Cartels Are Making My Time Difficult at Gor Mahia- Nyangi

She draws both admiration and hate in equal measure. Some would call her the Margaret Thatcher of Kenyan football - a fearless leader who takes on anything and anyone. From a stern critic of the previous administration, she now is at the helm of the club she holds dear to heart.Interestingly she  is being served by the same dose she served the previous administration. Probably twice.

100 days in office and she has rubbed many the wrong way. She has stalked controversy everywhere she goes, with critics putting to question her leadership capability, her character and education.

Kenyanstar sat down with Judith Anyango for a no-holds barred interview where she opens up on her career, family, Gor Mahia and why she won't get tired fighting for what he says, ‘The right thing.’

Kenyanstar: Kindly introduce yourself. Who is Judith Anyango?
Judith Anyango: Judith Anyango Omondi is the current Organising secretary for Gor Mahia FC. I am a business lady and a mother with three sons.

KS: Tell us about your role at Gor Mahia
JA: As the organising secretary, my work is to make sure that the technical bench and players are fine. This is to mean they get the best that they need. Whenever they have an issues, I communicate that to the senior club management. I also am the link between the club and the fans. I meet the fans and branches, take their opinion and involve them in club matters.

KS: You were the Kenya national U-20 football kit manager. Tell us about your time there…
JA: I enjoyed my time at the national team, and it was a pleasure working with Nick Mwendwa’s team. I worked as a kit manager for the junior team because I love nurturing young talent.

KS: You seem to be an advocate for youth football development. We also have seen you take part actively in the Gor U-20 team…
JA: I was brought up in a low class area and I would see young boys die as a result of crime and drugs, all because they were idle. This pushed me to start nurturing young kids to take part in football, so they can stay away from drugs and crime.

KS: In many incidences, you have had issues with player agents. What has it been all about?
JA: Football agents in Kenya have one agenda - To enrich themselves. Not the players. My stand still remains that some of these young players should be left to develop locally first before they are hurriedly taken abroad, where they fail to prosper.

KS: On 3rd March 2016 you told Citizen Digital - In Gor, some people want to bring their cousins and players from their region so they can also get a cut- The last transfer window was marred by these claims on the TB and playing unit and yourself was also said to be part of these vice. How true is this?
JA: I have no relative in Gor Mahia myself. Sometimes ago when the head coach had issues with Matthew Ottomax, I defended him and also pushed for his reinstatement. That could not happen again when I came to office. We have given the coach a free hand to do his work, and work with whoever he wants. Ze Maria preferred to work with a trainer from Tusker or the national team. The coach did not know that Charles Omondi Korea was my relative. I was well aware that claims of nepotism would arise, and that is why we had Willis Ochieng'.

KS: In the same interview with Citizen Digital, you strongly criticised the Gor administration then together with Ambrose Rachier saying they were in there for personal gains. How true was this? Has anything changed now that you are in there?
JA:When you are outside as a fan, you have an opinion on the leaders. However, when you come into office, you realize how deep the problem is. Ambrose Rachier uses all his money and resources in helping the club. Without Rachier the club cannot be sustainable.

KS: You were part of a group called OGOI, whose agenda, it was claimed, was to destabilize the Gor management. How was this group formed and has your agenda been achieved?
JA: OGOI is a very strong movement. We would come to training in the afternoon, then we started being referred to as idlers. That is the genesis of that name OGOI. Our work was to keep the team on toes, and also check for players who were not fit, like the Brazilian. We did not like the idea of bringing in foreigners like him to play where we have better local players.

KS: On November 23 you were quoted by saying that some of your key goals when elected as OS would be to foster peace for proper performance and also bring organization into the club. 110 days in, has this been achieved?
JA: My goals was to put the team together. There are however, cartels in the club who are fighting me. I came to the club to fight such vices as those being committed by stewards and also streamline our ticketing systems. Some officials are however, siding with these cartels. I get opposition from all corners. Change is certainly not easy. I was elected by fans, and when things run out of hand completely, I will report back to them.

