Thanking Sportpesa

The Kenyan sports industry has been neglected by stakeholders in the country for a very long time. This has seen talent in the country go to waste in enormous levels. Very few of those who get to exploit their talents manage to live up to their potential due to poor levels of support and facilitation in the industry. It is such a sorry state of affairs that has led to a lot of cases of broken dreams and high levels of youth unemployment that is accompanied with poverty. As always, whenever a people are left in such a desperate conditions they get easily taken advantage of. In Kenyan social circles, there is a term that has become very popular. “Team Mafisi” (Team hyenas)is a term that has become popular referring to people who salivate at potential partners that they can’t have while taking advantage of those that are desperate. A hyena is the last animal any straight thinking person would want associated with his name. Unfortunately, the people who have been showing up to support sports in Kenya have all been “Team Mafisi” until recently.

Politicians in Kenya have been the worst culprits when it comes to misuse of the sports industry. Only when the general elections are around the corner is when you will see a lot of sports activities happening all over the country. From Wajir in the farthest North East to Sirare in the furthest South West.From Lodwar in the Furthest North West toKilifi in the furthest South East. Even places like Moyale where we have almost been meant to believe that no sport talent exists will have numerous sporting events during this political season. It is an interesting period where you will come across many youths across the country with low quality t-shirts emblazoned with tournament names named after the sponsor who will always be among those eyeing a political seat. 

Corporates on the other hand have not failed in emulating the political class. They come up with all manners of gimmicks in the name of sports sponsorship just to get their brands into the media. Some have decided to come up with CSR outfits in the name of sports clubs while others arrange disorganized events in the name of tournaments.  You will be left laughing when you come to learn that these clubs that corporates come up with and boast of do not enjoy support of more than ten employees in from the sponsoring companies let alone the general public. For instance Tusker F.C, one of the oldest clubs in the Kenyan topflight and the third most decorated after AFC Leopards SC  and GorMahia has more media staff than fans who show up to watch their matches. Even EABL employees who would be quite a number don’t show up to support their own club in the stadium.

“Kenyans don’t like football, they only like gossiping and drinking beer in bars,” this is an infamous quote by the CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye. He said this out of anger in his heavy Luyha accent while he was commenting on the poor crowd turn-out in the 2010 CECAFA tournament that was hosted in Kenya. I almost agreed with him on this but after my heavy involvement in the sports industry for close to six years now I have come to totally disagree with him. Kenyans love not only football but many of the sports disciplines played in Kenya. The problem is the packaging and management of sports related institutions and activities.

To better explain this to you, kindly allow me to use football as an example. During the weekends, I see a very big number of Kenyans putting on jerseys of their favorite teams, many of them from European leagues especially the English Premier League. The number of people who show up in the smallest pub in my neighborhood to watch a match involving Arsenal or Manchester United is usually more than the number of fans you will find in a KRA versus KCB match at Nyayo stadium. The loudness of the groans when a player misses a goal scoring chance or the cheers and jeers that usually emanate from these joints in the neighborhoods where people watch European matches will tell you how much Kenyans are into football. The love that is shown by Kenyans for European football is because of two things, the management and packaging.

The management of Kenyan football has had numerous challenges for a long time. These challenges range from incompetence and lack of resources to blatant corruption. Despite this there has been some improvement. Some of the challenges that Kenyan football and sport in general suffer have been proven to not only exist in Kenya but even at the highest levels (i.e FIFA and IAAF).  It is this challenge that many corporates have used as an excuse to completely avoid or partially participate in Kenyan football. In my own opinion, this is an argument that is neither here nor there. If these corporates indeed believed that the mismanagement in Kenyan football will not be good for their brands they would not come up with the numerous teams that take up huge slots in the various leagues in the country. 

Kenyan corporates are being selfish and opportunistic. Selfish in the sense that they are not ready to fully engage in areas that will see them genuinely give back to society and opportunistic in the sense that they have always been in a rush to harvest where they never sow. East African Breweries (EABL) for almost three decades had been the company recording the highest amounts of profits in the country. Even though the brand has been associated with sports for quite a while, their contribution to the industry is almost negligible. It is until 21 August 2012 that EABL decided to sponsor the Kenyan Premier League (KPL). This is sad! Many will try to argue that by founding Kenya Breweries Football Club (Now Tusker Football Club), EABL has done a lot for Kenyan football. This is an example of one of the opportunistic decisions made by Kenyan corporates. 

