester United game."

 

Roy Hodgson admits Christian Benteke's current form is a concern and says Crystal Palace cannot afford to carry a striker that isn't scoring.

Benteke has not scored since May and missed an injury-time penalty against Bournemouth last weekend that could have won Palace the match.

The Belgian was not the designated penalty taker, leaving Hodgson frustrated that his striker had taken matters into his own hands with usual taker Luka Milivojevic, who scored earlier from the spot, still being on the pitch.

Speaking before Crystal Palace's trip to play Leicester on Saturday, Hodgson said: "Of course when your front player - the man who is a pivotal focal point in your attack - is not scoring, it's a concern.

"It's a concern to him, it's a concern to us and it's a concern to fans.

"He can do nothing more than keep working at it, keep working very, very hard."

Benteke's form is a particular problem for 18th-placed Palace given they have only scored 12 Premier League goals this season - only bottom-of-the-table Swansea have scored fewer.

The Belgian cost over £30m when he signed from Liverpool in August 2016, and Hodgson warned Benteke that Palace can't afford to carry him.

He said: "If the goals aren't coming he needs to be making certain he's making a good contribution to the team's play, both in terms of our attacking and our defensive play.

"We certainly can't afford to carry anybody, let alone carry a goalscorer that isn't scoring goals."

 

Fabinho has announced he wants to leave Monaco in the summer, with Manchester United interested in a move for the Brazil international.

The 24-year-old expressed his desire to join United last summer but a deal never materialised and he remained at Monaco. 

But Fabinho has now confirmed he is ready to leave the club, with Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid also keen on a move. 

'It should be my last season at Monaco,' Fabinho told reporters at a press conference. 'Atletico or PSG? I’m a Monaco player. 

'I need to prove I can play on teams like that. We'll see in May. I used to read the papers. I don't anymore. I'm OK with that.'

Fabinho claimed he had reached a verbal agreement with the club's hierarchy over his exit, though he downplayed the prospect of leaving in the January window.

When asked whether he could leave the club next month, Fabinho said: 'I don't think so. I have had no contact [from other clubs] and I'm secure at Monaco.'

Fabinho admitted his head was turned by Monaco's Ligue 1 rivals PSG earlier this season but refused to force through a move out of loyalty.

He said he was 'closer to leaving than staying' at one point and said he was no longer 'giving his maximum' for Leonardo Jardim's side. 

The versatile star was a key member of Monaco's Ligue 1-winning team last season but while many of his team-mates left, including Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy and Tiemoue Bakayoko, Fabinho stayed to defend the prize. 

Fabinho has been at Monaco since 2013, though his first two seasons in the principality were spent on loan from Brazilian outfit Rio Ave. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has expressed his sympathy for Gianluigi Donnarumma after the goalkeeper was reduced to tears following insulting targets by Milan fans on Wednesday evening.

The 18-year-old had a hard time this summer when there were contract disputes and after renewing his stay with the Italian side, latest claims indicate that his agent Mino Raiola has asked Milan to cancel the deal which was signed during the summer.

Before Milan’s clash with Verona in the Coppa Italia, a banner was held up by the home fans at San Siro which read: ‘Psychological violence by giving you €6 million a season & signing your parasite brother? It’s time to leave…our patience with you is over!’

‘He’s an 18-year-old kid, of course he was shaken. I can only thank him for what he’s doing,’ said Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso. 

‘For his age, he’s the best goalkeeper in the world right now. You can tell from his face he’s not happy, but I have known a great athlete and great kid. He will have my protection, for all the protection I can give. 

‘If the club says it doesn’t need to sell anyone, nor wants to, then why should we even talk about this?

‘I respect the fans, but he sulked at me for four days because I left him at home for the first time in seven months. He never skipped a training session, let alone a game. 

‘I feel terrible about this, as people are painting a kid as if he’s a monster and he doesn’t deserve it. ‘Fortunately, there were only 9,000 people in the stadium tonight, imagine how it’d feel if there were 50,000 insulting him.’

