Kenya v/s Togo :- Harambee Stars & Football Kenya Federation; who’s fooling who?

Togo is in town and Kenya’s national team is still not stable to the extent of playing their hearts out. In an earlier post this year, Can Kenya find its place in 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, we gave albeit brief notes of what it would take to ensure we’re on track to qualifying for the biggest tournament on the continent. Maybe we weren’t clear enough;

1. Technical Bench – the national coach and his team are still without contracts and there seems to be a perception that since there are not many fixtures within the year, the Federation can get away with appointing an active team manager from the Kenya Premier League to hold forte for the time being. WRONG! As we witnessed last year, dividing time for national and club assignments becomes very tricky when those fixtures fall close to each other. What’s more, preparing a national team is usually the sum of many clubs’ teams so the national coach ought to have travelled and watched his players enough times to warrant their selection to the national team. In the same breadth, sought out the pay issues and remunerate the bench accordingly.
2. Club versus National appearances – while the technical bench will insist on a player having been active at least for the last 3 months before a national team game, it is ought to help when the players have had a semblance of residential training together for at least 5 days. FKF has been trying but not hard enough and as if that is not enough, they have not been facilitating the travel arrangements of national team players especially those from abroad. Why wouldn’t it be resolved each at a time instead of waiting for scenarios of players refusing to report for national duty thanks to unpaid allowances and refunds?
3. Harambee Stars Management Board – since most of the officials who were on the Board seem to be hoping to run for this or that public office, it is only fair that the Board is disbanded and a new team reconstituted. It would also be good for fair share of representation for both ladies and youth percentile in future.
4. Stadium and hosting facilities – the renovation at Kasarani sports complex is taking way too long. While we have enjoyed easy access at the Nyayo National Stadium, the venue’s still in need of better facilities for parking, warm-up for teams playing and general security as well as capacity-wise. On this one, FKF its beyond your call but you can hasten the work by Sports Stadia Management Board.
As you address this, let’s all meet at the Nyayo National Stadium at 1700hours to cheer on our boys against Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor as they start the long journey to South Africa’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Probable Squads:
Togo (nickname The Sparrow Hawks)
Goal-keeper: Mawugbe Atsou  Defenders: Dare Nibombe, Senah Mango, Abdoul Gafar Mamah, Serge Akapko; Midfielders: Komlan Amewou, Alaiyxis Romao, Floyd Ayite and Razak Boukari, Strikers: Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor, Serge Gakpe

Kenya (nickname Harambee Stars)
Goalkeeper: Duncan Ochieng Defenders: Eric Masika, James Situma, Brian Mandela, Pascal Ochieng Midfielders: Victor Mugubi, Jamal Mohammed, Titus Mulama and Humphrey Mieno Strikers: Dennis Oliech, Allan Wanga.

Final Update on Scores: Kenya 2 ( James Situma, Allan Wanga) – Togo 1 ( Razak Boukari)

London 2012 Olympics – Are we Ready?

This year’s main sporting event the Olympics is starting to get much coverage and it is bound to get busier as we approach the July -August date. Kenya’s National Olympic Committee was reported as starting some semblance of arrangements to prepare respective disciplines for the Games.
But this is far from the reality and the first month of 2012 is gone. Save for the women’s volleyball team which was pitching camp at Kasarani and Nyayo stadium ( depending on which facility the SSMB would allow them to use), most of the other sporting disciplines are yet to start any formal camp.
Realistically the disciplines we might be represented in are Athletics, Swimming, Volleyball, Rowing and Boxing with the latter two engaged in leadership squabbles. Those which might bring in any form of medals are 2-3 but if the right preparations and technical expertise is employed 4 of these should reap some medals.
For the longest time, Kenyan teams preparing for international events have been under-training and the respective sports management bodies engaged in leadership squabbles, often involving financial help given to those in the team and also to secure freebies to such events.
The Government though pledging and putting in the necessary financial assistance and attractive bonuses, has not sought more transparency and accountability from the respective sports bodies.
It is tragic that the innocent sports people are the ones who suffer for the ‘sins’ of their superiors. While teams like Britain have been having their athletes holding their camp in the Kenyan Rift Valley, we have yet to get the camp of our national athletes even those who might not make it. Our sources tell us the Kenyan swimmers led by Jason Dunford, are hard at training and should pull a suprise amidst the traditional powers in the pool.
Boxing and Rowing we’re still gathering information though not much is forthcoming from the respective national officials.

