Chrispin Olando: Pamzo made me change my attitude on the pitch

He is a midfield powerhouse. His potential is unmatched. During his time in Kenya, he played for and was part of one of the best Tusker FC sides in recent years. An injury almost ruled him out of the game early on, but he managed to get over it and made a move across the seas for greener pastures.
 
He is probably one of very few Kenyans who believe that former Kenyan international Dennis Oliech failed. Probably the sole man to hold such controversial views. After years out in the cold, Kenyanstar sought to speak to Chrispin ‘Alphy’ Olando, and here is his story.

Kenyanstar: Kindly describe to us your football journey so far.
Crispin Olando: My journey has not been a walk in the park. It was a tough journey. I started my journey at Gor Mahia, where I signed my first contract in 2003 at the tender age of 16 years. Gor Mahia exposed me to the world of football. I then played at Tusker before moving to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

KS: You are among a crop of players who grew through Thika United. How good was your time at Thika and how important was the club to your career growth?
CO: There was a lot of motivation at Thika United. Thika gave me a chance to go to France where I tried out and had a feel at the paid ranks. Elio Lolli, the club chairman was a great leader and the management style then was really good.

KS: You were part of one of the greatest teams in KPL while at Tusker. What was the secret behind that dominant Tusker team?
CO: Teamwork played a really big role while we were at Tusker. There were no top scorers in the team. Everyone was scoring goals. We also trained a lot on set pieces, and to us, set pieces were half goals. We knew who was to take set pieces and who was to finish.

KS: You are touted to be one of the best local midfielders who was assured of a place in any team. What's the secret?
CO: I would dominate in any team if I were to come play in the league. The football level in Kenya is still low. I however, wouldn't say that I am a good player just out of pride. I am very confident and have great self belief. I am fearless and a beast on the pitch.

KS: You were linked with Gor Mahia at one time during Zdravko Logarusic's time. Why didn't the move happen?
CO: Yes, I spoke to Logarusic and he was interested in signing me. I however, got an invitation to Vancouver and humbly turned down the Gor Mahia move.

KS: Let us talk about Vancouver. How is it playing abroad? You are among few Kenyan players who have managed to stay abroad and play. What's kept you going?
CO: Patience and character. It takes patience to excel outside Kenya. In Vancouver, I met great players who really mentored me. Most local Kenyan players lack patience. They are not sure of what they really want, and hence they struggle abroad when they encounter issues like racism.

KS: Coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo once said that your attitude is not the best. How true is this?
CO: I had a different attitude during what I considered ‘small’ matches then. I would offer 100% in big matches but slow that down whenever I faced lowly ranked teams. I however, took Pamzo’s criticism positively and corrected that. Most players do not take criticism positively and this affects them badly.

KS: You once had a major injury. How different did you manage it such that you recovered well and started playing again?
CO: I suffered a serious injury a while back. It was career threatening. I almost knew I wouldn't play. However, I got some excellent therapy here and the treatment process went well. Besides that, strong mental strength kept me going. I however, feel sorry for many Kenyan players who suffer such bad injuries. The clubs do not have insurance cover and the playing grounds are pathetic. That is something that must change.

KS: You have a very different story on Dennis Oliech. You don't regard him as the greatest . What's your issue with him? Why don't you think he is the greatest?
CO: It is true that I hold that view. I even do not want to lay the blame on Dennis. I blame the Kenyan mentality. You see in England, David Beckham was a player worth his salt, and he did so much in helping them to the World Cup. However, they no longer praise him for years on. Dennis Oliech is not the greatest ever, although he did well for the country. As footballers and largely as sportsmen, we are ambassadors for the nation on and off the pitch. I played with Dennis from long ago and I can tell you he was a very good striker. He however, put fame ahead of performance. He was and is not a role model who kids can look up to. Kenya has had some great players in Musa Otieno, McDonald Mariga among others. You can see who they are on and off the pitch. No kids would want to emulate some behaviour displayed by Oliech. He is not a role model.

