Kenya Rugby Union urges the government to review 50% tax on betting, lottery and gaming firms

The newly created National Sports, Culture and Arts fund is intended to support development of sports, culture and arts. Monies are collected from  taxed proceeds of betting firms and thereafter pooled  into the proposed fund for distribution to various sports, culture and art related activities and organizations.
 
The country has witnessed inefficiencies in sports activities attributed to poor planning and misappropriation of sports funds. With this in mind, there is hardly anything to look forward to with the establishment of this fund, especially when little, if no regard has been given to the detailed funding requirements of each sports federation. Further, , the needs of sports federations differ greatly from those of arts and cultural bodies, something that the fund fails to take note of.

For example, United Kingdom came to a conclusion that that imposing gambling tax was a misguided move and abolished it 16 years ago. The then Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that bookmakers would be taxed on their gross profits at a rate of 15%. He also scrapped the system in which the Government collected betting duty of 6.75% from bookmakers, which was passed on to punters in a 9% tax, meaning bookmakers absorbed all the costs of the new tax themselves.This is food for thought for our authorities

Imposition of the 50% taxation on betting firms directly impacts on their beneficiaries, a case in point, the Kenya Rugby Union who will be hit by scaled back funding from our title sponsor.
Ronald Bukusi, C.E.O for Kenya Rugby Union(KRU), said that scaling back of funding from betting companies, as intended in the proposed National Sports, Culture and Arts fund will be defeatist, and retrogressive to the growth of the game, and sport in general. He added that sports federations are constantly being requested to be self-sustaining, to be attractive to sponsors, and that is what the Kenya Rugby Union has been achieving by getting support from sponsors.

The organization recently entered a five year partnership with SportPesa worth Ksh 600m, a venture geared towards growing the game at all levels, across all genders in the country. It is a venture that has been beneficial to the organization in terms of improved perks and performances by our national squads as well as timely access to funds and resources for developmental programs. As a result, KRU  is able to develop and implement programs over the short and long terms while remaining accountable to all its stakeholders.
 
“Rugby is the fastest growing team sport in the country, a feat that could not have been achieved without the implementation of these programs. We have witnessed players and teams from areas and schools previously viewed as non-traditional rugby playing zones taking up the sport, and even breaking into the national squads and winning national titles,” said Mr. Richard Omwela, KRU Chairman

“The Kenya Rugby Union in particular, is keen on further growing and developing the game within all corners of the country, and amongst all willing participants. These development programs require heavy funding from the organization as well as its various benefactors,” added the KRU Chairman 

With increased uptake of the game, there has inevitably been an increase in various opportunities within the sport. There is suddenly a demand for coaches, physiotherapists, conditioning coaches, analysts, kit suppliers, food vendors, event managers and kit suppliers. Employment opportunities have been created directly and indirectly.

“The organization has not only been able to run various programs, but also host successful events, generate other revenue streams , pay staff salaries while creating employment opportunities directly and indirectly. Maureen, who initially started out cleaning the offices at the KRU Secretariat now also cleans kit for several other teams and has been able to employ six people to aid in her operations, do we want to throw this all away? The National Sports, Culture and Arts fund in its current form will hurt the growth and development of Kenyan sports. ,” Mr. Bukusi concluded.

AFC Leopards booked the last spot of the semifinals of the Gotv Shield after a 7-1 rout on National Super League side Wazito FC ON Sunday August 20 at the Nyayo Stadium.

Alexis Kitenge opened account for Ingwe eight minutes into the match from the penalty spot following a handball by Wazito defender. The Burundian did not take long to double his tally minutes later in the same fashion after another handball offence.

With Leopards having a two-goal advantage, Wazito attempted pressing them hard to their own half but they fell further behind in the 18th minute, this time Marcelus Ingotsi finding the back of the net with a header.

Leopards had a chance to add another goal towards the end of the first half but Duncan Otieno could not find the target despite a nice combination with Aziz Okaka.

In the second half, Matano decided to execute an early change, bringing in the fresh legs of Andrew Tololwa for Harun Nyakha in the 49th minute. Michael Kibwage then produced a stellar show shortly afterwards, the defender getting past two defenders to unleash a superb strike that not even custodian Steve Njuge could stop from going in.