The Government of Kenya’s busy working on other ‘national issues’ though promises have been made to avail at least half of the around KSh. 400 million required to send the team to London. other bodies such as Brand Kenya are tagging along to seek to sell the country as a worthy national brand not just with the traditional forms of tourism – game watching, beaches but also sports tourism.
GoK also formed a National Steering Committee to look into preparations of the London team and source for the reminder of the funds. This is an arduous task by any means. We also have the yet-to-be launched National Lottery…

146 days and counting…

Kenya Basketball dribbles Friday Games as Celebrities light up Basketball Night

Last weekend at the Nyayo National Stadium – Basketball Gym, Nairobians were treated to another of the Friday Basketball Games that Kenya Basketball Federation has been holding since the 2011 season started. Working with the Code Red DJ – under its CodeRed Basketball tag and majorly assisted by one Peter Kiganya, the games had the added flavour of a curtain-raiser game of what was billed as the Celebrities v/s Referees game; who included Jalang’o, Big Ted, DJ Stylez, Shaffie Weru,Nonini, Daddy Owen among others up against an old but hard-fighting REFEREES team that included Juma Kent, David Maina, Kennedy Banda, Erick Omondi, Coach Goro and some experienced coaches in the Premier League. This particular game against the referees turned out to being the ‘main thrill’ of the night, even though there was the real All-Star game which had KBF’s Premier League’s best players pitted against each other in a East-West version of the more established NBA league in the US. Before all this had other curtain-raiser activities which included the shooting, dances and other forms of entertainment to keep the crowd on its feet on a chilly Friday evening. Strictly speaking though, if the numbers from the event are anything to go by, KBF is finally finding its feet on a situation that had seen die-hard basketball fans seek alternative forms of entertainment. Filling in a gymnasium on a typical weekend has been a real struggle for the basketball officials. This season, though after consulting with entertainment specialists Code Red DJs who’s business face is one Allan Muigai (aka DJ Stylez), along with Protel Entertainment as well as Sports Stadia which manages the Nyayo National Stadium; the Friday fixtures have started changing the face of the game. Initially the games had major clubs such as Co-op Bank, KCB Lions, Ulinzi Warriors among the top basketball sides playing amongst themselves. Then in June the And1 detour into Nairobi-Kenya (thanks to Coca-Cola Kenya and GM Kenya), the spark that needed to light the game again happened and this has worked to the organisers’ advantage. Jumping into the bandwagon, media new-kid-on-the-block, One FM also saw an opportunity to appeal to its target market. Friday’s second game played in two halves ended in favor of the Referees who won 30-28 leading a close 17-16 and 13-12 in both. The game did not end without drama as expected. Big Tedd went around celebrating a basket that he had buried for close to a minute sending the crowd into an uproar while ‘Misee Jalang’o Mwenyewe’ kept the crowd on its toes constantly chasing after the ball from the opponents and making calls for passes like his team mates were not seeing him in the court. Their opponents had their share of brilliance mostly from David ‘Maish’ Maina who was outstanding during the entire game. Maina, a former player at KPA, and currently the head coach of the USIU Tigers tore his opponents with passes and shots that settled the game which had threatened to extend to overtime. Jalang’o and Big Tedd contributed two points each to their loss while Victor Okello bagged 8 points for the Referees. Earlier the Ladies East Side that was packed with stars like Shani Silalei and Irene Makori thrashed the West Side 68 -80. They won all but the first quarter at 13-13, 21-20, 19-6 and 14-8. Irene Makori netted 9 points for the winners. The final game that pitted the men lacked the sparks the fans expected to see from it. The West side boasting of Tiberius Menya and Dan Okwiri narrowly beat the East Side led by David Ogolla and Ligare Griffins 88-87 to carry home the winners’ trophy while the MVP award went to Arou Ramadhan Chan of the West side. For a Nairobi crowd which will almost always fall for the latest hype, the Friday Basketball games are slowly becoming alternative form of entertainment. It is a step in the right direction though not all is done. Just not yet…