Over the years, there have been issues at the national team, and players have been afraid to talk about them. For instance some players sneaked out of  the training camp, but this wasn't being talked about. I speak about them and that is why I can openly criticize Oliech.Yes he is a player with money, but I am also a great player by my own right. So, yes Oliech is not the greatest.

KS: We haven't seen you very active on the pitch lately…
CO: I left the pitch shortly to focus on coaching. I have been running an academy here and my ambition is to build talent. I have kids from different countries and I want to take them to the next level. Besides that I also want to take my coaching skills a notch higher. I have taken a couple of kids to colleges here, where admission is quite strict, and they have secured full scholarships. I have also tried to find some talents from Kenya, but most Kenyan players do not meet the qualifications for playing here. I speak to local coaches back at home, but due to the strict guidelines, a player has to be exceptional for them to make it here.

KS: Your advice to Kenyan footballers and the current football leadership ?
CO: After Sam Nyamweya left, things are changing. I would like to urge the current leadership that motivation is key for the players to do well. We also need to put lots off emphasis on youth football and try tap the raw talent there. Our players need to be well exposed too. For the players, I urge them to be smart. Football careers have an expiry date, and they need to invest in education too.

KS: Any closing words?
CO: My football journey has been good and I am content. I now want to take it to the next level and develop new talents.

KS: Thanks Alphy! All the best ahead.




Richard Omwela retained his chairmanship during Kenya Rugby Union elections  held late on Wednesday pipping Sasha Mutai by just two votes.

Shujaa will start their Hong Kong Sevens campaign with a Pool B clash against Canada at 3.18pm East African Time  on Friday 7 April 2017.

They will then complete their pool matches on Saturday 8 April, starting with a fixture against series leaders South Africa at 8.56am and France at 12.34pm respectively.

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the seventh round of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series. Shujaa currently sit 12th on the log with 40 points.

Janet "Shebesh" Okello leads the overall try scoring charts. The Northern Suburbs speedster has scored a series leading 26 tries.

The most eagerly waited match by Kenya as a country;  if Stars could pull a surprise in Lagos then Stars would be near their dream of playing in their first ever World Cup and that would have been France 98.

Kenyan driver Carl Tundo has proved to be a real contender in the race for the African Rally Championship title after he finished third in the Kenya Safari Rally over the weekend in Nairobi.

The Safari rally is the third round on the 2017 ARC calendar. Tundo, who survived a roll in the last stage of the race, came third in his Lancer Evo10.

Tapio Laukannen became the first Finnish to win the 65th edition of the Kenya Safari Rally. He showed earlier intent for victory posting the fastest time on day one.

Another Kenyan Jassi Chatthe, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer, who won the ARC title in 2015, finished sixth over the weekend, to go second with eight points, ten points behind Tundo.

The rest of the registered ARC drivers have not scored any points after three rounds. Ian Duncan and Ammar Slatch settled for second overall, 22 seconds behind the leader.

A total of 44 drivers started the Safari Rally that returns to ARC calendar after a hiatus two years. Safari Rally is one of the most competitive races on the African calendar.

Defending champion Don Smith from Kenya pulled out of the race at the 11th hour in protest claiming unfairness in the starting order. The final start list order released on Thursday had placed the 2016 champion as car number 33 yet the provisional start order had placed him at car number 2.

It means the rally revved off on Friday morning without the African defending champion. Yet, article 45.3 of the rules and regulations, gives the ARC contenders priority on a start order of a continental race.

Valery Bukera of Burundi and last year’s Mountain Gorilla victor was the best-placed foreign driver in 11th place out of the 30 finishers, while South Africa’s Geoff Bell was the best-placed two-wheel-driver in 14th place, driving a Datsun 260Z.

The fifth round of the ARC goes to South Africa for the Sasol Rally next month.