Dennis Gicheru scored a consolation goal for Wazitop four minutes later from the spot after Dennis Sikhayi was adjudged to have brought down Mutamba in the box.

Ingotsi completed his brace in the 61st minute, directing home Samuel Ndung'u’s cross before the Ndung’u turned into the scorer six minutes from time to give Leopards a 6-1 lead.

Kitenge wrapped up things for Ingwe late on in the game, converting another penalty to complete a brace and give his side a comfortable 7-1 win.

Tusker vs Wazito FC

In an early kick off, National Super League (NSL) side Vihiga United shocked defending champions Tusker FC, emerging 2-0 winners to dash the Brewers’ hopes of retaining the title.

Charles Okwemba gave Vihiga the lead in the 24th minute from the spot following Marlon Tangauzi’s handball. Dennis Lugalia then slayed the game three minutes from the final whistle with a goal of his own to send Vihiga through to the semifinals of the competition courtesy of a 2-0 win. This is despite their coach Manoah being sent to the stands due to unending protests.

 

 

 

 

A 3-1 win over Bandari on Saturday August 19 was enough to hand Sony Sugar a semifinal place in this year's Gotv Shield tournament.

Sony went ahead in the 14th minute through  Yemi Mwana who finished off a rebound by goalkeeper Wilson Obungu after the latter had failed to get a firm grip on Fredrick Onyango's shot.

Sony were 2-0 up in the 31st minute, Amos Asembeka converting from the penalty spot following Felly Mulumba foul on Yemi Mwana inside the box. Asembeka then completed his brace and Sony's third goal again from the spot in the 49th minute, Mulumba again committing the same mistake on Yemi Mwana.

Baron Oketch reduced the deficit for the Dockers with a goal in the 75th minute but his effort could not salvage anything for Bandari. The last six minutes were however intense especially after  Jessy Obora was shown a red card in the 84th minute of the game.

The match ended 3-1 in favour of SoNy Sugar and they will now face Kariobangi Sharks who were 5-0 winners over Eldoret Youth in an earlier match.

 

Gor Mahia forward Timothy Otieno scored two goals to help his side to a 2-0 win over Muhoroni Youth on Saturday August 19 at the Moi Stadium.

His first goal came in the 22nd minute after linking to a cross that Tuyisenge had provided to put the ball past Gradus Ochieng. Six minutes later, Otieno was at it again, capitalizing on a one on one situation with Gradius to complete his brace and ensure a 2-0 win for Gor Mahia.

More to follow...

Gor Mahia Starting XI: 1. Fredrick Odhiambo, 3. Karim Nizigiyimana, 18. Haroun Shakava, 5. Musa Mohamed, 4. Wellington Ochieng’, 7. Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza, 30. Philemon Otieno 17. Otieno Timothy, 8. Francis Kahata [20. Ernest Wendo] 11. Boniface Omondi [10. Kenneth Muguna], 9. Jacques Tuyisenge [22. Meddie Kagere].

Unused Subs: 29. Boniface Olouch, 14. Wafula Innocent, 25. George Odhiambo, 27. Anthony Mbugua

Muhoroni Youth Starting XI: 32. Ochieng Gradus, 24. Robert Mundenyu, 17. Jacob.Odhiambo, 3. Robert Indimuli, 26. Bliss Kityo [13. Daniel Otieno], 7. Yusuf Mohammed, 5. Faina Jacobs, 12. Paul Muchika, 19. Collins Agade, 14. Ambrose Ayoyi, 6. Fred Ochieng, 16. Maxwell Onyango 27. Hassan Kiyoyo [20. Venval Thomas], 11. Mudoola Faruk [28. Francis Oduor]

Unused Subs: 1. Salim Sowedi, 29. John Mark Ochieng', 8. Kennedy Rono, 25. Ogendo Jeconea, 15. Eric Baki

 

Mathare United registered the biggest KPL win of this season after downing Zoo Kericho 6-0 on Saturday August 19th at the Ruaraka Grounds.

Mathare bossed the proceedings of the game from the first whistle and had a chance in the third minute when Chris Ochieng sent a header at goal after Roy Okal found him with a pin point cross from the left but his effort was too feeble to trouble the goalkeeper.