Our views from the Friday games have our points as follows;

  • Crowd involvement – a quick look at the crowd shows most of them are newly converted basketball fans. This is the reason most left after the curtain-raiser game of CELEBRITIES v/s REFEREES. It is also the reason most of those left couldn’t identify with the real basketball players once they came out to play. Introduce the players, hype and domesticate the crowd to know their true basketball heroes. Remember how the crowd could identify with And1 stars?
  • Time – this has to be managed better if you are to keep the fans at the gym till whatever time you may need for them to leave. Spread the entertainment bits; keep reminding fans what is coming up and the main highlight of the evening. The main game of the night starting at 2300hours??? Most people at the Nyayo gym were groping in the dark of what’s next. The celebrities even left after their game (guess they still had to run to other engagements to earn their $$$ maybe…). Same thing to the KBF officials, sad!
  • Decor/Ambience – though much of this lies with the Sports Stadia Management Board, the Nyayo Basketball gym is in need of a fresh coat of paint and warmer, striking colours. It may also need some refurbishment for its cushioned walls, rims and the lighting. The ambience of a sporting event makes a whole difference if you’re hoping to wow a crowd of such proportions. It will also add more appeal to media houses that need more colour to their sports editorial stories.
  • Media – some of the media houses either avoided the whole event for reasons best known to them or they feigned commitment as has been the story with most Kenyan media houses with regards to sports. Until SuperSport or some other international media house starts featuring the games, they’re still relegated to some weekly magazine programme which edits it so much it ends up being a speck of no use. Media houses in Kenya have a peculiar sports editorial policy so you might need to work harder to entice them there.
  • Premier League pitch – as is happening with the Kenyan football scene, you need to get the clubs to have their own distinct identity. Either consult branding experts or the respective team managers to get teams to have a followership of their own. Except for the die-hard fans, most of the fans in that gym can’t distinguish which team or who Ulinzi Warriors, Tobias Onyango or Ancette Wafula or Lomboritz are.
  • Consistency – the performance, games and style of play from the main teams needs to be at a better level. You cannot build such hype about the game, show off the skills on individual skits about dribbling, dunking or shooting then give me a below-par game. It will serve no purpose at all in the efforts of getting back that ardent basketball or sports fan.
  • Corporate sponsorship– it is hard pitching to Kenyan corporate for sports events. Keep hope alive and you could see a change in attitude. A change in attitude too is needed at the top of KBF for officials to see the commercial sense of the game. We’ve sung this tune for too long. Even with its challenges football is now millions of shillings ahead of you…Anyway you can link the Friday games with the ongoing Spriteball talent search by next month?

Address these challenges are you’re on to a good thing. Mark your calendars people, every First Friday of the Month, make a date with Kenya’s basketball fraternity at the Nyayo National Stadium Basketball Gymnasium! Check some earlier posts on the Friday Basketball Games by KenyaHoops, MichezoAfrika and KenyaBuzz . Additional Reporting by Noel Robert

