Look again, Okumbi is not the problem

I have no apologies to make for standing in Stanley Okumbi's corner even when experienced scribes like Clay Muganda are coming puffing and punching at the soft spoken tactician. There are many problems with Kenyan football and I can confidently say that Stanley Okumbi is not one of them. If he is then he falls deep down the list of things holding our football back. The only problem is that someone called Nick Mwenda, who is also the FKF President believes in him.

I was in Camp Toyoyo when KPL All Stars were playing a friendly match against Posta Rangers just before their trip to Spain. I looked at the squad Okumbi and his assistants Musa Otieno and John Kamau were taking through warm up paces and sighed silently. Like a woman who is looking for an excuse for her anger. I told a journalist I was with that the squad despite being young in age lacks pedigree. Our best football players in that age group, are not playing football. They are selling newspapers, second hand clothes and washing cars.

As I watched the match from Posta Rangers bench, I sat next to this energetic young Rangers' fan. Then a lady came by to sell us bananas and immediately called him by name. His excitement distracted coach Sammy Omollo from the match a little. The lady goes ahead to tell us how the boy's prowess in football made him the darling of Baba Dogo secondary School. Sammy Omollo who has heard the boy brag about his talent many times now believed him. The irony is, the lad hangs around Rangers FC because he found a market for his clothes among Rangers' players.

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On further enquiry I get a story that began at Baba Dogo Primary in Ruaraka. Orphaned just as he sat for his final primary school exams he stayed out of school for a year. His estate football kick around led to a stint at Kakamega High School. He left Kakamega for reasons he couldn't reveal for another school that I cannot remember before landing back at Baba Dogo Secondary. His reason for coming back to Nairobi was his younger siblings who had no one to take care of them. The meager handouts he got from football kept them going. After school, it was a tough choice between providing for his siblings or the lackluster Kenyan football scene. His siblings won.

AFC Leoprads' striker Vincent Oburu who travelled to Spain with the team confessed that he started playing football  seriously after high school. In the same team is Kariobangi Sharks midfielder and skipper Patila Omoto. He was one of the most promising talents before joining AFC Leopards' from Kariobangi Sharks in 2013.

The passionate Nick Mwenda once described Omoto as “the greatest midfielder of his time”. He even tipped the youngster as one of the few players who will take us to the World Cup. I don't know if he meant Russia or Qatar.  Omoto has featured for national sides U20 Junior team, and made his senior team debut in December 2012 in Kampala. He replaced former Gor Mahia forward Rama Salim in Harambee Stars’ 1-0 win over Malawi in the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup quarter-final match.

Omoto left Ingwe the following year for Mombasa based side Bandari FC in search of regular playing time. He did not break into the first team regulars at the club and found his way back to Sharks where he helped the side gain promotion to KPL. Omoto is a good talent but is he the best of his generation? If he is the best as Mwenda claimed then his development has not been consistent. The wish that he will take us to the World Cup may pass as just another dream. The Rangers fan, Vincent Oburu and Patila Omoto represent the problem with our football.

John Makheti is a father to two football mad sons. John found himself coaching the U10 football team at International Christian Church by default because of his sons. He is an alumni of Kakamega Boys so football is not strange to him. I religiously followed his social media updates sometimes back when he took the boys to a tournament in Arusha. His passion for the game and deep voice when he talks makes me stop to chat to the diminutive business man. I pose my observation that our best football talent is everywhere but in football. I asked for what I heard next.

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John is a cousin to Vihiga United player Silicho Soita. Soita is a law graduate from Strathmore University who like Vincent Oburu never played serious football in high school. John tagged him along to his football escapades where he managed to land some trial sessions in KPL clubs and a few Nationwide sides. Soita was told in one of the KPL clubs that his promising talent aside, he reported late for the one week trials so he will not be signed. In the other he was told by the coach he will be signed but he has to part with Ksh. 30,000 of his Ksh. 50,000 salary every month. I believe the law graduate in him could not agree to those terms.

He then resigned to casual kick a rounds just for staying in shape. Such sessions took him to Camp Toyoyo one day where he played against George Sunguti. The former Ingwe and national team player saw a gem of talent in Soita and recommended him to Manoah of Vihiga United. He did not disappoint and now clubs are falling over each other to sign him.

John was emphatic about the problems with Kenyan football. We have good football players playing football the problem is the system. Cartels and lack of good scouts are two things he mentioned must be checked. I am happy he pointed out people who know too much about very little in football yet they are the gate keepers. In the midst of all this their greed supersedes their desire for the growth of players and the game in general. 