 

 

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Those who love him, love him with so much passion. Those who hate him, also do so with the same gusto. If a book on ‘The most hated footballers’ were ever to be written, several chapters would be dedicated to him.

Matatu culture is part of living in Nairobi City and the transport means used by all. Soccer fans use their own cars, buses and matatus for traveling to away matches.

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Eric Ochieng' aka Cantona is one of most iconic soccer athletes to grace Kenya Premier League in the 1990s.

He is the Kenyan version of Portuguese super agent Jorge Paulo Agostinho Mendes. He is many things to many people, and recently added another feather to his cap by venturing into player and coaches representation. Starting off as a journalist, he grew through the ranks to become a Television producer, took the big risk and ventured into football administration, before jumping ship to start what has been a largely successful venture of talent management.

The day is September 26th 2010. Kenya U-20 coach Vince Ombiji brought on a young and promising player as the national junior side took on Lesotho. The rookie had an almost immediate impact, as he ran down the Lesotho defense rugged. Fleet foot works, pacy and pin point crosses made him a darling to the fans instantly. Kenya’s next big thing was alive.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has landed 0.75 billion shillings from FIFA in a grant that is aimed to make the federation set up and manage their inhouse media activities.

Kenyanstar has learnt from sources privy to the deal that the world governing body has agreed to hand the Federation a grant of USD 7.5M to set up their own media production for the league matches.

The news coming barely weeks after Supersport suspended their broadcast deal with Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and later on laying off staff earlier on this week, will be welcome to the soccer industry.

FKF president has been in the news saying how FKF and the KPL would be produced in-house and availed for free to air (FTA) TV channels.

To reduce pressure in starting up, our sources say, FKF will absorb the staff that were working for Supersport to do the production and there is likelihood they may buy the studio Supersport had set up in Nairobi.

Rayon Sports Club have confirmed that former Sofapaka and Amavubi goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana is no more. Unconfirmed reports claim that a heart attack on Tuesday September 12 at his home was the cause of his death.

Mutuyimana started professional football with Rwandese side Kiyovu Sport before joining Police Kibungo in 2011.The 26-year old then moved to Kenyan side Sofapaka in June 2014 where he played for three seasons. He later moved to Rayon SC, where he was the reserve goalkeeper until his demise.

Mutuyimana has also featured for the Rwanda national team, his most notable appearance being in a 5-1 loss to Tunisia in an International Friendly back in May 2012.

“As Rayon Sports officials, we want convey our message of condolences to all the club fans and family following the death of goalkeeper Evariste Mutuyimana this Tuesday morning.” his club posted on social media.

 

Following the news that Serena Williams was two months pregnant when she won the Grand Slam, Rev. Fred Nile MP, has called for the world champion to be stripped of the title, claiming “foetal personhood” means she was unfairly advantaged.

“She was playing doubles in a singles tournament!” Nile screamed at the ‘Day of the Unborn Child’ protest.

“I believe that ‘life at conception’ should be the law, and that clearly means two people won the Grand Slam,” said Nile, who is both an avid fan of professional tennis and aggressively campaigning to legislate how people use their uterus.

“That’s clearly against the rules!”

However, feminists argue Nile’s view that pregnancy is a sporting advantage shows ignorance to the realities facing those who are pregnant.

“Serena Williams was in control of her own body during the Grand Slam tournament, and as such has the right to her title, and the right, always, to bodily autonomy”, said Immy Grantson, an outspoken activist campaigning for progress on women’s issues.

“Williams, like all people, has the right to choose what she does with her body: whether that be powerful backhands, and/or be pregnant”, said Grantson.

This comes at a crucial time in New South Wales legislation. Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi’s End12 Campaign hopes to make it legal for world class athletes to choose whether or not they are pregnant.

When asked for comment by The Garter Press, Venus Williams, who lost to Serena Williams under the now contentious circumstances, said she was “excited to be an aunt”.