KS: One of your key campaign areas was branches. How is this going about?
JA:I have met branches from Kisumu and Nairobi. They say that I am the first official to interact with them. Branches are happy and would like to be part of this change. I am currently lobbying to have them recognised by the club constitution.

KS: Another of your key campaign pillars was the promise to deliver a ‘seamless e-ticketing system to the club to ensure transparency.’ You, and other club officials, are currently under fire for allegedly plotting to steal ticket money in Kisumu. How true is this?
JA: I am not part of that cartel. I was not involved in the match logistics in Kisumu.I want to ask that they shouldn't tie my hands. I should be left to handle match logistics, then we shall see the difference.

KS: Is there division in the office?
JA: Whatever has happened recently is a pointer. The chairman should certainly call for a meeting, where we shall iron out these things and have everyone assigned their roles.

KS: As you build branches, there is the issue of K’Ogalo Divas. We no longer see them…
JA: All K’Ogalo Divas got married. They only come to the stadium as veterans. That was a branch on its own, but it died due the aforementioned reasons.

KS: Your leadership has come under strong criticism: Some say you rule with an iron fist, others say you lack proper management skills. This is also the case for your education. What is your response to this?
JA: The problem I have had since coming in is I get fought for trying to do things the right way. I have been fighting the website guys for instance together with the stewards. These are people who don not want things to be done in the right way. The website is owned by five guys who use the Gor Mahia brand. They run adverts on the site. The club does not earn a dime from the same. How then do they refuse to be answerable to the club? Encouraging such things as the website is similar to encouraging a trader in Eastleigh to sale fake jerseys. We have to change how things are done.
On the issue of leadership and skills, there is nothing like skills at Gor Mahia. I have been a leader myself in many areas, and I currently am the chair of the large Gikomba market, working for hundreds of traders and I have a huge support staff. I went to school up to university level and I do not understand what skills some people want from me. Critics should learn to differentiate the person that I am as a fan and a leader.

KS: You have been accused of being intoxicated and drinking alcohol in the training camp. How true is this? Do you feel it is a concern to the team?
JA: Those are rumours being peddled by some bitter people who want to set me up against the fans. I do drink, but that happens at my leisure time away from the camp. When around the team and on duty, I know my work. There is time for everything.

KS: We have previously talked to Collins Okoth and Matthew Ottomax who accuse you of a couple of things. Is there any issue between yourself and them?
JA: Ottomax is a good friend, and we exchange banter quite a lot. We have no differences.
For Collins; I was a die hard fan of Collins Okoth while I was just  a fan. Then, he used to do awkward things. Last year, the team needed him badly and as the patron of OGOI I fought to have him reinstated to the team. I also would sit with him and advise him to change.
When I was elected, he thought that I would favour him. I cannot entertain him and that is why we have had lots of differences. A day to a match, he fails to come to training. I can't protect him. Last year, we lost when he failed to turn up for some matches.
This year, however, we have lots of options in the midfield. We have been winning without him so far. In camp, he harasses and sends threatening messages to the new players. I am aware of these things. In Gor Mahia, no one can confront Collins except myself and he knows that I cannot entertain his nonsense. When Collins realized that I wasn't ready to stand his behaviour, he began saying negative things about me. I am an official and he is a player, he needs to focus.
In Kisumu against Zoo, the coach named him in the team, and luckily he showed up. Then, the coach opted not to field him in the first eleven. While on the bench, it was then reported to me that he removed his shoes and socks and threw them. During the match after Wellington was yellow carded, the coach sought to make a substitution. To his surprise, Collins did not have his shoes on. The coach opted for another player. Such behaviour cannot be condoned. The boy has to change.

KS: Is Collins bigger than the club?
JA: No. It is just that last year we had no options. This year, things are different and I don't think he will give us any trouble.

KS: You are said to be Ambrose Rachier puppet, and that you are driving someone’s agenda…
JA: I am not Rachier’s puppet. Yes, I criticised him while I was a fan. Many expected that to be the case when I get elected. However, when elected, you have to create friendship and work with all other officials. Not fight. I will only differ with Rachier when he fails to do his job.