For you to understand this better let me give you some numbers to crunch. On August 21st 2012 KPL signed what was referred to as the most lucrative deal in Kenyan football history. It was a partnership with EABL which saw the giant brewery take the league title naming rights through its Tusker brand to rename it the Tusker Premier League for a three year period.  Sources reported the deal to be worth Kshs. 170 million (USD 2 Million). Tusker is a brand that has existed in Kenya for over fifty years; the brand has come to be synonymous with the country’s name. After EABL failed to convince the KPL management to extend the deal that ended in June 2015, a very young firm less than two years old at the time grabbed the opportunity. Sport Pesa, an East African betting firm signed a four-and-a-half year deal which sources reported to be worth Kshs. 450 million (approx.. US$ 4.36 million). This saw the league renamed to SportPesa Premier League. The deal which is nearly three times the value of the previous deal with Tusker, if calculated critically is more than the total amount of spending EABL has done on football for the past four and a half years. This means that SportPesa has invested more money that EABL had put in the league through Tusker F.C and league sponsorship in the four and a half years before Sport Pesa signed the deal with EABL for the same period of time. The only deal by EABL that could come close to this is the Kshs. 330 million that was announced in 2005 that was to cover sponsorships in East Africa for a three year period.

The only other firm that has put more money than SportPesa into the league is Super Sport, Kenyans will not really appreciate their effort that much though. The reason being that, the sports broadcaster has for a long time taken a key role in killing of Kenyan football and sports in general. Their sponsorship has been seen by many as a case of compensation for the evil they have being doing. Super Sport has been on the spot for giving preferential coverage for foreign leagues over Kenyan football. This has seen more people in the country develop a strong affection for the English Premier League (EPL). Many Kenyans spend a lot of money in the pubs drinking EABL beer brands and watching EPL matches on Super Sport creating profits for the two African firms in millions of dollars at the cost of Kenyan talent.

Corporates in Kenya have been good at coming up with gimmicks that are aimed at taking advantage of the football industry where they put very little effort to support talent. A case in point is a recent activity that I watched on Nation Media Group’s main broadcast channel NTV. On their Saturday live programe “Top Sport” that aired on May 28th 2016, they were asked viewers to say which team they thought would win the UEFA Champions League between rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid and the winners were to be rewarded with a GorMahia F.C or AFC Leopards S.C branded jacket. In a week, the total number of minutes Kenyan football coverage gets on NTV or QTv cannot go beyond fifteen minutes. The total amount of space Kenyan football gets in the Daily Nation and Taifa Leo will never on a regular day be more than that which EPL coverage gets. At most it will be half a page. The amount of time Kenyan football gets discussed on Nation FM and Q Fm cannot be more than one hour. All these media outlets are owned by Nation Media Group (NMG) the biggest media house in the country which is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange bourse.

Despite contributing almost nothing to grow football in the country or the Kenyan sports industry NMG found a way to make money. This was through manufacturing of merchandise for the most followed clubs in the country, AFC Leopards and GorMahia. They argue that through this they are helping build the Kenyan game. Wouldn’t it have made sense if they made merchandise for all league participants and sold it at cost instead of producing only for the two clubs and selling it for a profit? The optimist came and saw the glass half full, the pessimist saw it half-empty, and the opportunist saw the water and drank it all.

In February 2013 Kenya Power, an organization that is mostly talked about thanks to their poor client relationship management and frequent poor outages came up with the “Kenya Power Charity Cup” tournament which was to be an annual event. The originators of the idea probably thought it would be a good avenue to help bridge the wide gap that they have been having with their customers. You shouldn’t   wonder why they didn’t come up with this before creating many clubs across the country including Western Stima under their management. As I had told you earlier in this article, Kenyan corporates are selfish and opportunistic.