I can write a lot about problems in Kenyan football without mentioning Okumbi. . The trip to Spain has exposed the gap between Kenya and world in football. At least Okumbi has given us Ovela Ochieng' and Omoto who he is trying to push through our skewed system. Our players lack the skills and character to play football at highest level. The main reason is they start playing serious football very late. The few who try to expose our children to football early like John Makheti do so without proper empowerment and no assistance  from FKF.

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Malcolm Gladwel in his bestselling book "Outliers" talks about the ten thousand hours rule. He says that before that big break or someone becoming an expert or good at something, above basic talent he must spend at least ten thousand contact hours on it. This applies across the board, not only in sports. We must create our system in such a way that by the age of eighteen our players are nearing the ten thousand hours mark of serious contact with the ball. We can never cheat the grind. It doesn't matter who is hired as national team coach, the virtue is more in the talent. KPL All Stars went down in the two matches they played against second string sides of Cordoba and Sevilla Athletic. They conceded five goals and scored none. Despite these results, let Okumbi be, a man can only do as much with the best that the system can offer.

Alexandre Lacazette has reclaimed his starting role as Arsenal and Newcastle named their respective squads taht will face each other in a Premier League match on Saturday December 16, 2017 at the Emirates Stadium.

 

Below is how the teams will lineup:

 

Arsenal Starting XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny, Welbeck, Giroud

Newcastle Starting XI: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Hayden, Merino, Atsu, Perez, Murphy, Joselu

Subs: Clark, Dummett, Gayle, Diame, Ritchie, Aarons, Darlow

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

 

South Africa were crowned Champions of this year's Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships after recording a 2-1 victory over Lesotho in a match played on Saturday December 15, 2017 at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

Egypt secured third place in the ongoing 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships after overcoming Uganda 3-1 in a third-place playoff match played on Saturday December 16, 2017 at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

On Friday 15 December, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee  (BOCOG) unveiled the official emblems of the olympic and paralympic winter games Beijing 2022 at a ceremony at the National Acquatic Centre in the Chines capital.

Designed by artist Lin Cunzhen, the emblems combine traditional and modern elements of Chinese culture, as well as features embodying the passion and vitality of winter sports. Among those attending the ceremony were Chinese vice-premiers Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yandong; BOCOG President Cai Qi, who is also the Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee; Sochi 2014 speed skating gold medallist Zhang Hong; and wheelchair curler Zhang Qiang. Entitled “Winter Dream”, the emblem of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was jointly unveiled by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing, and Zhang Hong. 

Inspired by ?, the Chinese character for “winter”, the emblem resembles a skater at the top and a skier at the bottom. The flowing ribbon-like motif between them symbolises the host country’s rolling mountains, Olympic venues, ski pistes and skating rinks. It also points to the fact that the Games will coincide with the Chinese New Year.

The use of blue in the emblem represents dreams, the future and the purity of ice and snow, while red and yellow – the colours of China’s national flag – symbolise passion, youth and vitality. 

Speaking in a pre-recorded video message shown at the ceremony, IOC President Thomas Bach described the launch as a milestone for both China and the Olympic Movement: “The emblem is a symbol of ambitions and dreams. It will build excitement and anticipation in China and around the whole world for our shared goal of an outstanding Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”

He added that the emblem would provide “a common image for people throughout the globe to connect with. It stands for the vision of Beijing 2022, showcasing the best of China to the world, a unique blend of modern and ancient traditions. And, of course, bringing the joy of winter sports to a new generation in China and beyond.” 

Liu Yandong, Cai Qi and Zhang Quiang then came together to unveil the official emblem of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, which is named ‘Flying High’.

Making similar use of Chinese calligraphy, the emblem incorporates the Chinese character for ‘fly’, ? , which conjures up the image of a wheelchair athlete surging towards the finish line and victory. As well as highlighting Chinese culture, it also embodies the spirit of the Paralympian and their quest for sporting excellence, a quest that inspires and excites the world.

Addressing the guests before the launch of the two emblems, Cai Qi said: “The two Beijing 2022 emblems vividly illustrate the vitality and passion of winter sports, the resilience of the participating athletes and the spirit and beauty of contemporary China. They also express the wishes and hopes of 1.3 billion Chinese people that Beijing 2022 is a success.”

Emblem creator Lin Cunzhen also co-designed the emblem for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014. Her design was chosen from a total of 4,506 submissions from around the world. 

Watford will continue missing the services of Younes Kaboul for the next 5-6 weeks due to a fractured metatarsal.

The 31-year old former Tottenham defender had initially been sidelined with a hamstring problem and has not featured since the victory at Southampton in early September, with Manager  Marco Silva having once said that he should be back after the November international break.