KS: In many instances, you have had nasty and messy outbursts on social media. Why is it so? Don't you feel that is a little unprofessional?
JA: I am not ashamed of the social media outbursts. There are people out here who feel that when you are elected as an official, they can insult you and say negative things about you while you watch. I cannot entertain that and I serve everyone the same dose they serve me.

KS:110 days in office? How is it going about?
JA:  I have been elected for four years. When you are new somewhere, you are bound to meet challenges. However, with time, things will be streamlined and we shall move forward.

KS: Thanks Judith!

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Muhoroni Youth will on Saturday 29 April be at home to face reigning Premier League champions Tusker FC at Muhoroni Stadium, with the kick-off time at 15:00. Tusker FC came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win over Nakumatt FC on Wednesday while Muhoroni were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom placed Zoo Kericho.
The two sides have met six times in the last three seasons, Tusker thrashing Muhoroni thrice, drawing twice and Muhoroni registering one win. After seven matches, Muhoroni lie in 12th position with nine points after recording two wins, two draws and three losses. Tusker are one place above Muhoroni, settling for 11th position with nine points after two wins, three draws and two losses.

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Premier League leaders face a daunting task  of maintaining their unbeaten streak when they face AFC Leopards in round 8 of the Kenya Premier League on Saturday 15:00 at Afraha Stadium. Rangers, who are unbeaten this season, will look to preserve their impressive form and retain the top spot with a win against Ingwe. Leopards on the other side will head into the game hungry for a win, especially after their mid-week 1-0 loss to Sofapaka where Stewart Hall blasted his players’ non-quality performance.
The two sides met twice last season, with no one able to snatch a win after both matches ended in draws. They have met six times in five years, Leopards coming out on top two times while all the other four ended in draws. Posta Rangers currently sit at the summit of the Premier League table with seventeen points while Leopards are fourth with thirteen points from seven matches.

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Chemelil Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks face off in round 8 of the Kenya Premier League fixtures on Saturday 29 April at 15:00. Chemelil, who have registered wins in all games that they have played at home this season, will be looking to do exactly that and bag all three points. Sharks will also come into the match with a winning mentality, especially after overcoming Thika United in their mid-week clash.
Chemelil are sixth in the table standings, having registered three wins, three draws and only one loss so far. Sharks on the other hand are 10th on the log with three wins, zero draws and four losses

Premier League new boys Nzoia United are scheduled to play their eight game of the season against Sony Sugar on Saturday 29 April at Sudi Stadium from 15:00. Nzoia, who are so far the best performers among all promoted teams, will be expecting to come out victorious especially after winning two of their last three matches, with the other one ending in a draw. Sony Sugar are winless in their last four matches and will be looking to overturn that disastrous form.
This will be the first premier league duel between the two teams. Nzoia United are currently in an impressive 7th position with eleven points, having garnered three wins, two draws and two losses. Sony Sugar have registered two wins, one draw and four losses which puts them in the 14th position with seven points.

Kenyan Edwin Rotich and 2016 Olympic marathon silver medallist Eunice Kirwa lead their respective fields at the Vodafone Istanbul Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (30).

Rotich ran his personal best of 59:32 in Valencia in October last year, and hasn’t competed in a half marathon since. However, the Kenyan showed good form when finishing in 46:46 at the Cherry Blossom 10 Miles in Washington DC earlier this month. He will start as one of the favourites in Istanbul in a field that includes six men who have broken the event’s one-hour barrier.

Evans Kiplagat of Azerbaijan returns to run the city’s major half marathon for the third year in a row. His winning time of 1:00:13 from 2015 stands as the race record, though it is 17 seconds shy of his career best.

Adugna Takele, the fastest Ethiopian over the distance in 2016 with 59:40, is another outstanding name in the field. The 28-year-old crossed the finish line in 1:01:14 at the RAK Half Marathon in Ras al-Khaimah in February.

There were to be two more fast Ethiopians on the starting line, however, both Tamirat Tola and Guye Adola withdrew from the race due to injury and illness respectively.