The Kenya Power Charity Cup was to be like the Community Shield in England, the aim was to raise money that would be distributed to community-based sporting initiatives “to encourage and promote sport as a healthy means of livelihood among the youth.” The funny part is that the event was to take place in a single day. Yes, in one day KPLC was to host an event like the Charity Cup which happens in England. It wasn’t a shock when this tournament disappeared as fast as it came up. An event that was to encourage youth to take sport as a means of healthy livelihood was being used to sell the KPLC brand name at the expense of the players’ health.  Why should a well moneyed corporate like Kenya Power subject players to an exhausting assignment of playing two matches in a single day!

Just like their brothers and sisters in crime, Kenya Power a company that spends only 1% of their net profits on corporate social responsibility was not really after developing football in the country through their Charity Cup idea. They had come to take advantage of the football industry. If the company took the amount of money they use on their clubs participating in the different leagues they to sponsor the league, the FKF Cup or a community based club, they would have managed to get far much better publicity for their brand than what they get. The poor publicity levels that they have managed through their clubs could obviously be the reason why they came up with the Charity Cup idea. Corporates should understand that they can’t eat the cake and have it at the same time. We have been told through poorly published articles on sports websites and social media posts by KPLC with scant information about the amounts of revenue that were raised through the first Charity Cup edition and how they were used. 

The organizers of the Kenya Power Charity Cup communicated through the KPLC social pages that the Kshs. 5,626,445.80 which was collected in the first edition of the tournament was used in lighting city stadium, refurbishing a football pitch in Kawangware and refurbishing Dandora Social hall. They went further to state that the funds were distributed through Red Cross for social good.  By the time this article was being published, City Stadium didn’t have proper lighting and thus couldn’t host a match under floodlights.

If you take all the above into consideration you will realize that SportPesa is the best thing to have happened in Kenyan football. Within less than five years of existence, Sport Pesa has shown both by acts and intent that they are taking Kenyan football and sports industry as a whole with the seriousness it deserves. Within their short stint as sponsors in the Kenyan sports industry, they have managed to scoop the Best African Sponsorship Award at the Discovery Sports Industry Awards. To lift this award, they beat big names on the continent like Kenya’s Safaricom who would rather paint the whole Kasarani Stadium including the toilet seats and urinals with their brand name in the name of sponsorship than sponsor a national team, league or local club. 

The SportPesa marketing manager in his speech when receiving the award was quoted saying, “We are delighted to have won this award ahead of global brands and campaigns that are strong and present on several mediums around the world. What excites us more is that our investment in the SportPesa Premier League is buoyed by a need to showcase Kenya club football as an engaging, exciting and a competitive league. This is therefore a win for local football in general and we are truly honored.” No one can doubt this. The seriousness of this statement can be supported by the fact that the league sponsors unlike their predecessors, went to Italy and shopped for a good/sleek looking 12 kilogram handcrafted trophy for the league. This goes a long way in improving the packaging of the league.

In his comments after receiving the award, SportPesa Marketing Manager Kester Muhanji said, “In a bid to revolutionize the face of football in Kenya we took up sponsorship of the Kenyan Premier League effective on August 1, 2015. Our aspiration is to have the Kenyan national team Harambee Stars compete in the 2022 World Cup.” Looking at the history Kenyan football has had with corporate sponsors, one will easily doubt this statement but when you look at the action that has come with the words from SportPesa you would be left with a lot of optimism. Apart from sponsoring the league, the betting firm has signed lucrative shirt sponsorship deals with GorMahia and AFC Leopards. The firm has also brought into the country Arsenal coaches to conduct coaching clinics with their Kenyan counterparts in a bid to raise the quality of the game in the country. KPL for the first time together with “K’Ogalo” and “Ingwe” were put in a very tight corner by the sponsor after they suspended their sponsorships for the two clubs due to hooliganism incidents involving fans of the two rival clubs. The big stick that was wielded by SportPesa saw for the first time docking of points happen as a punishment for hooliganism in the Kenyan Premier League. Not forgetting that the company has been sponsoring other sporting disciplines, isn’t this enough to show how serious they are with developing sports in the country?

