Bandari Eye Second Away Win

Bandari FC travel to the Kenyatta Stadium to face Kariobangi Sharks in Round 11 of the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday 13 May 2017, with the kickoff time at 15:00.
The two teams have had an almost equal run to the season, both teams having picked up five wins so far and follow each other on the Premier League table, with Bandari in 5th position while Sharks sit 6th. Bandari have however recorded bad results away from home, winning only one of their five away fixtures and Nkata’s men will look to overturn that.
This season, Sharks have scored ten goals and conceded eight while Bandari have scored thirteen and conceded seven. Sharks are also currently on a good run, having not lost in their last four fixtures, with their last defeat being against Posta Rangers in mid-April. Bandari have not lost three of their last games, a 2-1 loss to league leaders Gor Mahia being their last loss.

 

Mathare United defender George `Wise' Owino has revealed that he is not yet close to retirement.

The 36-year old recently signed a one-year contract extension with the Slum Boys and when asked about his retirement plans, he said that he still has a few more years to play.

“I still have the energy to keep on going but the condition of our pitches make it a bit difficult. I believe I still have a few more years left before I hang up my boots,'' said Owino.

He has set this season's target; helping Mathare United finish in top nine positions in the Kenyan Premier League table. That will however not be easy as they currently languish in the last position, having only managed ten points from fourteen matches.

 ``I want to help the team come out of the relegation zone then from there we can think of finishing inside the top half of the table. It is one game at a time for us.” 

The vastly experienced defender has played for several big teams in Kenya including Tusker and Sofapaka. He has also turned out for two of Tanzania's biggest teams Yanga and Simba.  

 

Mathare United have completed the signing of Victor Ashinga on a two-year deal.

The 24-year old did not feature much in the first leg of the Kenyan Premier League due to a heel injury which forced him out of action and has not played for the Thika-based club since Nicholas Muyoti took over the head coach role.

“I am happy to be back on the pitch and I have been working very hard in training.  I did not play in the first leg and I am taking that as a challenge to break into the first team. I want to rediscover my form and help Mathare United go back where it belongs,” said the former Mathare Youth player.

Mathare head coach Francis Kimanzi lauded the addition of Ashinga into the fold, saying that the player is a good back up for the recovering Edward Seda.

“Ashinga is a good signing because he is experienced and also technically gifted. We are not sure about when Seda will be back in action so we had to get somebody to make up for his absence. In Ashinga we have found an able back up.” 

Victor Ashinga becomes the fourth signing for the Slum Boys in the June transfer window after  Frank Liyayi, Samuel Olwande and Ronald Reagan join the club earlier. Mathare are currently last on the table standings, sitting 18th on the log with ten points from fourteen matches.

 

KCB RFC are set to leave the country on Thursday for South Africa where  they will camp for ten days, with the days serving as their pre-season.

The bank-sponsored team had a stellar feat in the just concluded season where they retained the Enterprise Cup after overcoming opponents Kabras Sugar 27-23 in the finals. They also won their fifth Kenya Cup title with a 36-8 win over Kabras Sugar at the Lions Den on Saturday 22 April 2017.

In South Africa, the team will get a rare chance to watch a super rugby match between Stormers and Sunwolfs. They will also play several friendlies with South African teams in preparation for next season.

“The team  had a successful 2016/17 season winning two domestic titles, Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup, the South Africa trip is an exposure for the rugby team to enable them defend the trophies in coming season ,” said KCB Group  Marketing and Communications Director Angela Mwirigi on the trip.

 

AFC Leopards is set to part ways with Ghanaian Gilbert Fiamenyo, the club’s current leading scorer.

Gilbert, was the subject of a heated transfer last season and terminated his contract with Ebusua Dwarfs to force a move out of the club and would hence remain a free agent. A move to Leopards was in the offing and soon, he arrived in Nairobi days after the June mid-season transfer was shut. As a free agent, Leopards hoped to sort his transfer with ease, considering they had failed to secure their prime target Malian Ismaila Diarra.

However, the Football Kenya Federation would turn down Leopard’s hopes of registering the player. Leopards, never pursued the matter. Fiamenyo would later travel back to Ghana, and agree to return to Kenya at the end of the season.