KPL & Gor Mahia fans: Take control before you lose football fans’ credibility

The weekend saw the start of the 2011-12 Kenya Premier League after a well-deserved break. A look at most the fixtures scheduled for the first 2 days looked more or less like foregone conclusions – except for the Mathare United v/s Sofapaka & AFC Leopards v/sTusker FC fixtures.
Our interest though is in a fixture that most pundits had given to favourite Gor Mahia – who enjoy fanatical following from their fans. It was against newly promoted but without corporate sponsor, (Posta) Rangers.
Come the start of the match and you would have been wrong to think the other way round. By the half-time break, Rangers were 2-0 up and deservedly so. Into the 82nd minute, they crown an unassailable lead and the Gor Mahia fans who were all along taunting the female linesperson start throwing missiles into the pitch. Soon one of the barriers is down & they are running into the pitch.
For the safety of the players, the referee calls off the game and the police are called in and as usually happens when they come in throw tear-gas to disperse the rowdy fans.
Last year, the Gor Mahia fans were among the most flamboyant and loyal fans following their team towns such as Thika, Naivasha and Nakuru. They are among the loudest and most organized of fans for any football team playing in the KPL. But they can also lose their cool and control at the first signs of a loss. Last year they forced other clubs fans all sorts of taunts at times even snatching their tools of trade. During a late match-up between Gor and AFC Leopards, we all remember what happened though more blame would go the Sports Stadia Management Board, security and ticketing arrangements.
Hooligans (because at best that’s what we would describe the game), have been known to cost many leagues across the world their attraction. The English, Italian and Spanish have been some of the more prominent ones and have come up with stringent measures to ensure the rule of the game is observed on the pitch and off it.
Fans in this part of the world had deserted the stadiums but with last year’s lure they came back in small trickles before coming back in bigger droves towards the end of the League. Over the break many clubs have registered official fans clubs and you can find them in social media channels for your favourite club.
But they too must learn the rules of the game and unfortunately the very club(s) they support suffer first. Our suggestion once investigations are finalized( hope hastily), is first dock points (between 5-9) of course losing the game they disrupted, play 2-3 ‘home’ games without fans and also pay a cash penalty. This will ensure club officials are able to manage the fans, isolate and discipline the unruly ones.
KPL also needs to buttress the security arrangements available in the stadiums. From what happened on Saturday, the melee would have had severe casualties and the stadium would once again stare upon another ban from either CAF or FIFA.
Officiating also needs to be raised a notch higher. The charade of referees and linesmen giving contentious decisions will only incense fans who look for the slightest provocation. We have not had the best of officials coming from our country but this can be changed this season.
All in all, why should a whole League be held ransom by a group of fans from a single club?

Stadium Management assures Kenyans of good job being done…

On Wednesday the Sports Stadia Management Board  (SSMB) called media houses and other PR agencies as they sought to reassure Kenyans of the progress being made by the Chinese who are renovating the Kasarani Sports Complex ( aka the rather boring ,Moi International Sports Complex). The works shall cost the Kenyan taxpayer an estimated KShs. 900 million. It is scheduled to reopen mid 2011.

Chinese Contractors from Shengli Engineering Construction Co work at the Kasarani Sports Complex – Image courtesy of Nation Media Group 

The PR officer Rakki Asman was resplendent in a helmet as he took the team around the works being done on Kenya’s premiere sporting venue. On paper all these works look great and shall go a long way in helping Kenya’s case for hosting major venues. The downside is that we have not developed our own capacity for building such works and worse is that we ran down the grounds making them a pale shadow of themselves in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Government decision to form the Sports Stadia Management Board in 2003 was a great decision and though they have managed to rescue the decline of 2 of Kenya’s biggest stadia, they have not enjoyed much progress with the other grounds across Kenyan towns. A suggestion would be to invite bids for developing these grounds and eventually privatising them since the public corporation seems mired in less capital for infrastructural developments. Another alternative maybe is what the Government has started with Government paper and raise funds through the bond market and award contracts to interested parties; building the grounds before eventually releasing them to local authorities.
Whichever way we look at it, we SERIOUSLY NEED bigger and better grounds for our sports sector to thrive. And to quote Mr. Minister…’take sports as serious business’!