Watford have however confirmed he recovered from his hamstring injury, only to fracture his metatarsal when training with the first-team five weeks ago and has since been operated on.

Kaboul joins Craig Cathcart in the recovery list, with the latter expected to rejoin training over the next few weeks after a similarly lengthy absence.

The team is currently ninth on the table standings and host Huddersfield Town on Saturday December 16 for their eighteenth match of the season.

 

St Louis completed an unprecedented league and cup double in Seychelles after overcoming rivals Anse Reunion 3-1 in the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) Cup final at the weekend.

The feat capped an incredible season for the Victoria-based club after many years in the doldrums, having to wait for 23 years.

St Louis were the overwhelming favourites and they took the lead in the second period through their Nigerian striker Kazeem Adeyeri but Anse Reunion leveled the score five minutes later from the penalty spot courtesy Roderick Rose.

The capital-based outfit raised their game with the entry of former footballer of the year Gervais Waye-Hive, and he had two assists to help Elijah Tamboo make it 2-1 for the newly crowned league champions and Adeyeri put the icing on the cake with his brace for a 3-1 final score to spark wild celebration in the stands on the pitch as this former giant of Seychelles had finally realized their potential and their young coach Nigel Freminot was ecstatic after transforming the fortunes of this squad in his eighteen month tenure where he has brought much needed discipline and tightened up their defence in a season where they have lost only three matches.

“We were just keen to win this final to attain our target of a double and it did not matter much the manner we won but our opponent tried to make things difficult in the first half. We managed to make our superiority count in attack in a match where we could have won by a wider margin. We are very happy with the way our season has panned out which has produced good results due to the hard work and sacrifice of all the players, technical team and management,” coach Freminot said.

On his part, team manager, Davis Khan, added that preparations for the Total CAF Champions League 2018 start in earnest.

“We would like to thank our adoring fans wholeheartedly for their unequivocal support this season. We really wanted to bring joy to this football loving community to make up for so much disappointment over the seasons and we can now savour our success as we look forward to next season where we will be playing in the African champions league,” Khan said.

Manager Khan also said that they have secured the services of their key players such Nigerian striker Kazeem Adeyeri and Malagasy trio of Tahiry,Herve and goalkeeper Michel who has been outstanding in their quest for glory this season as they have all signed a one year extension to their contract for 2018.

St Louis also hope to tie up Karl Hall who was playing for non-league club in England Albion FC and joined them in the transfer window in June and contributed vital goals as well as assists to help the team achieve the double for the first time in over two decades.

Meanwhile, the double winners are planning to appoint a new head coach after coaching duo, Freminot and Nigel Moustache parted company with the club after the end of the successful season.

The Office of the Sports Disputes Tribunal has declared legitimate the elections of the Kenya Rugby Union held on 22 March 2017.

The Tribunal, which hears and give verdicts on appeals against decisions,  disciplinary and discrimination made by sports organizations, termed the elections as proper and lawful, further directing the Sports Registrar to register the list of elected officials.

“The Tribunal therefore comes to the conclusion that the elections of the Kenya Rugby Union held on 22nd March 2017 presided over by the representatives of the KNSC were proper and lawful and the Respondent is hereby directed to register the list of elected officials of the Kenya Rugby Union as indicated in the Union’s letter of 23rd March 2017, subject to the requirements set out under Part VI of the Act,” reads part of the ruling made on Monday  December 11, 2017.

The tribunal also stated that it will on 31st January 2018 follow up on the matter to see the extent of compliance.

The March elections saw Richard Omwela re-elected as the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) chairman after beating his closest rival Sasha Mutai by two votes in hotly contested elections held at the RUFEA Grounds. Omwela garnered 25 votes against Sasha’s 23, with the other contestan  Pape Sembi getting  nine votes.

Sylvia Kamau, Ian Mugambi, Ray Olendo and Ezekiel Owuor were elected directors. Kamau made a return as a director with the highest votes of 46 followed by Mugambi, who retained his position with 38 votes.

 

Captain Sergio Ramos has dismissed claims that Spain could be kicked out of next summer’s World Cup for “political interference”.

Fifa has warned the RFEF that continued involvement from the centre-right Spanish government in the upcoming election for the football federation’s new president could result in them losing their place at next summer’s World Cup.

The RFEF is currently led by Juan Luis Larrea on an interim basis, after former president Angel Maria Villar was made to step down on corruption charges.

Preparations for a new election are already well underway, and according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais the government’s National Sports Council have made contact with the RFEF over Villar’s eventual successor.