On his return, Leopards had made changes to the technical bench, and Stewart Hall had been appointed head coach. Having not played for almost a year, Gilbert would be forced into rigorous training. No sooner had the player gained full fitness, Leopards were already in demand for his services. The striker never disappointed.

He announced his arrival in style, securing a debut goal against Nakumatt. He would go to score 4 for more to end June as the club’s top scorer.

What Leopards discovered late, however, was Gilbert was carrying an injury to the season. Despite showing promising signs in the season, the striker would later struggle to keep up with the pace and be forced at some point to play under injections, with Leopards missing the services on an injury-prone striker Mungai Kiongera. The goals would soon fade away, and Gilbert struggled.

As the mid-season breather was announced, the club would undertake to give more attention to Gilbert’s injury. An MRI scan was done on Gilbert’s knee and it revealed that he has a serious medical condition. Sources have told Kenyanstar that the player could not feature for an entire season. 

Did Leopards due enough medical tests on Fiamenyo before signing him? For a player with a good background who also made headlines in CHAN for Ghana, and has had stints in Europe for trials, a lot is left to question on how he got signed and if his departure is fairly evaluated without violating FIFA laws on medical discrimination of a player.

With that, the player could not stay any further, forcing both parties to put on hold a bitter-sweet relationship ahead of the start of the second leg.

For notable examples of medical conditions , in 2014 Manchester United helped Darren Fletcher to come open about his bowel disease condition which had taken a toll on him at his prime since 2011. Brazilian legend Ronaldo was forced into early retirement after he was diagnosed with hypothyroidism which has affected his weight since.

Gilbert is set to depart for Ghana later this week.

Kenyan Premier League side AFC Leopards will miss the services of striker Gilbert Fiamenyo for the remainder of the season. This is after the Ghanaian international suffered a knee injury that will force him to impede his on-field duties as he continues to recuperate. 

Fiamenyo was undoubtedly the most outstanding Leopards' player in the first leg of the season, scoring half of the total goals that Ingwe registered in that period. His five-goal tally have largely helped Leopards to sit in 12th place of the table standings, without which the team will be sweating in the relegation spots.

The work he started will however be continued by young striker Vincent Oburu who was unavailable for the first leg due to a lengthy ban imposed to him by the national football body. The young lad will be motivated by his impressive performance in the Go TV Shield where he bagged five goals against Maisha Siaya County League side Dero FC. 

He will be assisted by Burundian striker Alexis Kitenge who is expected to jet into the country on Thursday to begin his life with AFC Leopards. 

In the second leg, the former league giants will be seeking to bounce back from their slump in form which has seen them winless in the last eight consecutive matches, leaving them in the bottom half of the Premier League table

 

Inside Nairobi Club along Ngong Road is an old, small but well maintained house. The main door faces the Hospital Road and Ngong Road Junction while the rear door opens to the oval shaped cricket grounds. Beyond the outer wooded shutter of the main door is a glass door with a red round logo of Kongoni Cricket Club. This is the logo that attracted me to this club house with the intention of digging into how it ended up on the grounds.

On stepping inside your eyes will catch the simple yet elegant furnishing. The bar is to your left while two cabinets holding cricket memorabilia dating back to 1860 are kept in two cabinets majestically positioned to the left and right walls. There are wooded barrels in two corners that give the house the old English farm house ambiance. On several walls are photos of club officials and visiting teams like 1959 visit of Rhodesian Strugglers’ Cricket Club.

The carpet is simple and grey in colour buttressing the mixture of simple old and new elegant furniture in the bar area. Upstairs is the pavilion that gives one a good view of cricket out in the oval ground, offices and board room. On this day the bar is playing bongo flava tunes in low tone which blends well with the noise from resting players cheering their counterparts in the three club round robin matches going on. I am here to meet current club captain Mr. David Waters, and a former player for Nairobi Gymkhana.