In Related News;
The Sports Stadia Management Board is calling for applications to fill the positions of;

  • Chief Accountant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Assistant Aquatic Stadium Manager (how many of these would we probably have in Kenya???)
  • Human Resource Officer

Have Sports/Members Clubs & grounds in Kenya lost their meaning?

A casual dip around Nairobi recently has revealed a worrying trend with regards to sports clubs and grounds. The tradition has been that for any major company – be it a public listed one, parastatal (Government-owned) or even big companies having their operations located here – most have a sports club or what some love subscribing as members’ club (with more exclusivity and restrictive in enrolling).
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Given the urban developments currently plaguing our urban centres, the life of most of these clubs is slowly coming to an not-so-natural death. Where do we start? A few strides to the Kenya Railways Sports Club indicates this as one of the worst hit with developments around  it slowly being given to private developers.In recent months, the club has lost the tennis courts and is also missing the field which is playing host to some ‘hireling’ whose having some fun-fair for God-knows-till-when.

Sometime ago, they had even drawn some ambitious plans of developing a property – Golf City . Sweet dreams indeed ….

The club’s pool also looks so depleted and is also in its final throes of closure. The only part which looks untouched is the golf park but with the road works around the Upper Hill and along Uhuru Highway encroaching, it’s just a matter of time.

Cross over to Thika Road which is going into overdrive with 6-lane roads and all the hullabaloo of ‘modernity’ three clubs here are most likely to see their grounds chipped away. KCB Sports Club ( popularly known as The Den), Barclays Sports Club (which had almost been sold entirely by the Barclays Bank of Kenya) and Stima Club (housing Kenya Power and Lighting Co’s sports club) all at Ruaraka are the main clubs affected.

Crickets ground along Forest Road has also seen quite a chip thanks to the road works being done on Thika Road. I have not even mentioned the grounds in other urban centres and the clubs which have long become vandalised and lost to neglect.

While it is good for the Government to construct and upgrade our roads, it seems sports grounds and clubs have long become viable places for taking up land and using it for other works. Very few estates in Nairobi City have grounds for children and budding talent to start nurturing their sports dreams. Some of the worst affected are the Eastlands sections – Umoja, Buruburu, Doonholm which have become ‘concrete jungles’. Upmarket estates are quickly trying to emulate the other sides too and losing their leafy suburbs and the open spaces such as the grounds shall soon become all too good to miss.

Are we sure we hope to be a sporting nation with such developments going on? When was the last time we invested in a new sporting venue without seeking international aid? Shall we continue begging even as we shoot (or is it build?) ourselves? Or maybe we are hoping to build indoor arenas ? Maybe we haven’t gotten that memo yet…

It breaks the spirit seeing no one is investing in physical structures to aid sport and the little that we have is either in neglect or grabbed by some greedy private developers.

Sports Policy : – Mr. Minister less talk, more walk , please, will get it done…

As is the case with every new Minister for Youth and Sports Affairs, there is lots to say but much more to do than portends to be. Mr Minister, as you aptly put it, there is a ‘big’ matter of the Sports Bill which ought to help administer sports bodies in Kenya some which have operated under rogue characters while others seem like monopolies tied to few individuals tightly running the discipline(s).

From our brief there are some more issues which though on paper are not being done. Our nosy selves found this little policy document which among others is supposed to have a National Sports Institute who’s vision is …”be a leading institution in sports training and capacity building in the country”. There are the following bodies (centres) supposed to be set up under this Institute;

  1. Centre for Sports Science
  2. Centre for Documentation and Information.
  3. Centre for Sports Marketing
  4. Sports Heritage Centre