SportPesa has set the bar high in terms of corporate participation in Kenyan football. It will be very encouraging to know if their counterparts are learning something. Imagine if the firms decided to form their own club and have it participate in the KPL, would they get as much publicity? It will be hard for anyone to refute the fact that Mumias Sugar got more publicity through their partnership with AFC Leopards than that which they got throughout the existence of their defunct Mumias Sugar F.C. The numbers of jerseys all over the country emblazoned with the brand say it all.

Instead of Kenyan corporates trying hard to always come up with shortcuts to get publicity through sports they should try and find workable ways of partnering with sports institutions to reap the benefits of the industry without diverting their energies from their core-businesses. SportPesa Ltd is a trailblazer and we Kenyan sports lovers wish others would follow suit. It is good that now much of the money that was being spent in pubs by those watching EPL matches is now being put into the SportPesa betting platform. This is the money that many of them would have spent on EABL products while shouting themselves hoarse cheering clubs that don’t know they exist here in Kenya. It is great that a genius company while teaching other corporates how to genuinely partner with sports institutions is now reinvesting the attention that Kenyans would have given to their own football in monetary terms.

Thank you SportPesa.

The UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday October 18 with a total of eight matches from four groups set to be played in venues across Europe.

Below is a list of all fixtures (All times are in EAT)


Benfica 21:45 Manchester United

CSKA Moscow 21:45 FC Basel


Bayern Munich 21:45 Celtic

RSC Anderlecht 21:45 Paris Saint Germain


FK Qarabag 21:00 Atlético Madrid

Chelsea 21:45 Roma


Barcelona 21:45 Olympiakos

Juventus 21:45 Sporting Lisbon


The men's national volleyball team technical bench on Wednesday October 18 announced a 12-member squad that will represent Kenya in this year's African Cup of Nations, which will double up as the World Cup qualifiers.

The tournament is set to take place from October 22 to October 29, 2017 in Cairo, Egypt where the top three teams will qualify to represent Africa in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship.

Kenya qualified in Zone 5alongside Rwanda. The Moses Epoloto led side will be hoping to better their performance in the 2015 edition which saw them finish a distant eighth .


1. Michael Chemos 

2. Bonfenty Wekesa

3. Brian Melly 

4. Rodgers Kipkirui 

5. Simon Kipkorir 

6. Abiud Chirchir

7. Kelvin Maiyo 

8. Jairus Kipkosgei 

9. Cornelius Kirwa 

10. Sam Juma 

11. Hudson Chesoli

12. Nicholas Matui


Moses Epoloto 

Paul Muthinja (Assistant)


Tusker FC completed a double over Nakumatt FC thanks to substitute Boniface Muchiri's second half strike in a match played on Wednesday October 18 at the Ruaraka Grounds.

The defending champions started the match with much intent but were forced to slow down their tempo in the 14th minute after Jackson Macharia went down with an injury. After a brief first aid by the medical team , the midfielder was not able to continue and was subsequently replaced by Cercidy Okeyo.

Unconverted chances by Humphrey Mieno and Allan Wanga are what followed shortly thereafter to force a barren draw into halftime.

On resumption, Nakumatt's defense came more composed and did well to cut out advances mostly from Mieno and Wanga who tried combining well in search of an opener.

Tusker deputy coach John Baraza then opted to freshen his attack in the 67th minute by introducing Boniface Muchiri for Brian Osumba. Their second substitution saw Stephen Owusu replace John Kago seven minutes later. 

In the 75th minute, Mieno was unable to find the back of the net despite having only keeper Owade after he had been fed through by James Situma.

Muchiri however secured the lead for the Brewers one minute later with a sublime half-volley that really mixed up Owade, with the match ending with the 1-0 score line.

The victory moves Tusker three places up from sixth to third where they now have 46 points. Nakumatt meanwhile remain 12th on the log with 35 points from 29 matches.

Tusker Starting XI: Duncan Ochieng, Martin Kizza, James Situma, Eugene Asike,Lloyd Wahome, Humphrey  Mieno, Brian Osumba, Noah Wafula, Jackson Macharia, Danson Kago, Allan Wanga


Subs: David Okello, Marlon Tangauzi, Boniface Muchiri, Cercidy Okeyo , Sydney Ochieng, Stephen Owusu, Abdalla Hassan.