Nairobi Club was established in 1901 while Kenya Kongoni Cricket Club (KKCC) was established in 1927 by H.B. Emley. This is their 90th year of existence and their home has always been Nairobi Club. In 1981 they dropped Kenya from the name and remained Kongoni Cricket Club. The Sports Pavilion cum Club House was built in 1950 by KKCC, but handed over to Nairobi Club as a soft loan and they have been repaying it slowly until about ten years ago when they completed paying for it. From 1932 Kenya Kongoni controlled cricket in Kenya until 1953 when Kenya Cricket Association was formed

Kongoni leased back the house from Nairobi Club and they have an agreement which was signed in July 1966 that gave Kongoni exclusive rights over the cricket grounds. They also use the facility for keeping trophies and memorabilia, a library, meetings and training sessions. This translates to about three days a week. They hold events like dinners but Nairobi Club runs a bar and maintains the facility on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Kongoni sources for services from Nairobi Club and their visiting players and coaches are accommodated at the club. This has led to a symbiotic relationship that serves both parties well.

David Waters is on the grounds playing cricket. I will have to wait until the next rotation when his team will be resting. I take up a seat on one of the elegant couches on one side of the room facing a TV screen showing highlights of Spanish La Liga matches once in a while shifting to another one showing cricket with some young men glued to it to my right. I later learn that these are young boys from the slums who come in every Saturday to learn cricket.

I hear cheers from the grounds and prepare for my interview with David Waters. I see a man who looks busy going into sixties, a stark difference from the younger man he appeared to be while on the grounds. He assures me he will be back shortly. I look at him rush through a door marked Home that I learn is a changing room after noting that I am facing another door marked Away. The men who were resting are talking loudly as they get onto the pitch as a waiter sets up tea and snacks on the verandah to my left.

He comes back and insists we sit at a vantage point where he can watch the match as we talk. Throughout the interview, I had to give him time to clap and shout at the teams through the big window. He tells me that they have 110 members. Their main source of funds is from members’ subscriptions, donations and annual fundraising day. Currently Braeburn Schools sponsors their two teams in the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association League. They came sixth last year and fifth the previous season which is not good for their long history in the sport. The season is yet to kick off so they are preparing for it.

Kongoni and Nairobi Club have different rules regarding membership and use of facilities. Nairobi Club members can use facilities at the Kongoni Club House but Kongoni members do not enjoy privileges at the Nairobi Club. This is their 90th year and recently they renovated the house to a tune of Ksh. 20 million. They are planning a makeover of the cricket grounds as well. He represents Kongoni on the Nairobi Club Sports Committee as well. The relationship serves them well and my talk with Mr. Ochieng’ from the club confirms that Nairobi Club is happy with the arrangement too.

He tells me as much as most cricket clubs have bases in clubs just like Kongoni, Swamibapa and Stray Lions who came first and second last season are the two exceptions. So having a home with facilities is not a prerequisite for success but good for sustainability of a club because it attracts members who may not be active players. Having a home at Nairobi Club has enabled Kongonis to stay afloat even during tough times. Waters came to Nairobi in 1980 and began his career at Nairobi Gymkhana before shifting to Kongonis. 

When he came to Nairobi, Nondies RFC was based at Parklands Sports Club but they were kicked out. The rugby matches were near town and much fun, they have since moved to the ASK Show Ground off Ngong’ Road. With good agreements with mutual benefits, private members clubs can host a number of sports clubs. Currently, he says the hockey grounds at Nairobi Club have not been used in a long time.

He then moves to his East Africa Cricket and Educational Foundation. The foundation partners with Kongoni to run cricket clubs in 18 primary schools in Nairobi slums. They have coaches who are employed by the foundation who go around in these schools. Every Saturday they bring some of children to Nairobi Club for practice too. These children he believes are the future of Kongoni and Kenya’s cricket.

I then push the question that brought me. “Can football clubs and especially Gor and AFC Leopards learn from Kongoni and establish home bases on grounds they don’t necessarily own?” He shifts his face to the grounds for a few seconds then talks to me without look me in the face before turning midway to conclude his statement. “Football has a huge following; Kongoni is a small armature club with only 110 members and Kenya only has about 700 cricket players. They should not be learning from cricket. I think the problem is in the leaders they elect.”

Kongoni has maintained a tradition of annual visits to Ol- Pajeta in Laikipia, Mombasa, Nakuru, Tanzania and England. This July will mark their 86th tour of England that was interrupted for five years by Second World War. They are also planning to tour India next year.

Kongoni Cricket Club is a lesson in simplicity, stability and good leadership.

@stuttistician

Kenya’s ruling party, the Jubilee Party of Kenya unveiled it’s manifesto ahead of elections scheduled for August on Monday night, giving sports a couple of seconds in the event.
 