None is in existence as we speak. Fair though we might say on the intended establishment of the International Sports Academy at Kasarani, Nairobi.
There is the other sporting body that is under your Ministry going by the name Sports Stadia Management Board – which has become like a dumping ground for political cronies. They may have spruced up two of the countries biggest stadia, but that doesn’t stop there. There are more 5 stadiums in need of reclaiming, renovating and generating the much-needed income that the Board is mandated to do. And no don’t give us the charade that was the naming rights of one of the stadias, you lost and LOST BIG in the past 2010 World Cup ( by not hosting a single nation even for a day!).
Mr. Minister, there is the small bit that we have tackled down there of alcohol and the ban in advertising and sponsorship(s). With Tobacco out ( which almost entirely killed Kenyan rallying), and now alcohol, what options are there for sports federations to pursue and what is the line Ministry doing to cushion our fratenity against this?
Mr. Minister, we are about to go to another major meet in the name of Commonwealth Games. Shall we have the usual retinue of 50 athletes and 100 officials ‘bloating our budget’ yet coming home with less than 10 medals? As a Ministry, please help us save this much-needed spending by sending ONLY those deserving to be there.
As a Ministry too, work with the Finance Ministry to help get tax holidays, tax rebates for those willing to invest in sport. As an example, please travel to Brazil and see what they are doing hoping to become one of the few countries to host the Olympics and World Cup back-to-back. Being an emerging economy, we can learn so much from their success and see what can aid our fledging sports industry ( You might also want to make time for Cuba seeing as it the lost glory in our boxing team, fondly named ‘The Hit Squad’.
Oops before we forget, there is the other matter of Football in Kenya…you know as we do, the ‘magnanimity’ of the world body FIFA in running the sport. We currently have a fairly organised local league which if well-managed and supported can see us become the ‘pride of Africa’. The elections are around the corner. We shall be watching your move and that of the prospective officials…burn the midnight oil reading all those statutes that FIFA might use against the country and this document from Transparency International on local sports but for goodness sake, save the sport.
Well as we said, the less talk, the more you’ll get the work done! Ours is to remain vigilant for the sake of the country and our sportsmen!

Kenyan 2010/11 Budget Estimates : Sports Gets a big miss

Maybe we’ve not read the fine print, but not much was mentioned with regards to sports development in the Kenyan Budget estimates for the financial year 2010/11. What sounds ironic is the fact that for the first time, a sitting President missed the Budget reading to attend to what….sports extravanganza !

2008 had the then Finance Minister allocate a measly Kshs. 1m per constituency towards sponsoring football tournaments which didn’t go as expected thanks in part to the murky Kenyan football management scene. If the technocrats in the Ministry could look deeper into their reports and especially with remittances from winnings abroad, they would see that our sportsmen are some of the biggest contributors to the national kitty.
Another observation is that Kenyan corporate firms are taking a bigger role in developing sport in the country. The Government can do the same by matching the amounts in major sports development programmes. The Sports Stadia is one such body which hasn’t put in a good show in the last 2 years.
Incentives can be offered to development of infrastructure like we have seen with the golfing parks being built at Rea Vipingo and the expected Thika Greens. That way, the begging cup that federations have been used to can be channelled towards enhancing competitiveness in their respective leagues.
Youth development programmes are some popular tunes we have sung for the longest time but in actual sense, it remains that, lip service. There are other suggestions that we have outlined many a times on this platform.
Barbs in plenty to the Ministry of Finance for such an oversight in the midst of such a glaring opporturnity for sport !!!

In Other News:
When one Ministry dithered and ignored the sporting world, another was busy rewarding our own as Goodwill ambassador. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport yesterday appointed McDonald Mariga as Kenya’s Goodwill Ambassador in Italy. In discussion is the possibility of attracting more visitors from Italy ( currently ranked 3rd with lowly 67,000 visitors after US & UK ; patronising Kenya’s coastal town of Malindi) ; developing youth academies in Kenya in liaison with Italian clubs to spot and nurtute talent. Do these guys sit in the same Cabinet ???