The Slum Boys however went ahead one minute later, Chrispin Oduor cleverly lobbing the ball over an oncoming Vincent Misikhu to make the score 1-0. Ochieng the found Ronald Reagan with a dipping cross in the 12th minute but the latter could not keep his effort down.

Sabiri Sindani had a chance to reduce the deficit for Zoo after connecting to Kingston's delivery from the right but his header is gathered comfortably by Opiyo, who was standing in for an injured Wycliffe Kasaya. Play was momentarily stopped in the 36th minute following  Andrew Juma's aerial collision with Kipkurui. With Juma unable to continue, Francis Kimanzi was forced to slot in David Owino at left back to replace him.

In the 45th minute, Oduor doubled his tally after capitalizing on a poor clearance from Zoo to fire a low shot past Misikhu. Mathare as a result went into the break leading 2-0.

Opiyo was forced to make a fingertip save three minutes after the restart, denying Kipyegon from a free kick on the left that was awarded after Ogutu had tripped Kipkurui on the right.Zoo then made their first substitution in the 53rd minute, Namasakha replacing Kipkoech as they sought to find a goal. Edwin Seda made it 3-0 four minutes later after showing fine composure to slot the ball home past Misikhu. Mathare then made a second substitution at the half hour mark replacing Reagan with Derrick Onyango.

Zoo thought that they had pulled one goal back in the 62nd minute after Johnstone Ligare had sneaked behind Mathare's defense to nod in Kipyegon's delivery but the goal was disallowed for offside.

The Slum Boys were 4-0 up in the 74th minute courtesy of substitute Derrick Onyango who made a telling contribution to the scoreline with a goal of his own.

Chrispin Oduor finally completed his hattrick in the 82nd minute before Derrick Onyango grabbing another goal late on to complete the 6-0 rout. 

 

 

 

The truth is that with 10 minutes left on the clock, Swansea City were still in this game and then Jose Mourinho’s team went in for the kill in a way that Manchester United sides seemed to have forgotten how to do in the era that has followed Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

 

They ransacked the home team with three goals in the space of four minutes, three perfect raids, that were built from direct football or rapid turnovers of possession and which were led by the big figures in this team, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, who have five goals between them already this season. Two games in, two wins and United have scored eight without reply.

Pogba played on the edge for much of the game after a first-half booking, but as we have come to see with this player, he never hides from the action and eventually his reward came. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s second assist of the afternoon opened the way for Pogba who, for all his rampaging, applied a delicate finish to beat Lukasz Fabianski for his second goal of the new season, United’s third, before substitute Anthony Martial added a fourth.

For Swansea, in their first game without Gylfi Sigurdsson, this was a chastening finale although there were times when it looked like they might have been able to put some pressure on United after Eric Bailly scored with a late first-half goal. 

The United defender had already put one clearance on the roof of the main stand before he was the one who reacted the quickest in the area when Fabianski made a fabulous save and Bailly stamped the ball over the line.

The home team had been warned, with more than one chance for United to turn their domination of possession into a goal. Phil Jones had headed against the bar from a corner and Marcus Rashford had torn through the Swansea defence, only to poke a lame shot straight at Fabianski. 

Just when it looked like Clement’s team would make it to half-time, the breakthrough arrived.

Pogba’s power and physique, not to mention an occasionally twinkling touch on the ball, allow him to get involved in just about everything in the middle of the pitch. Nevertheless, he did mistime a tackle on Tom Carroll in the first half and the booking was on everyone’s mind when he was late into a challenge on Martin Olsson. Jon Moss let that one slide and it was Pogba’s header that, saved by Fabianski, was put in by Bailly.

 

It had been his cross that won the original corner taken by Juan Mata, and it felt like the Frenchman was everywhere in this game. Even so, Carroll got on the ball when he could and there were a couple of moments for Swansea. Jordan Ayew got a ricochet off a Bailly clearance that set him free down the left channel where his imaginative shot with the outside of his right foot caught out David de Gea and grazed the bar.

Tammy Abraham was up against Bailly and Jones and that took some getting used to at first, but when his touch settled down the Chelsea striker, on loan at Swansea, had a couple of decent moments. He is four weeks older than Rashford whose career has progressed further and he demonstrated in the first half his slickness of touch. if not his finishing.