In their promises to the nation in the buildup to the August Polls, various Cabinet Secretaries made addresses to the nation, unveiling their achievements and laying forth promises in the coming years. Spectacularly absent was the Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.
 
Before assuming power in 2013, President Kenyatta had pledged at least five new stadia to the nation, in addition to refurbishing the existing facilities. However, to date, that is still a pipe dream. With CS Wario absent, persistent queries on social media would force the day’s Master of Ceremonies to pose the question to the deputy president William Ruto, minutes to the close of the event.
 
“In 6 months time, the stadium in Wote will be complete as will that one in Chuka. In 3 months, the stadium in Moyale will be complete. In 6 months, another stadium in West Pokot will be complete and that will be historic. In a couple of months the stadium in Kiambu will be complete,” Deputy President William Ruto defended their administration, adding, “The President issued a title for a stadium in Nyeri, and that too is underway. In Mombasa, we had challenges with ownership of the land and that is being sorted. We already have signed contracts and are ready to go. We also have challenges in Kisumu as a dumpsite is still close to the stadium, hampering any development works. Once that is cleared, we will be good to go.”
 
The upcoming 2017 IAAF Youth Championships also formed part of Ruto’s response, where he noted that the Government had set aside well over 300 million shillings to refurbish Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums.
 
Sports fanatics on social media however, remained critical of the Uhuru administration.
 
One Twitter user, @JumbaLuvai posted: There is an existing stadium beside the dump site Ruto referred to in KISUMU #JubileeManifesto
 
@Maxmasei posted: Nothing for western to smile about...a stadium in moyale bt none in Western?? #Jubileemanifesto
 
Another, @mwende_s posted : Wait..how long does it take to build a stadium..we don't want rushed promises that will collapse on us.#JubileeManifesto
 
Despite the promises, Kenya is still struggling with a handful of stadia, and the nation’s chances of hosting the CHAN 2018 tournament hangs in the balance, thanks to ill preparation.
 
 

Gor Mahia added themselves to the list of teams who have qualified to the next round of the Go TV Shied tournament after overcoming Nairobi Water 3-1 on Sunday 25 June, 2017 in Thika.

Nairobi Water were first to score, Robinson Shitandi giving them the lead after a run from the midfieldto the opponent’s goal. Kenneth Muguna however cancelled the lead in the 35th minute after being fed beautifully by Innocent Wafula.

George Odhiambo gave Ko’galo the lead for the first time in the match after an assist from the scorer of the first goal to take the scores to 2-1 in favour of Gor Mahia. Wllington Ochieng sealed the win for the Green Army in the second half to confirm a spot for them in the next round of the competition.

British No 3 Dan Evans has announced that he tested positive for cocaine in April and he will be provisionally suspended from 26 June.

Evans, who is ranked 50th in the world, claims he took the illegal substance out of competition and for reasons "completely unrelated to tennis".

The 27-year-old called an impromptu press conference at the Novotel hotel in London on Friday afternoon, where he took no questions but made a statement

Evans said: "This is a very difficult day for me and I wanted to come here in person to tell you guys face to face.

"I was notified a few days ago that I failed a drugs test in April where I tested positive for cocaine. It's really important you know this was taken out of competition and the context was completely unrelated to tennis.

"I made a mistake and I must face up to it. I do not condone for one second to anyone that this was acceptable behaviour.

"I've let a lot of people down - my family, my coach, my team, sponsors, British tennis and my fans.

"I can only deeply apologise from the bottom of my heart. This has been an extremely sad and humbling experience."

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have released a statement stating they were "very disappointed" at the news.

"We are very disappointed at the news that Dan Evans has tested positive for a recreational substance. We absolutely condemn any form of drug-taking and will support the process which needs to take place.

"We are in touch with Dan and we will offer appropriate guidance, support and education to him on how best to address the issues he now faces."

The Birmingham-born player climbed into the world's top 50 earlier this year after an excellent upturn in results, which included reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open in January. In May 2015, he had dropped as low as 772nd.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Evans provided the positive sample at the Barcelona Open on 24 April and he will be provisionally suspended from 26 June.

A player can be banned for up to four years for an anti-doping violation, according to ITF rules.