Kenyan Football Famous Derby that was

For your local football fan, yesterday was another historic day in recent times for the game. This was in the famous derby between AFC Leopards & Gor Mahia. The streams of fans walking to the stadium at Nyayo in Nairobi West was quite a buzz. We decided to go the typical fan way and avoid the trappings of the media box and go down to the Russian stands.

Here’s our take and learnings for KPL;

a) Ticketing – the queues were a bit too long and chaotic at some point prompting the breaking of one of the gates (Gate 3 or 4 if I’m not wrong). This could have been avoided if the match ticketing firm had distributed the tickets at outlets such as supermarkets and other retail outlets. Though still in its infancy, try printing more season tickets, that way some of the ardent fans would have been sorted and entered early enough. And what was this about VIP Stand only for the place to be packed beyond its seams. Have a clear allotment of the tickets per sitting area and demarcate them as such.

b) Branding – the branding of both team fans’ is still wanting with only t-shirts available. The more enthusiastic Gor fans had a little more with vuvuzelas and some other own paraphenalia did its rounds during the game. No wonder they seemed more organised and louder (guess that proved too much for the players on the pitch, thus losing their focus…)

c) Security – for the umpteenth time, the security lapses at the stadium were horrendous to say the least. From the queueing where some kept jumping the queue until other fans objected, to the pitch where at some point some AFC fans started throwing objects into the field. From where we were, by the 80th minute, there were fans in another world thanks to some ‘illegal smokes‘. Could have sworn to have gotten a ‘kick’ too from all that smoke. Surely you don’t want to know what would have happened if there was some ruckus or fracas post-match exit.

d)Entertainment (or lack thereof) – maybe it’s because it was a week-day match, but that void needs to be filled urgently. Pre-match, mid-match and post-match entertainment was non- existent making the breaks a long bore. If you want to add value to your program, include some interesting skits like this

e)Transport – OK maybe most fans can’t afford but can someone think of getting buses or vans to move the masses to and from a game?

f) Fan-clubs – None of the clubs had their fan-clubs actively selling merchandise on the day. How else do you wish to connect with your fans when you’ve nothing for them to look out for? Same would apply for season and other tickets.

g) Prizes and giveaways– you’ve to entice us to keep coming to the games by giving certain ticket prizes or give-aways.

h) Stadium Management – it might not be the clubs’ fault but the stadium needs to be restricted to matches and sports events ONLY. If someone wants to hire it for something else, please let them make the necessary arrangements for the pitch not to be damaged. The army march-past for these ‘idlers from the Barracks’ can be done elsewhere like the Uhuru Park which is rightly made for them. Sports Stadia Management Board still smarting from the poor performance slumber….???

i)Autographs – Maybe it’s a foreign culture but why didn’t anyone think of capitalising on the appearance of MacDonald Mariga and fellow professional footballer, Dennis Oliech? Coca-Cola took full advantage earlier and appointed Mariga Copa Coca-Cola Goodwill Ambassador. Some of us may never get that close to these guys from the look of things while they are at the peak of their careers!….(chuckle, chuckle….) 

j) Game Quality – Though Gor Mahia showed a slightly superior game and had superior ball possession, there is still room for improvement on the technical and simple ball techniques. Some of the quality was lacking and they need to do better if we are to keep coming for these games. Oh and AFC turned the tables by scoring a late winner to secure the 3-points.

From this, why can’t Kenya Premier League also think of having games on a Friday evening and maybe let some of us go for a game before over-indulging as the weekend starts? The ticket sales from the Wednesday game give credence to this. We can’t wait for the return leg of these two teams and other interesting fixtures if the Kenyan game is to sustain itself. Kazi kwako Mr. Elly Kalekwa!