 

Rashford faded after the break and when Mourinho came to make his changes with 15 minutes to go, United had at times been on the back foot. Clement had earlier switched from a three-man defence to a 4-3-3 formation and tried to put some pressure on Daley Blind at left-back, United’s weakest link in the back four. Mourinho responded by bringing Marouane Fellani into the midfield at the expense of Mata and his team took their chances when they arrived; Lukaku, Pogba and then Martial turning a victory into a rout.

 

Kariobangi Sharks became the first team to enter the semifinals of the Gotv Shield tournament after thrashing Division One side Eldoret Youth 5-0 on Saturday August 19th at the Nyayo Stadium.

Kevin Cheti has the first chance for Eldoret Youth in the 3rd minute but could only shoot wide even with only the keeper to beat. Kenyan international Masoud Juma showed him how it is done in the 15th minute, capitalizing on a rebound to send the ball past keeper Reagan Wanjala. Sharks would have further added their tally but Paul Kamau and Ebrimmah Saneh failed to find the target.

Duke Abuya cleverly beat the offside trap in the 57th minute to double his side's lead before Masoud Juma completed his brace three minutes later with a fine finish. As if not enough, Sven Yiddah added himself into the score sheet before Ebrimah Sanneh scoring a late goal to seal a 5-0 win for Sharks and a place in the semifinals of the Gotv Shield tournament.

Kariobangi Sharks Starting XI: Robert Mboya, Paul Kamau, Wycliffe Otieno, Geoffrey Shiveka (c), Michael Bodo, Sven Yidah, Patilla Omoto, Duke Abuya, Mathew Odongo, Ebrimma Sanneh, Masoud Juma

Subs:Jeff Oyemba, Hillary Omondi, Stephen Odhiambo, Christopher Kimathi, Erick Kipkurui, Francis Manoa, Rogers Omondi

Eldoret Youth Starting XI:Reagan Wanjala,Dennis Injendi, Brian Manaseh, Samuel Karonya, Philex Kwemoi, Jecton Siwa, Kevin Mwanzi, Rodgers Kimeli, Joseph Oyugi, Kevin Cheti, Abraham Koech

 

Subs Simon Wafula, Kevin Otieno, Robeert Omuhambe, Allan Kibet, Kelvin Wanyama, Hussein Abullahi, Okoth Phi

Chemelil Sugar have released their starting lineup to face Posta Rangers on Saturday August 19 at the Chemelil Sports Complex. The two teams settled for a 1-1 draw in their first leg match.

Jarius Adira starts in goal with the defense being made up of Smith Ouko, Juma Yussuf, Omino James and Oketch Benjamin. Collins Neto and Faraj Odenyi will lead the attack.

Starting XI: Jarius Adira, Smith Ouko, Juma Yussuf, Omino James, Oketch Benjamin, Omondi Clifford, Arita Moses, Otieno Apollo, Muchuma Philip, Odenyi Faraj, Neto Collins.

Subs:  Aimo Richard, Odhiambo Kennedy, Wawu John, Siwa Saphan , Erastus Mwaniki, Adebayo Mustapha, Moses Osure

 

Manchester United and Swansea have released their starting lineups for their clash on Saturday August 19th at the Liberty Stadium from 14:30.

United are seeking their second win in two games after recording a 4-0 victory over West Ham in their opening fixture. Swansea on their side are eyeing their first win after settling for a 0-0 draw with Southampton a fortnight ago.

Below are the full team lineups:

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku.

Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Smalling, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Martial.

Swansea XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, Bartley, Carroll, Mesa, Ayew, Abraham.

Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, van der Hoorn, Fulton, Narsingh, Routledge, McBurnie.

 

The truth is that with 10 minutes left on the clock, Swansea City were still in this game and then Jose Mourinho’s team went in for the kill in a way that Manchester United sides seemed to have forgotten how to do in the era that has followed Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

 

They ransacked the home team with three goals in the space of four minutes, three perfect raids, that were built from direct football or rapid turnovers of possession and which were led by the big figures in this team, Romelu Lukaku and Paul Pogba, who have five goals between them already this season. Two games in, two wins and United have scored eight without reply.