ARC Driver Standing

1. Carl Tundo (Ken): 18 points

2. Jassi Chatthe (Ken): 8 points

Safari Rally results

1. Tapio Laukkanen: 01:54:12

2. Ian Duncan: 01:54:34

3. Carl Tundo: 01:56:18

4. Onkar Rai: 01:57:01

5. Karan Patel: 02:01:13

The figure of Ksh. 600,000 released by Gor Mahia today, as the total gate collections for the Gor Mahia vs Zoo Kericho match in Kisumu are ‘stupid figures’,  Gor Mahia Organizing Secretary Judith Anyango has told Kenyanstar in a long ranging Interview.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has been ruled out up for to a month with calf injury suffered in loss at West Brom, the scan has revealed.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) has announced that seven International Federations (IFs) have made bids for membership that meet its criteria, with their applications set to be discussed at the SportAccord Convention next month.

The International Basketball Federation (Fiba), International Triathlon Union (ITU), International Wushu Federation (IWUF), International Cycling Union (UCI), Union Internationale Motonautique (International Powerboating Union), International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) and United World Wrestling (UWW) have all applied to become IWGA members.

The federations have been invited to give a final presentation to the IWGA Annual General Meeting at SportAccord Convention on April 3 in Aarhus, Denmark.

The IWGA currently has 37 member federations. For IFs to become a member of the IWGA, membership of SportAccord is a prerequisite. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in the World Games are not currently on the programme of the Olympic Games.

Wroclaw, Poland will stage the 2017 World Games from July 20-30, following on from the 2013 edition in Cali, Colombia. Birmingham, Alabama will be the first US destination to host the World Games since the inaugural event took place in Santa Clara in 1981 after it was formally awarded rights to the 2021 Games in April 2015.

The World Games - under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) - showcases more than 25 sports, such as squash, karate, sumo and dance sport.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has signalled its opposition to the proposed reforms of the world game outlined by the International Cricket Council (ICC) stating they will “adversely affect” the very nature of the world governing body.

The ICC is set to make a final decision on a new financial and governance structure at a meeting in April after agreeing “in principle” last month to reverse a move to put the boards of India, Australia and England in a dominant position of the game’s administration.

The BCCI, along with Sri Lanka Cricket, voted against the proposal to perform a u-turn on the 2014 decision after failing to defer the vote during February’s ICC board meeting in Dubai. Under the proposed restructuring, a new revenue distribution model would seek to counter the imbalance favouring the so-called big three, with India the most influential voice in the world game.

In a communication of its preliminary observations on the proposed ICC constitution, reported by the ESPNCricinfo website, the BCCI said the changes were “vague” and “unclear”. The status of the reforms package was thrown into question last week by the resignation of Shashank Manohar, who has been driving efforts to limit the influence of the ‘big three’, as chairman of the ICC.

“The proposed ICC constitution seeks to convert the ICC from a members' organisation to a supra-national regulator,” BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri wrote in an email sent to ICC chief operating officer Iain Higgins. “This is a fundamental change in the nature of the ICC that adversely affects the autonomy of its members.

“Further, several of the proposed changes are vague and unclear in their purport and intended operation. Given that one of the stated objectives behind the proposed changes is to bring in clarity and transparency, it is imperative that there is complete clarity on all the proposed changes so that members can properly understand the same before formulating their position thereon.”

Johri also reserved heavy criticism for the new financial model proposed by the ICC, stating it is “arbitrary” and not “agreeable”. Under the current ‘big three’ model, full members receive a contribution cost for participating in ICC events based on their perceived value in the sport. The new model is set to remove these contribution costs and instead introduce a set figure allocated to each of the 10 full members, along with two second-tier associate members - Ireland and Afghanistan.

Johri said, according to ESPNCricinfo: “The ICC is seeking to change the existing financial model without having any scientific formula or technical analysis behind the proposed changes. It is a fundamental attribute of any resource allocation system to first collect information and then allocate resources based on the information, priorities and a defined methodology following appropriate principles. The move to propose changes to the existing financial model without carrying out the aforesaid exercise is an arbitrary one.”