Tusker FC deputy coach John Baraza has released his starting lineup that will take on Nakumatt FC in a catch up league match on Wednesday October 18 at the Ruaraka Grounds from 15:00.

In the absence of top scorer Michael Khamati who sustained an injury during the team's 4-0 victory over Muhoroni Youth, Allan Wanga makes his way back into the starting eleven and will pair upfront with Noah Wafula and Danson Kago. Another player who is back into the team is Martin Kizza who swaps with Collins Shivachi.

The Brewers edged Nakumatt 2-1 in the first leg clash.

 Tusker Starting XI: Duncan Ochieng, Martin Kizza, James Situma, Eugene Asike,Lloyd Wahome, Humphrey  Mieno, Brian Osumba, Noah Wafula, Jackson Macharia, Danson Kago, Allan Wanga

Subs: David Okello, Marlon Tangauzi, Boniface Muchiri, Cercidy Okeyo , Sydney Ochieng, Stephen Owusu, Abdalla Hassan. 


Hours after sacking manager Craig Shakespeare, Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has sought to clarify on their decision to do so.

Shakespeare's sacking comes just four months  into a three-year contract that he had been given after following a successful spell in caretaker charge.

 “ Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February,'' Srivaddhanaprabha was quoted by the Mirror.

“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the Board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, Board and owners.

“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the Club.”

Leicester are third from bottom, with six points from eight games, and Michael Appleton, Shakespeare’s assistant, has been asked to take charge of the team for Saturday’s game at Swansea


Manchester City attacker Kevin de Bruyne has come out to explain his argument on the pitch with teammate David Silva during their side's 2-1 win over Napoli.

As the two teams were heading towards the tunnel for the half-time break, De Bruyne attempted to speak with the fourth official before being pulled away by Fernandinho and Silva. The Belgium international then took it with Silva and was overheard angrily shouting ‘let me talk’ three times before he turned towards the tunnel in frustration.

 “We had a little discussion at the time, it happens,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong, after one minute then it’s over.

“I think at home I also get into some arguments with my wife, I think it’s normal.

“I think it’s necessary. But now everything is okay.

“It’s just what happens sometimes, you have a collision of words, there was nothing big about it.”


The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has announced ticketing prices for the much anticipated Gotv Shield tournament finals that is set for Friday October 18, 2017 at the Moi International Sports Center (MISC), Kasarani.

The venue will first host a third-place playoff match between SoNy Sugar and National Super League (NSL) side Vihiga United which will commence at 12:00. The match will then be followed by the real clash between AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks, a match expected to start at 15:00.

VIP tickets for the day will go for Kshs. 300 while terrace tickets cost Kshs. 200 and will be available outside the venue on matchday from as early as 9:00am.

Apart from the glory of being champions, Kshs. 3 Million and a chance to represent Kenya  in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup are also at stake on Friday.


Tusker FC will be on the hunt for a second win on the trot when they face hosts Nakumatt FC on Wednesday October 18, 2017 at the Ruaraka Grounds from 15:00.

The Brewers will be for the consecutive time be under the stewardship of deputy coach Francis Baraza after head coach George Nsimbe was asked to step aside following alleged contradictory remarks he made on the club's players. 

Baraza was the instructor in the side's 4-0 victory against a struggling Muhoroni Youth side on Sunday October 15th.


With this year's title seemingly headed to Gor Mahia's trophy cabinet, the Brewers will now be gunning for the highest possible finish which will be largely contributed to by Wednesday's match.

Tusker are currently 6th on the log with 43 points and a win might elevate them up to position three. The defending champions have so far recorded twelve wins, seven draws and nine losses; scoring 29 goals compared to the 26 that they have conceded.


A 2-1 win over Kakamega Homeboyz over the weekend scrapped off a five-match winless run for Nakumatt and the result. 

The shoppers currently have 35 points after nine wins, eight draws and eleven losses which puts them in position 12. 