Other leading names include Kenya’s Vincent Kipsegechi Yator, who has a best of 59:55 from 2015, and Morocco’s national record holder Aziz Lahbabi with 59:25.

Peter Kwemoi Ndorobo is not to be written off in the battle for victory on Sunday. The Kenyan ran exactly the same time in Ostia in 2016 and 2017, 1:00:13, which stands as his best.

Also lining up will be Tanzania’s Ismail Juma, who was ninth in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Guiyang 2015.

The women’s race will host Kirwa, the Rio 2016 Olympic marathon silver medallist, who also took bronze in the event at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015. The 32-year-old Bahraini clocked 1:08:07 in Marugame in February, her only half marathon this year.

However, the fastest woman on paper is Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia. The 27-year-old finished in a time of 1:06:14 in Prague last year to become the world all-time number 10 over the distance.

Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich has been a fast improver this year. Starting the year with 1:09:06 in Adana, she shaved off nearly a minute from that time to win in 1:08:08 in Paris in early March, following with an impressive 1:07:42 in Milan, another victory within the same month. The next target for Chepngetich would the fourth win of the year with another improvement.

Hiwot Gebrekidan will also be setting her sights on a podium finish after she won her first ever half marathon, clocking 1:08:00 in Copenhagen last September. The Ethiopian, who will celebrate her 22nd birthday two weeks after her second race over the distance, is one of the youngest elite women to run in Istanbul on Sunday.

The chairperson of Athletics Kenya (AK) has revealed that another "high-profile athlete" has failed a doping test, just weeks after it emerged Rio Olympics marathon champion Jemima Sumgong tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. 

Jackson Tuwei said that the IAAF, the sport's global governing body, had found the positive test but said the identity of the athlete could not yet be revealed. 

Kenya's middle and long distance success has been marred by doping cases involving elite athletes. Officials estimate the number of positive tests at about 50 in the past four years. 

"There is another high-profile athlete who has also failed a doping test but we have to wait for legal procedures to be followed," Tuwei told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. 

"Obviously we cannot say who the athlete is." 

News of the test comes after Sumgong, who last year became the first Kenyan woman to win Olympic gold in the marathon, tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO (erythropoietin) in an out-of-competition test carried out by IAAF. 

Doping was made a criminal offence in Kenya in June 2016. 

Tuwei said the IAAF had rejected Sumgong's explanation about the circumstances that led to her positive test. 

"Her explanation has been rejected and she has been ordered to send a more convincing explanation before further action is taken," Tuwei said. 

Sumgong's positive test came in the wake of a four-year ban handed to Kenya's multi-marathon champion Rita Jeptoo, Sumgong's former training partner, after she tested positive for EPO in 2014. 

“We also wish to send a very strong message to athletes representatives, doctors, coaches and all athletes support personnel that those found culpable or proved to be encouraging our athletes in this line of sporting subterfuge will be charged as prescribed by the law of the land,” AK said in a separate statement on Thursday. 

Sumgong, 32, was among the six Kenyan gold medallists in Rio, which was the country's best performance at an Olympics.

Two-time Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha will make his 1000m debut at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 28 June.

"I'm really looking forward to my race in Ostrava," Rudisha said. "It will be my third race of the season but most interestingly for me it's my first time to run 1000 metres!"

Testing himself in off distances isn't anything new for Rudisha who last season in his run-up to a successful Olympic 800m title defence, broke the African record over 600m at the Birmingham leg of the IAAF Diamond League, clocking 1:13.10.

But going up in distance is uncharted territory for the 28-year-old, who famously broke his own 800m world record in the 2012 Olympic final.

"I'm excited to try this race. People are always asking me how would I run at 1500. I always say that's too far to run against the miler guys! But 1000m is of course shorter and closer to my racing distance.

"I've got no time or plan in mind but I'm excited to test myself and see what I can do," added Rudisha, who will be competing in the Czech city for the fifth time.

One publicly unstated goal could be the meeting record of 2:15.08 set by Ilham Tanui Ozbilen of Turkey in 2014, the fastest time that year over the rarely-run distance.