He added: “Any discussion on the proposed new financial model has to be based on clearly articulated and acceptable principles which recognise the relative contribution of BCCI to the revenues of the ICC. For the above reasons, we are not agreeable to the proposed new financial model.”

France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.

Former Manchester United striker Ole Gunner Solskjaer is confident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will want to play in the Champions League at Old Trafford next season. 

Jose Mourinho snapped up the veteran forward on a free transfer last summer and the Swede has been a talismanic presence at Manchester United this season, scoring 26 goals in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic is yet to extend his contract, which expires in the summer, but according to Swedish daily Expressen, the forward will sign on the dotted line soon to prolong his stay at Old Trafford for one more season.

And Solskjaer believes the Swede will want to experience Champions League football with Manchester United, if they qualify for next season, as he feels there is no better club than the Red Devils to represent on the biggest stage of European football. 

The former Manchester United striker told Expressen: “We hope that we can qualify for the Champions League next season.  

“Then I expect Ibrahimovic will want to play on the biggest stage for the best club.

“There is no better place to play Champions League football than at Manchester United.

"They are the biggest and the best club.”

Despite winning countless league titles and domestic cups in various countries, Ibrahimovic is yet to win the Champions League in his career.

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has described potential interest in him from Barcelona as "special".

The 22-year-old penned a new six-year deal with the Gunners last November but has been strongly linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with a number of top clubs across Europe thought to be interested.

Bellerin began his career as part of the Barcelona youth setup before leaving for Arsenal in 2011, and in recent days the La Liga giants have been linked with a £35m bid this summer as they continue to look for a long-term replacement for Dani Alves.

"It's nice there are a lot of big clubs that are interested in me, but if one of those is Barcelona that's special," Bellerin told Sport.

"I don't forget I grew up in that home and I will never forget my stay at Barcelona... I left Barcelona because I felt the club was not confident in me, I didn't feel valued, I was disenchanted."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has described speculation of Bellerin's potential exit as 'very difficult to take seriously'.

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

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France’s national railway company, SNCF, and professional and financial services group Deloitte have signed up as official supporters of France’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

SNCF will advise the French Rugby Federation (FFR) on transport and sustainable mobility options, and support the implementation of a ticketing strategy for the World Cup.

The company will also provide logistical support to the FFR during different stages of the application process while promoting the bid both nationally and internationally.

Deloitte’s French division will work with the FFR on drafting budgets and financing plans for the event.

FFR president Bernard Laporte said: “(We are) very pleased to be able to count on the expertise of these two companies with world-renowned know-how to help us in our application. This support again illustrates the strong mobilisation of the economic world behind #France2023.”

France faces competition from Ireland and South Africa in its bid to stage the 2023 World Cup. The World Rugby Council will select the winning bid on November 15.

The protracted saga of Arsene Wenger’s contract situation is nearing its conclusion – and it’s not the one Arsenal fans were hoping for.

Although the offer of a new two-year deal has been on the table of some time, there had been speculation that Wenger would call time on his Emirates career after over two decades at the club.

However, despite another high-profile Champions League exit and another title challenge falling away before it could really begin, the Frenchman has seemingly become more resolute in his belief that he can steer the Gunners out of the trouble they now find themselves in.

Multiple sources on Sunday night and Monday morning have reported that Wenger will tell the Arsenal board that he wants to stay at the club beyond this season – for either one or two more years – in a decision that will not be a particularly popular one if and when it is confirmed.

In fact, the Guardian report suggests that Wenger and the board are looking for the best way of telling the fanbase that there will be no change in manager, which in itself would suggest just how toxic the atmosphere around the club has become. Confirming a deal so soon after a poor 3-1 defeat to West Brom – their fourth in five league matches – that has seen them slip to sixth in the table and putting their top four chances in real danger.

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