Tusker won the first leg encounter 2-1.

Match officials

Referee: Agnetta Itubo

Assistant Referee 1: Gilbert Cheruiyot

Assistant Referee 2: Michael Maru

Fourth Official: Anthony Ogwayo

Match Commissioner: Dominic Weda


The UEFA Champions League continues on Wednesday October 18 with a total of eight matches from four groups set to be played in venues across Europe.

Below is a list of all fixtures (All times are in EAT)


Benfica 21:45 Manchester United

CSKA Moscow 21:45 FC Basel


Bayern Munich 21:45 Celtic

RSC Anderlecht 21:45 Paris Saint Germain


FK Qarabag 21:00 Atlético Madrid

Chelsea 21:45 Roma


Barcelona 21:45 Olympiakos

Juventus 21:45 Sporting Lisbon


Hours after sacking manager Craig Shakespeare, Leicester City Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has sought to clarify on their decision to do so.

Shakespeare's sacking comes just four months  into a three-year contract that he had been given after following a successful spell in caretaker charge.

 “ Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February,'' Srivaddhanaprabha was quoted by the Mirror.

“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the Board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, Board and owners.

“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the Club.”

Leicester are third from bottom, with six points from eight games, and Michael Appleton, Shakespeare’s assistant, has been asked to take charge of the team for Saturday’s game at Swansea


Manchester City attacker Kevin de Bruyne has come out to explain his argument on the pitch with teammate David Silva during their side's 2-1 win over Napoli.

As the two teams were heading towards the tunnel for the half-time break, De Bruyne attempted to speak with the fourth official before being pulled away by Fernandinho and Silva. The Belgium international then took it with Silva and was overheard angrily shouting ‘let me talk’ three times before he turned towards the tunnel in frustration.

 “We had a little discussion at the time, it happens,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong, after one minute then it’s over.

“I think at home I also get into some arguments with my wife, I think it’s normal.

“I think it’s necessary. But now everything is okay.

“It’s just what happens sometimes, you have a collision of words, there was nothing big about it.”


Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been talking about Harry Kane at his press conference on Monday.

The England forward has been linked with a big-money to the reigning Champions League winners and asked whether we would  see Kane at Real Madrid, the Frenchman replied: “I do not know what will happen in the future.

“He is a key player for Tottenham He is very good at everything, the best thing is that he always has the goal in his head.”

Zidane was speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League clash between the clubs. Spurs travel to the Bernabeu on Tuesday night with Kane looking to add to the 10 goals in 11 games he has plundered already this season.

Tottenham have always maintained that Kane is not for sale at any price, but Dario Gol last week claimed Madrid were prepared to offer a deal with €200m with as many as three Real players involved.

Karim Benzema and former Spurs stars Gareth Bale and Luka Modric were the players named who may be offered in exchange for Kane, but for now the England man remains focused on Tottenham.

Kane has shown no desire to leave Tottenham, but given he is yet to taste trophy success with the club, and given he’s at the top of Tottenham’s wages payment ceiling at £100,000 a week, the player may well be tempted if Real showed their colours.

Discussing whether he would ever play abroad, Kane recently said: “I would never say no or yes. You’d not rule out anything.

“It’s not something I definitely want to do, but you never rule anything out.


“I’m very happy here (at Tottenham), but we’ll see what happens.”

Germany booked their place in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 with a convincing 4-0 victory over Colombia in New Delhi on Monday. The win takes the European side into a last-eight match-up versus Brazil or Honduras in Kolkata on Sunday.

The Germans took the lead in fortuitous circumstances just seven minutes after the start. Colombia goalkeeper Kevin Mier was unable to collect a loose ball at the feet of Jann-Fiete Arp and the Germany captain took advantage by neatly finishing from a tight angle.

Though Colombia pressed forward, every German attack had more potency as the opening half wore on. John Yeboah had several chances to find the scoresheet, with his best opportunity cannoning off the crossbar on 34 minutes. The Europeans would not be denied, though, as Yann Bisseck rose to head home Sahverdi Cetin’s corner from the left to hand a two-goal lead to Germany at the break.