Report by Skyports

 

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is reportedly demanding a new contract with wages of £200,000 per week – the same as Blues team-mate Eden Hazard and as Manchester United ‘keeper David de Gea.

The Belgium international has established himself as one of Europe’s top shot-stoppers in his time at Stamford Bridge, and is now looking to more than double his current earnings.Courtois, 25, is currently on £90,000 a week, and his current deal runs until 2019, meaning the Blues may want to get the dispute resolved soon.

Real Madrid have been linked with Courtois in recent times, with the Spanish giants also looking at the likes of De Gea as they plan a big-name signing in goal this summer.Courtois’ demands have reportedly seen Chelsea put off contract talks for the time being, though they hope to reach an agreement with the former Atletico Madrid man before the start of the new season, according to the Daily Mail.

Manchester United are in talks to complete the transfer of Alvaro Morata, who has reportedly ignored Zinedine Zidane’s pleas to stay with Real Madrid.

The Spain international has been strongly linked with a move away from the Bernabeu for much of the summer, and is now being tipped to finalise his switch to Old Trafford.United are in need of strengthening up front after the departure of veteran front-man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Morata has done all he can to help force a move through.

Marca claim that Los Blancos boss Zidane had been keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old after some fine performances as a squad player last season, but his attempts have proven unsuccessful.

Jose Mourinho is said to have swayed Morata by guaranteeing him a key role in his United side for next season, something he has been unable to achieve at Real.Morata started his career with the Spanish giants before spending two seasons at Juventus, where he impressed with more regular football, convincing Real to buy him back last summer.

Galatasaray coach Igor Tudor has blasted outgoing winger Bruma‘s attitude and behaviour, saying the new RB Leipzig signing is harder to deal with than Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Bruma’s excellent form for Galatasaray in the second half of the season – in particular since Tudor took over at the Turkish club in February – has earned the Portuguese winger a move to German side Leipzig.

The 22-year-old scored 11 league goals this campaign for Galatasaray, finishing the campaign as their top goalscorer, although the club was only able to finish fourth in the Super Lig.

However, despite his impressive form, Tudor has claimed Bruma is suffering from an attitude problem and was not thrilled with how the wide-man behaved both on and off the field this season.

And the 39-year-old coach – who played at Juventus with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – believes that Bruma’s temperment is worse than what the Swedish icon displayed during their time together in Italy.

The Galatasaray coach told Bild: “I like Bruma a lot, he is still young, but already a top player.

“But the fact is that there are 20 more players in a squad. They all listen to you, except Bruma. I played with Ibrahimovic at some point and have experienced a lot throughout my career.

“But I have never seen someone behave like Bruma. It might be the way he was raised. He crossed a line.”

 

Bastia have confirmed that they have been further demoted to the third tier of French football after the DNCG found financial irregularities.

Bastia were relegated from Ligue 1 this season, finishing bottom of the division, and had been preparing to start the new campaign in Ligue 2.

However the DNCG, the organisation responsible for monitoring the financial accounts of professional football clubs in France, have recommended a further demotion for the club.

Bastia were the subject of an audit on their books on Thursday and the club have shared a statement from the regulation officers, which shows that the club have been sent down another division after failing to guarentee they had the finances to compete in Ligue 2.

The statement read: “Following it’s audit today before the DNCG, Sporting Club Bastia has been given notice of a provisional relegation.

“The delays obtained via appeal will allow the club to sell it’s players as best as it can and balance the books before the next audit.”

Bastia – who will now play in National 1 – have endured a torrid campaign with the side only relegated by three points.

The club recently lost an appeal over a forfeited match against Lyon in April, during which the match was suspended due to crowd trouble. The French Footbal Federation determined that Bastia fans were responsible and awarded the result to Lyon.

Had Bastia won that game they would have remained in Ligue 1 on goal difference.

 

 

Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has made history for the Chile national team tonight by moving ahead of Marcelo Salas to become their all-time leading scorer on 38 goals.

The 28-year-old scuffed home a left-footed effort from close range after a woeful error by Gunners team-mate Shkodran Mustafi in the Germany defence to confirm his status as an all-time great for his country.

Sanchez has been a Chile international since all the way back in 2006, and managed his feat in his 111th appearance for the South American giants.