Rudisha is the latest Olympic champion announced for the meeting's 56th edition. Previously announced were 400m world record holder and Rio winner Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa who'll contest the 300m, double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain, who'll compete in the 10,000m, Thomas Rohler of Germany, who'll contest the javelin, and Christian Taylor of the US in the triple jump.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) board has voted for changes to its governance and financial model.

Cricket's global governing body will reverse reforms made in 2014, which gave more political and financial power to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The new changes will create a more equitable distribution of revenues from ICC global events and partnerships but will not revert to the equal share among Test-playing full members that existed until three years ago. The 14-member board voted at the end of its meeting this week at the ICC headquarters in Dubai.

The BCCI, however, is believed to have been the sole opponent to the financial changes, which must be ratified by the ICC council in June. Rumours emanating from India suggest that the board will consider pulling out of the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales, having already missed the deadline for submitting a squad.

The changes will be seen as a blow to India's increasingly dominant position in the international game, with the ICC known to be aiming to decrease its financial and cultural dependence on the sub-continental market through its efforts to further globalise the sport.

Over the current eight-year cycle to 2023, the BCCI would now stand to earn US$293 million rather than US$570 million, the ECB would take US$143 million, and Zimbabwe Cricket would receive US$94 million. The remaining seven full member boards - from Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - will receive US$132 apiece, with second-tier Associate members set to share US$280 million.

Revisions to the ICC constitution were also approved by 12 votes to two. These include measures to add full members to the organisation subject to meeting key requirements, with a new membership committee established to consider applications. The third-tier Affiliate level of membership is also set to be scrapped, with the lower two tiers consolidated under the Associate banner.

Manchester United held on for a goalless draw in a frantic Manchester derby at the Etihad after midfielder Marouane Fellaini was sent off. The Belgian lost the plot in the 84th minute in a moment of madness when he was booked for bringing down Sergio Aguero, and seconds later he walks over to the Argentine and delivers a headbutt. The referee Martin Atkinson had no choice but to show him a straight red card.

City, who dominated most of the game, thought they had a late winner when Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus noded home a Sergio Aguero cross from a close range but was flagged offside. The young Brazilian, who was put on as a late substitute for his first appearance since being injured in February, took some time to realise his goal won't stand.

The draw leaves City in fourth place, still a point and a place  ahead of their local rivals as Unites extends their unbeaten run to 24 league games.

Manchester will be at a stand still when City welcomes United in the third Manchester derby of the season. Champions League qualification spots are at stake an incentive that will psyche up the players more for the encounter, as if any extra drive was necessary.

The Citizens are a point ahead of their rivals at fourth with 64 points. They will be hoping the FA Cup semi final exit at the hands of Arsenal won't affect their League form. They are however on the back of two consecutive Premeir League wins. 

Pep Guardiola is looking forward to the game and insists United are a very good team with a very good squad. "They are good, good rivals, good quality, in good form. They've had big series without defeat in the Premier League. They have a lot of quality, history. We're looking forward to the game," said the City boss.

United on the other hand remain undefeated in the League since October, remarkable as that might be, most of their results have been draws. They have however collected maximum points in the last 3 league games including a 2-0 win over leaders Chelsea. A run that see them move within a point of top four.

Jose Mourinho affirmed his main target is to qualify for the Champions League and not to finish above their city rivals. Of course United still have the Europa League route to the Champions League.

"It means nothing. If we finish fifth and they finish sixth and we are above them it means nothing," said Mourinho. "If they finish third and we finish fourth they are above us, but it means a lot," he added.

The match will be played at 10pm local time.

Real Madrid played one of the best games of the season and they thrashed (2-6) Deportivo de la Coruña at Riazor. It wasn’t an easy stadium -Barcelona lost and Atlético Madrid drew- but Los Blancos made an exhibition. Again, the substitutes show Zidane that they deserve more minutes. Especially Isco, again brilliant.

Zidane might think in giving the opportunity in the big games to some of these players. Isco, Asensio or Morata are highlighting every time they have the chance. Kovacic or James Rodríguez show also a great quality when they have minutes. If Modric, Bale or Benzema are not fit, perhaps these are the solutions. Today, they play one of the best games of the season.