They then sealed their passage to the last eight with another two after the restart. Yeboah converted an Arp pass in the Colombia box on 49 minutes before the captain scored his second of the match to secure a four-goal victory. The only blemish was a yellow card to winger Dennis Jastrzembski that rules him out of Sunday’s quarter-final through suspension.


It was a historic moment in Lagos on Sunday when CAF President Ahmad and some CAF Executive Committee members graced the Nigeria FA Cup final on Sunday (15 October 2017) that saw Akwa United beat Niger Tornadoes 3-2 on penalties at the Agege Stadium.                                          

 After a scoreless encounter in regulation time, the match was decided via penalties which saw both sides lost three out of the initial five penalty kicks; and Gabriel Okechukwu turned Akwa United’s hero by striking the winner.

 The feat by Akwa United was an encore for the club after a similar success in 2015 in the country’s oldest domestic competition which climaxed the 71st edition.

 Apart from the mouthwatering 25 Million Naira ($70,323)prize money  and the glittering trophy  as winners, Akwa United also earned the ticket to represent Nigeria in next year’s Total CAF Confederation Cup.  

 It was the 11th time the competition was decided via penalties after it began in 1945 as Governor’s Cup. It was later known at various times as Challenge Cup and Federation Cup.

 Meanwhile,  the entourage of CAF President  Ahmad at the Agege Stadium popularly known as ‘Soccer Temple’ include First Vice President Kwesi Nyantakyi, Second Vice President Constant Omari Selemani and CAF Emergency Committee member, Souleiman Waberi.



    1990:Stationery Stores   0-0(5-4pens) Enugu Rangers

    1991: El-Kanemi Warriors          3-2     Kano Pillars F.C.

    1992: El-Kanemi             1-0     Stationery Stores

    1993: BCC Lions             1-0     Plateau United

    1994: BCC Lions             1-0     Julius Berger FC

    1995: Shooting Stars                2-0     Katsina United

    1996: Julius Berger                   1-0     Katsina United

    1997: BCC Lions             1-0     Katsina United

    1998: Wikki Tourists                  0-0     Plateau United

    1999: Plateau United                 1-0     Iwuanyanwu

    2000: Tornadoes           1-0     Rangers

    2001: Dolphins FC                     2-0     El-Kanemi

    2002: Julius Berger                   3-0     Yobe Stars

    2003: Lobi Stars             2-0     Sharks FC

    2004: Dolphins FC                     1-0     Enugu Rangers

    2005: Enyimba               1-1(6-5pens) Lobi Stars

    2006: Dolphins FC                     2-2 (5-3pens)Bendel Insurance

    2007: Dolphins FC                     1-1 (3-2pens) Enugu Rangers

    2008: Ocean Boys                     2-2 (7-6pens)Gombe United

   2009: Enyimba                1-0  Sharks FC

  2010: Kaduna United                 3-3(3-2pens) Enyimba

   2011: Heartland              1-0     Enyimba

   2012: Heartland              2-1     Lobi Stars

  2013 Enyimba                             2-2 (5-4pens) Warri Wolves    

  2014: Enyimba                           2-1     Dolphins FC

  2015: Akwa United                      2-1     Lobi Stars

  2016: FC IfeanyiUbah                 0-0(5-4pens) Nassarawa  United

  2017: Akwa United                      0-0(3-2pens) Niger Tornadoes

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and his Watford counterpart Marco Silva have differed on the decision to award Watford a penalty in Saturday's match which the hosts won 2-1.

Arsenal were leading through Per Mertesacker's first-half goal and had chances to make the Premier League game safe.

Richarlison however went down in the penalty area under a challenge from Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, with referee Neil Swarbrick pointing to the spot.

Captain Troy Deeney stepped up to convert the resulting spot-kick to bring the home team level, before Tom Cleverley's stoppage-time strike handed Watford all three points.

Speaking after the match, Wenger termed the penalty decision as `scandalous'.

"The decision on the penalty is a bit ridiculous and then we panicked a bit for their second goal and in the end we stand with a defeat,'' said Wenger.

He added, "It is a scandalous decision, but what can we do about it? Nothing. We can talk and talk and talk. At the end of the day they scored.''