Tanzanian government have informed SportPesa Limited that they also want to see a Tanzanian team play against Everton on July 12 at the National Stadium. Gor Mahia are the ones with the opportunity after winning the SportPesa Super Cup finals.

Director of Sports Development in the Ministry of Information, Youth, Culture and Sports Yusuph Singo confirmed that they have asked the betting firm to organize a friendly match between Everton and one of Tanzania's bigwigs.

``We have asked them (SportPesa) to organse a special friendly match between Yanga and Simba later this month,'' said Singo.

``If all goes well, the winner of the match will confront Everton at the National Stadium. I am sure many local soccer fans would like to see the English Premier League team face one of the top teams in the country,'' he added.

 

Everton are considering a pre-season friendly in Tanzania as part of their expected new sponsorship deal with SportPesa.

Former Inter Milan midfielder McDonald Mariga has come out to praise the Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the key role he has paid in developing the career of his brother Victor Wanyama.  

The Kenyan International skipper has been a vital part of the Spurs midfield, prove of just how much Pochettino trusts Wanyama. Big Vic first played under the Argentine gaffer at Southampton and were later reunited at Tottenham last summer.

“He (Wanyama) said Pochettino is the coach who has made him. He’s the one who, when Victor came to Southampton, he taught him what to do and how to play, all the things. He’s the one who taught him everything and made even more qualities for Victor. He gave him exposure and confidence. If you don’t have confidence from the coach, you cannot perform well. He’s helped him a lot,” Mariga told ESPN.

Pochettino’s favorite 3-4-2-1 formation has suited Wanyama perfectly as he provides cover to the wing backs when they move forward to attack, something that has put Wanyama in favor with both the manager and the Spurs supporters.

The midfielder will be expected to take his spot back in the starting XI for the FA Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea at Wembley this Saturday evening after a minor injury.

As the title race stiffens and Spurs still on track for the cup glory, Wanyama may just be the rock Tottenham needs to win the first trophy in over years.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)

 

 

 

Work has been completed on the first proposed venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - the Khalifa International Stadium. More than five years before the tournament kicks off, Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has confirmed extensive renovations on the 40,000-seater venue are now finished.

The renovations include the installation of revolutionary cooling technology promised during Qatar's successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26 degrees and the stands somewhere between 24 and 28 degrees.

SC secretary general H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi said: "The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

"As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I'm proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for."

The stadium, originally constructed in 1976, will first host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday and will also be the venue for the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships.

Qatar Football Association (QFA) president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani added: "Khalifa International Stadium is close to Qatari hearts and has seen some of Qatar's biggest sporting occasions over the years since it was first launched in 1976.

"It is therefore a fitting venue for the biggest match of Qatar's football calendar, the 2017 Emir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, and we look forward to welcoming fans into the magnificent remodelled stadium on Friday evening."

Former Arsenal and Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has described joining Crystal Palace as the “worst decision” of his career.

The 33-year-old Togolese striker is currently playing for Turkish side ?stanbul Ba?ak?ehir after being released by the Eagles in the summer of 2016.

Adebayor signed a six-month deal with Palace at the beginning of 2016 – a decision he says he would reverse if given the opportunity.

“I had some great experiences in England in clubs who are among the best in the country,” he told L’Équipe, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

“I was happy there, my family too. The only error that I made was to sign for Crystal Palace in January 2016.

“I did it just to please my entourage, who were saying to me: ‘Manu, you have to start playing again!’ It was the worst decision of my career.”

He would played 15 senior matches for Palace under then boss Alan Pardew scoring once in a losing effort to Watford.

It turned out to be his worst return for a single club since turning professional nearly 20 years ago with hometown side AC Merlan Lome.

Prior to relocating to Selhurst Park, the enigmatic centre-forward had already plied his trade with three different English clubs, most notably Arsenal from whom he joined Manchester City before returning to North London with Tottenham Hotspur.

In his first season with Ba?ak?ehir, the former Monaco man, has managed to register six goals across 11 league appearances including a hat-trick against Galatasaray.