Messi four goals shy of another milestone at Camp Nou.

Messi is only 4 goals away from his 200th league goal at the Camp Nou.

188 appearances

196 goals

  70 assists


The 2017 CAF Champions League Draw was done earlier today in Cairo, Egypt.

The CAF Champions League is Africans' premier club football competition that sees top African clubs in their countries go ahead to head to be crowned champions.

The first round of group fixtures will start on the weekend of May 12. The groups are as follows:

Group A consists of Tunisia powerhouse Etoile du Sahel, Sudanese sides Al Hilal, and Al-Merrikh SC and Mozambique's Clube Ferroviario de Maputo.

Five time Champions League winners  Zamalek lead Group B. They play Zimbabwe Premier League champions CAPS United, USM Alger of Algeria, and Ahli Tripoli of Libyan.

African champions Mamelodi Sundowns will fight to retain their CAF Champions League title following tbeir group stage draw with AS Vita. The South African club will have a score to settle with AS Vita from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a side that was disqualified in last year’s edition to give the Brazilians a way back into the competition despite being knocked out.
The Brazilians will face AS Vita  as well as Saint George S.C. of Ethiopia and Espérance Sportive de Tunis of Tunisia in group C.

Egyptian giants Al Ahly who are on their way to claiming yet another Premier League title, play Wydad Athletic Club, Coton Sport and Zanaco in Group D.

The Gunners went into their Wednesday Premeir League clash against Leceister with only a win to suffice as they try to keep their Champions League hopes alive.

The match against the champions was cagey as they were happy to stay back and let Arsenal kick the ball around with no goal mouth action. It was Mahrez who got the first shot on target, a free shot resulting from a corner but the Algerian drove it right on Cech's path who punched it away.

Leceister showed little gimpses of their old self the little time they had the ball with Vardy and Mahrez hitting the side netting.

Granit Xhaka controlled the midfield as he occasionally sprayed long balls to the wings but the Leicester defence was solid. Theo Walcott got Arsenal's first shot on target when he dipped the ball past a Leicester defender and drew a superb save from Kasper Schmeichel.

Alexis Sanchez had a frustrating first half as he lost possesion on a couple of ocassion but showed what he is capable of on the brink of half time when his shot at the esge of the box hit the crossbar. Level it went at half time.

The second have started on a similar note with Leicester resolute at the back and Arsenal keeping the ball with no break through. Both teams made changes and it was the introductoon of Olivier Giroud for Arsenal that provided presence in the Leicester box. With 4 minutes to go Sanchez's deflected cross aimed at Giroud was knocked back to Nacho Monreal who drilled it towards goal and the ball took a wicked deflection on Roberth Huth for an own goal. 1-0 to the Gunners.

With 4 added minutes Arsenal tried wasting time with Sanchez trying some tricks that landed him in the referee's book with a yellow card. The vital win moved Arsenal to sixth with Leicester's relegation worries back.

In other games, Middlesbrough got one past Sunderland to take them within 6 points of safety at 27 points while Sunderland remain rooted at the bottom with 21 points.

Tottenham got a vital 1-0 away win against Crystal Palace to keep them in touching distance to the league leaders.

The 14th edition of the CAF Confederation Cup Draw held in Cairo, Egypt is out.

CAF Confederation Cup is the second African football club competition organised by Confederation of African Football, CAF after the CAF Champions league. This seasons competition has extended participants in the grouo stage from 8 clubs to 16. The winner of the Confederation Cup will face the winner of the CAF Champions League in the 2018 CAF Super Cup.

Jesse Were's Zesco United is drawn in Group C while defending champions TP Mazembe are drawn in Group D alongside Supersport United.

The full Draw of the knockout stages are as follows:

Club Africain
Rivers United
Kampala CCA

Platinum Stars
MC Alger
Mbabane Swallows

Zesco United
Club R.D. do Libolo
Al Hilal Elobeid

TP Mazembe
Supersport United
Horoya AC
CF Mounana

First matches are set to be played between 12-14th of May.