On his part, Silvarefuted claims that Richarlison dived, saying that the player has suffered fmost from fouls. 

"I have seen the penalty now and I respect the decision of the referee," said Silva after the game. "It's important, I didn't see a dive or a simulation, said Silva

"Richarlison has suffered the most fouls in the Premier League this season, and people are starting to say he dives.

"He is not. He is fair, He wins fouls like the best players in the world win fouls."


Admitting that "we didn't get the job done," Bruce Arena on Friday resigned from his position as United States manager following the team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The U.S. finished fifth in CONCACAF's Hexagonal table after losing 2-1 to Trinidad and Tobago on the region's final matchday as both Honduras and Panama moved ahead of the Americans in the standings and left the team out of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

"It is the greatest privilege for any coach to manage their country's National Team, and as I leave that role today I am honored and grateful to have had that opportunity twice in my career," Arena, 66, said in a statement.

"When I took the job last November, I knew there was a great challenge ahead, probably more than most people could appreciate. Everyone involved in the program gave everything they had for the last 11 months, and in the end we came up short.

"No excuses. We didn't get the job done, and I accept responsibility. This certainly is a major setback for the senior Men's National Team program, and questions rightly should be asked about how we can improve. No doubt this process already has started and will continue so that U.S. Soccer can progress"Having said that, it also is important to recognize the tremendous growth and accomplishments we have achieved over the past two decades in all areas, including player development, coaching education and a stable domestic professional league. That work is ongoing, and despite the result in Trinidad the sport is on the right path. By working together, I am confident soccer in this country will continue to grow in the years and decades ahead. Obviously the biggest disappointment is for our fans.

"As a person involved in the sport for more than 40 years, to see how the level of support for soccer in the United States has grown is incredibly gratifying. I believe I speak for everyone involved in the game in thanking all of you for your passion and commitment, and I hope you maintain your steadfast support of U.S. Soccer.

"While this is a difficult moment, I maintain a fierce belief that we are heading in the right direction. I believe in the American player and the American coach, and with our combined efforts the future remains bright."I don't know what the future holds for me, but I can say this from the bottom of my heart: from the high of reaching the Quarterfinal of the 2002 World Cup to the low of a few days ago, I have appreciated every minute of being a part of this program.

Arena took over the reins of the national team for the second time in his career on Nov. 22, 2016, after U.S. Soccer parted ways with his predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann.

The U.S. had lost its first two Hex qualifiers to start the campaign under Klinsmann -- at home to Mexico and away to Costa Rica -- before Arena was brought in to right the ship and ensure qualification for Russia 2018.

Needing just a single point to qualify on Tuesday, the U.S. was beaten in Trinidad -- while Honduras beat Mexico and Panama scored a last-gasp winner against Costa Rica -- and Arena accepted responsibility for the loss after the match, while saying that he and the team had failed.

The former LA Galaxy manager oversaw the team at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, leading the U.S. to its best-ever finish at the former before losing to Germany in the quarterfinals.

Arena departs with an all-time record of 81-32-35. After picking up the reins following the first two losses in the final round of qualifying, he collected a 10-2-6 record in 2017.

The National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee remains the winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history.

With the victory in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Arena is the only head coach to claim the Gold Cup title on three occasions, previously guiding the USA to crowns in 2002 and 2005.


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The gambling industry is growing rapidly in Kenya. We could be competing with the West African nations. Since last year, the country has witnessed over 10 bookmakers join the industry with each contesting for a piece of the pie.

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.

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.

A terrific dribbler with an eye for goal. His skills and potential on the pitch have always left fans ecstatic. His dazzling runs and fantastic crosses have raised his profile in the local scene. He slowly grew through the ranks both at club and national level. He recently added to the statistics of players who have made the bold move from AFC Leopards to bitter rivals Gor Mahia where he penned a long term contract. 

Besides the magic on the pitch, critics have continually accused him of laziness and being a party animal. Is he? Kenyanstar sat with John ‘Softie’ Ndirangu and here is his story.

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? 

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.


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.

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

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.


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."

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."

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