Pogba played on the edge for much of the game after a first-half booking, but as we have come to see with this player, he never hides from the action and eventually his reward came. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s second assist of the afternoon opened the way for Pogba who, for all his rampaging, applied a delicate finish to beat Lukasz Fabianski for his second goal of the new season, United’s third, before substitute Anthony Martial added a fourth.

For Swansea, in their first game without Gylfi Sigurdsson, this was a chastening finale although there were times when it looked like they might have been able to put some pressure on United after Eric Bailly scored with a late first-half goal. 

The United defender had already put one clearance on the roof of the main stand before he was the one who reacted the quickest in the area when Fabianski made a fabulous save and Bailly stamped the ball over the line.

The home team had been warned, with more than one chance for United to turn their domination of possession into a goal. Phil Jones had headed against the bar from a corner and Marcus Rashford had torn through the Swansea defence, only to poke a lame shot straight at Fabianski. 

Just when it looked like Clement’s team would make it to half-time, the breakthrough arrived.

Pogba’s power and physique, not to mention an occasionally twinkling touch on the ball, allow him to get involved in just about everything in the middle of the pitch. Nevertheless, he did mistime a tackle on Tom Carroll in the first half and the booking was on everyone’s mind when he was late into a challenge on Martin Olsson. Jon Moss let that one slide and it was Pogba’s header that, saved by Fabianski, was put in by Bailly.

 

It had been his cross that won the original corner taken by Juan Mata, and it felt like the Frenchman was everywhere in this game. Even so, Carroll got on the ball when he could and there were a couple of moments for Swansea. Jordan Ayew got a ricochet off a Bailly clearance that set him free down the left channel where his imaginative shot with the outside of his right foot caught out David de Gea and grazed the bar.

Tammy Abraham was up against Bailly and Jones and that took some getting used to at first, but when his touch settled down the Chelsea striker, on loan at Swansea, had a couple of decent moments. He is four weeks older than Rashford whose career has progressed further and he demonstrated in the first half his slickness of touch. if not his finishing.

 

Rashford faded after the break and when Mourinho came to make his changes with 15 minutes to go, United had at times been on the back foot. Clement had earlier switched from a three-man defence to a 4-3-3 formation and tried to put some pressure on Daley Blind at left-back, United’s weakest link in the back four. Mourinho responded by bringing Marouane Fellani into the midfield at the expense of Mata and his team took their chances when they arrived; Lukaku, Pogba and then Martial turning a victory into a rout.

 

Manchester United and Swansea have released their starting lineups for their clash on Saturday August 19th at the Liberty Stadium from 14:30.

United are seeking their second win in two games after recording a 4-0 victory over West Ham in their opening fixture. Swansea on their side are eyeing their first win after settling for a 0-0 draw with Southampton a fortnight ago.

Below are the full team lineups:

Manchester United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Lukaku.

Subs: Romero, Lindelof, Smalling, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Martial.

Swansea XI: Fabianski; Naughton, Federico Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, Bartley, Carroll, Mesa, Ayew, Abraham.

Subs: Nordfeldt, Rangel, van der Hoorn, Fulton, Narsingh, Routledge, McBurnie.

 

The Barclays Premier League enters its second week with nine matches set to be played between Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the early kick off will see Manchester United face Swansea from 14:30. Manchester were 4-0 winners over West Ham in their opening fixture. Liverpool will be seeking their first win when they take on Crystal Palace at Anfield from 17:00. Stoke City will then host Arsenal in the last match for Saturday.

On Sunday, two matches will be played, with Huddersfield entertaining Newcastle while defending champions Chelsea clash with Tottenham. Chelsea lost their opening fixture to Burnley.

Saturday August 19th

14:30- Swansea vs Man Utd

17:00- AFC Bournemouth vs Watford

17:00- Burnley vs West Brom

17:00- Leicester vs Brighton

17:00- Liverpool vs Crystal  Palace

17:00- Southampton vs West Ham

19:30- Stoke City vs Arsenal

Sunday August 20th

15:30- Huddersfield vs Newcastle

18:00- Tottenham vs Chelsea

 

 Floyd Mayweather is already known as the "Money" man in boxing.

His reputation will be further enhanced after his battle with UFC star Conor McGregor.

The American expects to bank $350 million (£272 million) for the fight on August 26, taking his career earnings past $1 billion (£777 million).

Mayweather, 40, has been involved in all of the top three biggest-selling pay-per-view fights of all time.