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been banned from football for 18 months after an FA hearing over breaches of betting rules according to Sky Sports.

 Barton accepted a misconduct charge in February and requested a personal hearing after he was accused of placing 1,260 bets on football over a span of 10 years.

An FA statement read: "Joey Barton has been suspended from football and all football activity for 18-months with immediate effect after he admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting.

"It was alleged that between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016, he placed 1,260 bets on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, football matches or competitions in breach of FA Rule E8.

"Following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, the Burnley midfielder was also fined £30,000 and warned as to his future conduct.

Barton wrote in his own statement: "The decision effectively forces me into an early retirement from playing football. To be clear from the outset here this is not match fixing and at no point in any of this is my integrity in question.

"I accept that I broke the rules governing professional footballers, but I do feel the penalty is heavier than it might be for other less controversial players. I have fought addiction to gambling and provided the FA with a medical report about my problem. I'm disappointed it wasn't taken into proper consideration."

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Kenyanstar: Thank you for your time. Tell us about your football journey so far.

John Ndirangu: I started playing competitive football at Nakuru AllStars when I was in form 2, by then the club was in playing in Nationwide League. I was with them all along, even when they got promoted in 2014 to the Kenya Premier League.  As a footballer, I have faced both difficult and easy times.

KS: Where did this nickname Softie come from?

JN: I rarely talk too much, and people say my face is soft. So, Softie.

KS: Please tell us about your time at Nakuru AllStars.

JN: It was a bit hard for me since there were the demands on the pitch and at the same time I was schooling. I had to carefully plan my time. However, sometimes it was difficult for me because I had to leave school for training and when I got back to class I was so tired and couldn't focus fully.  

KS: You made a name for yourself  while you were at Allstars. Tell us about your time playing there and your relationship with the players, coach, management etc.

JN: First, I would like to thank Robert Muthomi. He took me as his son, he took care of me,he used to advise me and  managed me well. I also thank everyone who coached me. During my time there, I learnt something from all coaches and this made me grow to who I am today. My teammates were also supportive, as football is a team sport and you support each other. 

KS: You would later join Bandari. However, you never stayed there for long...

JN: I would not wish to discuss about my time at Bandari. It was very difficult for me.

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

KS: Well, you at one point joined Kariobangi Sharks. What necessitated the move?  

JN: After Bandari I went back to Nakuru Allstars to get my form back. However, at the end of the season the team got relegated and so we agreed with Robert Muthomi, the CEO,  that since I had already made my name and was still young, it wasn't proper to play in the lower tier. Therefore I joined Kariobangi Sharks. We agreed with President Nick Mwendwa that if the team won't get promoted to the top league he releases me and that's what happened when I joined AFC Leopards.

KS: Leopards - You joined the club, lots of expectations, but left. Kindly tell us about your time at Leopards.

JN: I enjoyed my time at Leopards and would like to thank the management and coaches. They believed in me and I wish them all the the best. In December, I was asked by Leopards to look for a suitable club where I would go on loan and I felt it was not good for me. Therefore I  asked them to just release me instead. As a team last season we were unlucky not to do well and meet the expectations but I personally think that I played my part and was very surprised when they suggested a loan move for me in the transfer window. 

KS: You have some serious football skills. Very good running, very good dribbles. What's the tactical secret for you?

JN: Apart from talent in me I do watch skillful players like Neymar, Ronaldinho and Cristiano and try apply what I see on the pitch. Besides, I also work very hard.  

KS: Harambee Stars: You have grown from U-23 to the senior team. Tell us about your time and experience so far at Stars

JN: Each and every coach has his style of coaching and the kind of players he wants. I think during Bob Williamson's time I was called several times to the national team. He liked my dribbling skills and speed and he would tell me to just do that in the pitch, since that is what made him like me and give me a call up.  

KS: We haven't seen you at the national team in recent days. Why?

JN: As I have said each and every coach has his style of coaching and kind of players he wants. However, while at AFC Leopards I earned a call up.  