That would be in direct contradiction of Fifa’s strict rules – which would rule any involvement from the Spanish government as political interference in the football federation.

“We have played well and I don’t think it will cost us our achievement,” said the 149-times capped defender, behind only former Real teammate Iker Casillas (167) on the country’s all-time appearance list.

“I don’t think we will not play in Russia after all we have done. The results are there, we have won our matches. I don’t think anything can influence us playing there next year.”

 

Alexandre Lacazette has reclaimed his starting role as Arsenal and Newcastle named their respective squads taht will face each other in a Premier League match on Saturday December 16, 2017 at the Emirates Stadium.

 

Below is how the teams will lineup:

 

Arsenal Starting XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere; Iwobi, Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette

Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny, Welbeck, Giroud

Newcastle Starting XI: Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo, Hayden, Merino, Atsu, Perez, Murphy, Joselu

Subs: Clark, Dummett, Gayle, Diame, Ritchie, Aarons, Darlow

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

 

South Africa were crowned Champions of this year's Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships after recording a 2-1 victory over Lesotho in a match played on Saturday December 15, 2017 at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

Egypt secured third place in the ongoing 2017 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships after overcoming Uganda 3-1 in a third-place playoff match played on Saturday December 16, 2017 at the Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe.

On Friday 15 December, the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee  (BOCOG) unveiled the official emblems of the olympic and paralympic winter games Beijing 2022 at a ceremony at the National Acquatic Centre in the Chines capital.

Designed by artist Lin Cunzhen, the emblems combine traditional and modern elements of Chinese culture, as well as features embodying the passion and vitality of winter sports. Among those attending the ceremony were Chinese vice-premiers Zhang Gaoli and Liu Yandong; BOCOG President Cai Qi, who is also the Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee; Sochi 2014 speed skating gold medallist Zhang Hong; and wheelchair curler Zhang Qiang. Entitled “Winter Dream”, the emblem of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 was jointly unveiled by Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing, and Zhang Hong. 

Inspired by ?, the Chinese character for “winter”, the emblem resembles a skater at the top and a skier at the bottom. The flowing ribbon-like motif between them symbolises the host country’s rolling mountains, Olympic venues, ski pistes and skating rinks. It also points to the fact that the Games will coincide with the Chinese New Year.

The use of blue in the emblem represents dreams, the future and the purity of ice and snow, while red and yellow – the colours of China’s national flag – symbolise passion, youth and vitality. 

Speaking in a pre-recorded video message shown at the ceremony, IOC President Thomas Bach described the launch as a milestone for both China and the Olympic Movement: “The emblem is a symbol of ambitions and dreams. It will build excitement and anticipation in China and around the whole world for our shared goal of an outstanding Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.”

He added that the emblem would provide “a common image for people throughout the globe to connect with. It stands for the vision of Beijing 2022, showcasing the best of China to the world, a unique blend of modern and ancient traditions. And, of course, bringing the joy of winter sports to a new generation in China and beyond.” 

Liu Yandong, Cai Qi and Zhang Quiang then came together to unveil the official emblem of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games, which is named ‘Flying High’.

Making similar use of Chinese calligraphy, the emblem incorporates the Chinese character for ‘fly’, ? , which conjures up the image of a wheelchair athlete surging towards the finish line and victory. As well as highlighting Chinese culture, it also embodies the spirit of the Paralympian and their quest for sporting excellence, a quest that inspires and excites the world.

Addressing the guests before the launch of the two emblems, Cai Qi said: “The two Beijing 2022 emblems vividly illustrate the vitality and passion of winter sports, the resilience of the participating athletes and the spirit and beauty of contemporary China. They also express the wishes and hopes of 1.3 billion Chinese people that Beijing 2022 is a success.”

Emblem creator Lin Cunzhen also co-designed the emblem for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014. Her design was chosen from a total of 4,506 submissions from around the world. 

Watford will continue missing the services of Younes Kaboul for the next 5-6 weeks due to a fractured metatarsal.

The 31-year old former Tottenham defender had initially been sidelined with a hamstring problem and has not featured since the victory at Southampton in early September, with Manager  Marco Silva having once said that he should be back after the November international break.

Watford have however confirmed he recovered from his hamstring injury, only to fracture his metatarsal when training with the first-team five weeks ago and has since been operated on.

Kaboul joins Craig Cathcart in the recovery list, with the latter expected to rejoin training over the next few weeks after a similarly lengthy absence.

The team is currently ninth on the table standings and host Huddersfield Town on Saturday December 16 for their eighteenth match of the season.