His record-smashing victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2015 was sold to 4.6 million households in the United States, yet Mayweather believes his fight with McGregor will be an even bigger success.

The second leg of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) Kenya 2018 qualifiers are scheduled to take place this weekend from Friday 18th-Sunday 20th August in different parts of the continent.

All countries in the six distinct zones will be in action, with some looking to consolidate their first leg wins while others seek to overturn the losses they suffered in the first round.

Some of the teams that will be in action include Uganda who will be travelling to Kigali to face Rwanda on Saturday 19th August after a comfortable 3-0 win at home. Libya, who were 2-1 winners over Algeria, will be in the hunt for another victory when they host the North African nation on Saturday August 19th while South Africa travel to Ndola to battle it out with Zambia also on Saturday following a disappointing 2-2 draw at home a fortnight ago. 

Below are the full fixtures of this weekend's CHAN 2018 qualifiers:

Fixtures

Central Zone

19.08.2017 Kinshasa   DR Congo vs Congo (0-0)

19.08.2017 Yaounde   Cameroon vs Sao Tome (2-0)

 

Central-East Zone

19.08.2017 Kigali Rwanda vs Uganda (0-3)

19.08.2017 El Obeid      Sudan vs Ethiopia (1-1)

 

North Zone

18.08.2017 Sfax Libya vs Algeria (2-1)

18.08.2017 Rabat Morocco vs Egypt (1-1)

 

South Zone

19.08.2017 Ndola  Zambia vs South Africa (2-2)

19.08.2017 Luanda   Angola vs Madagascar (0-0)

20.08.2017 Windhoek    Namibia vs Comoros (1-2)

 

West A Zone

19.08.2017 Bamako     Mali vs Mauritania (2-2)

22.08.2017 Conakry      Guinea vs Senegal (1-3)

 

West B Zone

20.08.2017 Kumasi   Ghana vs Burkina Faso (2-2)

19.08.2017 Kano    Nigeria vs Benin (0-1)

19.08.2017 Abidjan     Cote d’Ivoire vs Niger (1-2)

 

The Champions League qualifying play-off matches continue on Wednesday August 16, with five matches expected to be played across Europe.

Some of the teams that will be in action include Celtic who host FC Astana while Napoli entertain Nice. Sevilla will be away to Istanbul Basaksehir as Olympiakos battle it out with HNK Rijeka. All matches kick off at 21:45 local time.

Wednesday August 16 Fixtures:

21:45- Celtic vs FC Astana

21:45- Hapoel Be'er Sheva vs NK Maribor

21:45- Istanbul Basaksehir vs Sevilla

21:45- Napoli vs Nice

21:45- Olympiakos vs HNK Rijeka

 

AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca has joined LaLiga side Villarreal on a season-long loan deal. This is Bacca's second stint in Spain after two successful season with Sevilla before signing for Milan in 2015. 

The Colombian international has been touted as a replacement for Roberto Soldado, who joined Fenerbahce last week. The 30-year-old has scored 165 goals in 336 games in his career, with 13 in 39 coming for Milan last season.

"The deal includes an option to buy the player once the campaign is finished," Villarreal said in a statement.

 

Paris Saint-Germain forward Jesse Rodriguez has completed his move to Stoke City on a season-long loan deal.

The former Real Madrid striker will now be with the Premier League club until July 2018 after finding playing time hard to come by at PSG, having featured in just nine matches for the Ligue 1 side and scored one goal.

"Jesse was a man in demand when PSG made it clear they would allow him to leave on loan and we’re delighted he has chosen to join us. He hasn’t had the happiest of periods in his career in Paris but he’s still only a young man and is hungry to make a big impression in the Premier League. His pedigree speaks for itself and he will most certainly add to the firepower at our disposal,” Stoke's Chief Executive  Tony Scholes told the club's official website.

Jesse becomes the sixth summer signing for the Potters subsequent to Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bruno Martins Indi and Josh Tymon joining the club.

 

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

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

KS: Where did this nickname Softie come from?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KS: What exactly affected you?

JN: Lack of play time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KS: Any closing words? 

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

KS: Thanks for your time Softie!

 

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

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.

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."

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have released fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championships (CHAN) that is set to be held in Kenya in January.