KS: You made what many call a 'daring move' by switching from Leopards to Gor. Do you feel it was a daring move or just any other normal transfer?

JN: I believe if you have talent and you work hard everything is possible. Talent can never be hidden. Kama unajua unajua. For me I see it as a normal move. My time will come and I'll shine.

KS: Gor Mahia - How is life there. What are your targets/goals?

JN: I am enjoying life at Gor. They do things professionally and think that's what differentiates Gor with other clubs. My target is to play as many games and help the team lift the title and in future I go to Europe. 

KS: You have been accused of the following: Missing training at times intentionally, partying a little too much and alcoholism. Your response?

JN: In life you must have friends and enemies and for you to make in life you must have enemies. All these stories came up when I was at Leopards. When Ivan Minnaert left a Luhya coach took over and he only wanted Luhya players. Therefore, Ian otieno and  I decided to stay at home because no matter how hard we worked in training, we weren't being considered.  On the issue of alcohol, I even cannot tell how it tastes. Yes, I used to go to clubs and watch football while drinking Delmonte juice.  

KS: Any closing words? 

JN: I just want to thank God for the gift of life and talent. I also want to tell my fans that they should  not lose hope in me. I know they believe in me and I won't fail them. 

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!


READ: John 'Softie' Ndirangu: Major Transfer Or Forced Out? 

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.

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”.

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

Drogba had been without a club since leaving MLS outfit Montreal Impact in November, after rejecting a move to Brazilian giants Corinthians in February.

However, the 39-year-old Ivorian striker has finally found a home in Phoenix, where he will also be part of their "MLS expansion franchise ownership group."

Phoenix are in their fourth season in the USL, 12th in the Western Conference with one win after three games.

"I have taken my time in deciding what I wanted to do next and am really excited about the opportunity at Phoenix Rising FC," said Drogba.

"After seeing firsthand the potential for expansion of the sport in North America and getting to know the ownership group in Phoenix, I am convinced that I can help them develop their organization on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to their continued success in the USL, and no city is better positioned than Phoenix for expansion into the MLS."

Drogba - a two-time African Footballer of the Year – scored 23 goals in 41 competitive appearances for the Impact, having won four Premier League titles and the Champions League among other trophies with Chelsea.

"We want our club and our city to be synonymous with international excellence, and Didier Drogba is a testament to Phoenix Rising FC's commitment to that mission,” said Phoenix Rising club governor Berke Bakay.

"Soccer is an international language understood by sports fans all over the world, and we want to help inspire fluency among new fans everywhere we play throughout North America."

Wilfried Zaha has rejected Gareth Southgate’s suggestion that he had imposed a timescale to be selected again by England, effectively holding the national team to ransom, and has defended his right to instead represent the country of his birth, Ivory Coast.

Bale and Ronaldo both played as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 yesterday. Goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro strengthened their grip on the La Liga title.

However, despite the victory, all is not well at the Santiago Bernabeu. Spanish outlet Diario Gol claimed yesterday that Ronaldo was fuming with Zinedine Zidane for substituting him late on.

The former Manchester United star provided the assist for Benzema's goal but was replaced by Isco in the 79th minute. It was said that Ronaldo believed Bale should have been substituted instead after an abject display.

But Diario Gol claim Bale was also angry after the game. The former Tottenham star's stock is rising in Spain after helping Madrid win the Champions League twice in the past three years. And the Wales international reportedly believes Ronaldo is preventing him from becoming the club's main man.

Bale has to play on the left wing due to Ronaldo's desire to play further up the field. He feels that Zidane is making a mistake by deploying him in that position as he prefers to play on the right, where he can cut inside.

Club chief Florentino Perez is now monitoring the situation as Madrid's two biggest stars aim to do outdo the other. 

"Victor suffered a big injury on his back and we’ll see now what happens. We’re sad for both players and now we have to wait," was Pochetino's response on Victor Wanyama's injury.

A friendly match between Ivory Coast and Senegal was abandoned after 88 minutes after crowd trouble spilled onto the pitch with dozens of fans invading the field of play and confronting players.

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