It is worth noting that Eduardo Vargas is also still active for the Chile squad and is just four goals behind Sanchez in the all-time leading scorer ranks.

 

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly growing in confidence that he can sign Kylian Mbappe in a world-record transfer deal this summer.

The France international is one of the most in-demand players in world football at the moment after a stunning breakthrough season for Monaco in 2016/17.

Real Madrid are also among the contenders for the 18-year-old’s signature, while reports today claimed Paris Saint-Germain had made a world-record £123million bid for him.

However, Arsenal believe they can pip Europe’s top clubs to Mbappe, with Wenger apparently gaining confidence over a deal in the last 48 hours.

The Gunners boss is now said to be preparing a rival bid to Monaco for the teenage forward, which would exceed the amount PSG have put on the table, according to football.london.

Arsenal need signings up front this summer due to fears over Alexis Sanchez’s contract situation and apparent desire to leave for rivals Manchester City.

 

Manchester United have been given the green light to make a move for Gareth Bale after Real Madrid admitted that they would be willing to sell the 27-year-old, according to reports in France.

L’Equipe claims that Zinedine Zidane and Madrid president Florentino Perez met with Kylian Mbappe last week in order to persuade the Monaco forward to move to the Spanish capital this summer.

During their conversation, Zidane and Perez reportedly told Mbappe that they would be willing to offload one of Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo or Karim Benzema in order to guarantee him more playing time next season.

L’Equipe claim that out of those three players, Bale’s transfer would be the most likely and United could now follow up with a bid, given their long-standing interest in the Wales international.

Earlier this month, reports claimed that Bale was open to the idea of joining United but Madrid would command a £100 million transfer fee.

United have held talks with over a deal for Bale, although Madrid’s hierarchy are reportedly split over their decision to sell the forward they signed from Tottenham for £86m four years ago.

 

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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? 

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”.

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.

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.

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."

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 Tottenham striker Souleymane Coulibaly has accused the Egyptian club of treating him “like a slave” and “traumatising” his family.

Coulibaly joined Spurs in 2011 from Siena for £1.5m but failed to make any senior appearances.

He has played for Grossto, Bari Fc, Pistoiese, Peterborough United, Newport County and later Kilmarnock where he left in January to agree a three-and-a-half year deal with Al Alhy. He later returned to England without the club’s permission, prompting the Egyptian Premier League champions to lodge a complaint with FIFA.

The 22-year-old Ivorian has now claimed his actions were because of mistreatment while in Egypt, saying his family has been left “traumatised” by the experience.
Coulibaly added that Al Ahly had confiscated his passport which prompted him and his family to “flee” back to England at the first possible opportunity, and that he is willing to accept a ban from FIFA for his actions.

He said in a statement: “I’m not crazy, I left for a reason. I’m very sorry but I could not stay in that team anymore. My passport was held hostage. I was forced to do what I was told, for example bow down and pray every time I scored. I did not feel comfortable in the team and environment. I have tried my hardest for five months but I have reached my limit.

The team wasn’t welcoming. They never passed the ball so I had to fight and struggle in order to score. The coach forced me to play how he wanted me to play. I can’t play being forced to follow orders. If I didn’t obey the orders I was taken to the office and yelled at. My wife and kids are traumatised. My family is Christian and didn’t feel comfortable practicing their religion in the country.

I’ve been playing and working hard since I started without the right to a break. I left without saying because I had to flee the first chance I had a hold of my passport. They treated me like a slave all because of money. If FIFA are going to ban me I am willing and ready to accept the ban. My peace of mind and safety are what are most important to me.”

Al Ahly president Mahmoud Taher has since denied Coulibaly’s statement. Taher believes that Coulibaly’s accusation comes in response to Al Ahly’s complaint to FIFA and insists the club will not back down.

The club president’s statement read: “We deny all of Coulibaly’s allegations. What he claims never happened and he was never mistreated or abused by the club’s coach or players. Logically, if he was being abused he should have immediately spoken about this as soon as he left us, not after we filed a complaint to FIFA.

Al Ahly will not be blackmailed and will not back down until Coulibaly pays for what he did. This is a false accusation and a lie. He thinks that by saying this we will withdraw our complaint and back down but Al Ahly will not be blackmailed.”

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

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