CHAN is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. It is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.

The first tournament was held in 2009. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution. The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures have been divided into four groups; West zone A, West Zone B, Central East Zone and Southern Zone. Teams in both West Zones will be playing in their second round of the qualifiers while those in Central East and Southern Zones will be competing in the first round.

In West Zone A, Sierra Leone face Senegal while Guinea clash with neighbours Guinea-Bissau on Saturday July 15, 2017 with the return matches expected to be played a fortnight later. 

In West Zone B, Togo will battle it out with Benin on Sunday July 16, 2017 with the return match a week later in Cotonou, Benin.

Four fixtures will be staged in Central East Zone with South Sudan lined up against Uganda, Tanzania with Rwanda and Djibouti with Ethiopia.

In Southern East Zone, Botswana host South Africa on Saturday 15 July while Zimbabwe visit Namibia a day later.

West Zone A

1.Sierra Leone vs Senegal -15.7.2017 (16:30,Freetown/Siaka Stevens Stadium)

  Senegal vs Sierra Leone-22.7.2017 (17:00,Dakar/Stade Demba Diop)

2.Guinea-Bissau vs Guinea-15.7.2017 (16:00,Bissau/Estadio 24 de Setembro)

  Guinea vs Guinea-Bissau-22.7.2017  (16:30,Conakry/Stade 28 Septembre)

3. Liberia vs Mauritania-16.7.2017 (16:00,Paynesville/Samuel Kayon Doe Sports Complex)

  Mauritania vs Liberia-23.7.2017 (17:00)

4.Gambia vs Mali-15.7.2017 (16:30,Bakau/Independence Stadium)

  Mali vs Gambia-22.7.2017 (17:00,Bamako/Stade Modibo Keita)

West Zone B

1.Togo vs Benin-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lomé/Stade de Kégué de Lomé)

  Benin vs Togo-23.7.2017 (16:00,Cotonou/Stade de l'Amitié de Kouhounou)

*Exempted  Burkina Faso, Côte D'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria

Central East Zone

1.South Sudan vs Uganda-14.7.2017 (16:30,/Juba stadum)

  Uganda vs South Sudan-22.7.2017 (16:00,Kampala/Phillip Omondi Stadium)

2.Tanzania vs Rwanda-15.7.2017 (16:00,Mwanza/CCM KIRUMBA Stadium)

  Rwanda vs Tanzania-22.7.2017 (15:30,Kigali/STADE REGIONAL DE NYAMIRAMBO)

3.Djibouti vs Ethiopia-15.7.2017 (15:00,Djibouti Ville/Stade Gouled)

   Ethiopia vs Djibouti-23.7.2017 (19:00,hawass/Hawass International Stadium)

4.Burundi vs Sudan-15.7.2017 (15:00,Bujumbura/Stade Prince Louis Rwagasore)

  Sudan vs Burundi-21.7.2017 (20:00,Khartoum/Khartoum Stadium)

Southern Zone

1.Madagascar vs Mozambique-16.7.2017 (14:30,Antananarivo/Stade Municipal de Mahamasina)

  Mozambique vs Madagascar-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maputo/Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto)

2.Maurice vs Angola-16.7.2017 (15:30,Belle Vue/Anjalay Stadium)

  Angola vs Maurice-23.7.2017 (16:30,Luanda/Estadio 11 de Novembro)

3.Comoros vs Lesotho-15.7.2017 (15:00,Moroni/Stade de Moroni)

  Lesotho vs Comoros-23.7.2017 (15:00,Maseru/Setsoto Stadium)

4.Namibia vs Zimbabwe-16.7.2017 (15:00,Windhoek/Sam Nujoma Stadium)

  Zimbabwe vs Namibia-23.7.2017 (15:00,Harare/National Sports Stadium)

5.Botswana vs South Africa-15.7.2017 (15:30,City of Francistown/Francistown Sports Complex Stadium)

  South Africa vs Botswana-22.7.2017 (15:00,Moruleng/Moruleng Stadium)

6.Swaziland vs Zambia-16.7.2017 (15:00,Lobamba/Somhlolo National Stadium)

  Zambia vs Swaziland-22.7.2017 (15:00,Lusaka/Heroes National Stadium)

 

 

 

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.”

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