 

St Louis completed an unprecedented league and cup double in Seychelles after overcoming rivals Anse Reunion 3-1 in the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) Cup final at the weekend.

The feat capped an incredible season for the Victoria-based club after many years in the doldrums, having to wait for 23 years.

St Louis were the overwhelming favourites and they took the lead in the second period through their Nigerian striker Kazeem Adeyeri but Anse Reunion leveled the score five minutes later from the penalty spot courtesy Roderick Rose.

The capital-based outfit raised their game with the entry of former footballer of the year Gervais Waye-Hive, and he had two assists to help Elijah Tamboo make it 2-1 for the newly crowned league champions and Adeyeri put the icing on the cake with his brace for a 3-1 final score to spark wild celebration in the stands on the pitch as this former giant of Seychelles had finally realized their potential and their young coach Nigel Freminot was ecstatic after transforming the fortunes of this squad in his eighteen month tenure where he has brought much needed discipline and tightened up their defence in a season where they have lost only three matches.

“We were just keen to win this final to attain our target of a double and it did not matter much the manner we won but our opponent tried to make things difficult in the first half. We managed to make our superiority count in attack in a match where we could have won by a wider margin. We are very happy with the way our season has panned out which has produced good results due to the hard work and sacrifice of all the players, technical team and management,” coach Freminot said.

On his part, team manager, Davis Khan, added that preparations for the Total CAF Champions League 2018 start in earnest.

“We would like to thank our adoring fans wholeheartedly for their unequivocal support this season. We really wanted to bring joy to this football loving community to make up for so much disappointment over the seasons and we can now savour our success as we look forward to next season where we will be playing in the African champions league,” Khan said.

Manager Khan also said that they have secured the services of their key players such Nigerian striker Kazeem Adeyeri and Malagasy trio of Tahiry,Herve and goalkeeper Michel who has been outstanding in their quest for glory this season as they have all signed a one year extension to their contract for 2018.

St Louis also hope to tie up Karl Hall who was playing for non-league club in England Albion FC and joined them in the transfer window in June and contributed vital goals as well as assists to help the team achieve the double for the first time in over two decades.

Meanwhile, the double winners are planning to appoint a new head coach after coaching duo, Freminot and Nigel Moustache parted company with the club after the end of the successful season.

Captain Sergio Ramos has dismissed claims that Spain could be kicked out of next summer’s World Cup for “political interference”.

Fifa has warned the RFEF that continued involvement from the centre-right Spanish government in the upcoming election for the football federation’s new president could result in them losing their place at next summer’s World Cup.

The RFEF is currently led by Juan Luis Larrea on an interim basis, after former president Angel Maria Villar was made to step down on corruption charges.

Preparations for a new election are already well underway, and according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais the government’s National Sports Council have made contact with the RFEF over Villar’s eventual successor.

That would be in direct contradiction of Fifa’s strict rules – which would rule any involvement from the Spanish government as political interference in the football federation.

“We have played well and I don’t think it will cost us our achievement,” said the 149-times capped defender, behind only former Real teammate Iker Casillas (167) on the country’s all-time appearance list.

“I don’t think we will not play in Russia after all we have done. The results are there, we have won our matches. I don’t think anything can influence us playing there next year.”

 

Jose Mourinho has suggested Marouane Fellaini will not be available for Manchester United's Premier League match at West Brom on Sunday.

Fellaini, 30, has not featured since the win over Brighton on November 25 and Mourinho said the United midfielder had a 'chance' of returning for the Manchester derby defeat to City last week.

However, Fellaini failed to make the matchday squad for the visits of City and Bournemouth on Wednesday and United manager Mourinho said 'it's the same picture' when asked if any players were available to return at The Hawthorns this weekend.

Paul Pogba will serve the final game of his three-match suspension against West Brom and could return to the side for Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Championship club Bristol City. Captain Michael Carrick, who has not played in three months after undergoing a heart procedure, is still not ready for selection.

Mourinho confirmed on Friday Eric Bailly would have surgery on an ankle injury which could keep him out for up to three months.

"He goes to surgery, the decision is made," Mourinho said. "I don’t say for the rest of the season but it’s for the next two or three months."

Marcos Rojo could also miss the trip to West Brom after he sat out the Bournemouth win with a head injury. Rojo required stitches after a clash of heads with City forward David Silva last week and was forced off at half-time.

The probable absences of Pogba, Carrick, Bailly, Fellaini and Rojo leave Mourinho with a 22-man squad to choose from this weekend.

 

Provisional United squad:

Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Joel Pereira

Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young

Midfielders: Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay, Jesse Lingard

Forwards: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford

 

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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.

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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.

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)

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

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