2030 FIFA World Cup – Kenya ‘s Time ?

All protocols observed,gentlemen and the single lady representing FIFA, we the Government of Kenya wish to submit our bid for the 2030 World Cup. As Africa’s second time, we believe we have the right to showcase our ability and to ensure we successfully host this once-in-a-lifetime (…twice now for Africa) tournament.
Distinguished guests, having satisfied various indicators from economic,financial and related factors; we wish to present the following 7 points as our support case.
Super-duper Highways

It must not escape your attention that we have a few years left and we have already accomplished over 95% of the Vision 2030 as set forth by our beloved 3rd Pres of the Republic. Thus are the major strides we have made;

A) Vision 2030 – this economic plan developed by a think-tank back in the later 2000s, has become one of the leading economic blueprints across Africa and indeed across the world. Countries which have recently followed our path have moved from Third World countries to Emerging Economies. As mentioned earlier, we are well ahead of schedule having consistently achieved over 10% growth rate in our GDP (check with IMF, World Bank and the most recent Inter-Continental Financial Magnates- ICFM figures). Indeed it shall be a culmination of this landmark plan & a celebration of what human effort can do with the right focus and vision from a people.

B)State-of-the-art Infrastructure : – looking at our investment on roads and related infrastructure, and with the kind help of our Chinese brothers; we have developed what maybe considered one of Africa’s brand spanking roads.

We have also gotten our stadiums built to specifications that would make the Maracana Stadium look like a speck.With sophisticated arenas like the one we have along our coastline, we shall show the world what you never saw (or if you did, make your experience in Africa a premier class one). This has been the efforts of our very own Sports Stadium Management Board which is currently being consulted by the Japanese and German engineers on how they achieved this in the most astounding of engineering feats.

C) Governance :- Noting we have celebrated 20 years since we ushered in a new constitutional disposition, we have become a model nation for many a country across the continent. We have seen smooth transition of successive governments which has seen each compliment the other and continue in the ‘nyayo’ building blocks for our economic prosperity and serve as an ‘island of peace & haven for investors’.

D) Strategic location :- Smack in the middle of the globe, we have the Equator ( 0″- latitude) running across the nation. This makes ours some of the most pleasant you could get anywhere in the world. It is the reason we have had some of the best hotels and game reserves as nature interacts with our modern infrastructure. Where else can you get wild game in its natural habitat and cities-within-cities? As you may well know we have Africa’s only peak on right at the Equator with plenty of snow for those visiting from the Scandinavian countries and Eastern European regions. Plenty are the ski resorts that our visitors from these regions can enjoy.

E)Cosmopolitan centres – from Kisumu – Lakeside city,to what some call the ‘Birmingham of Kenya’ or ‘Pineapple City’ – Thika as well as the lash green area in Marsabit and our golden sandy beaches of Mombasa and Malindi, we have more than enough cities to host this colossal tournament. We have great grounds as mentioned above, electric over-head and undergrounds rails, 24-hour economic centres and more than we can mention, do come to Kenya and experience it yourself!

F)ICT – having successfully outdone the original Silicon Valley, we have managed to bring the ICT sector and currently host it in our model city of Athi (not a corruption of the word ‘Earthy’). Many of the start-ups from the Silicon Valley moved their operational bases to this location along with others which have developed thanks to our innovative populace. If you do remember, as far back as the early 2000s we pioneered the mobile money transfer, the open source system for cloud-sourcing crisis information, the iHub thus attracted by our pedigree,we have most of the major companies listed not just on the German DAX, New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange and our own Nairobi Stock Exchange – the largest stock exchange in Africa in terms of capitalisation and listed companies.

G)Kenya Football scene – thanks again to your able leadership at FIFA we managed to streamline the football scene in the country back in 2010. We developed a homegrown league in the Kenya Premier League and in 7 years was attracting talent from across the globe with some the biggest names then playing in Europe ( from England’s Theo Walcott, Spain’s Xavi and Argentina’s Lionel Messi) being among the first to play for our teams. We currently contributed over 25% of all players playing in the forthcoming 2026 World Cup and this is likely to go up on confirmation of our bid. Our able partners in this have been SuperSport which has built an out-of-this-world broadcasting centre in readiness of the 2030 World Cup.

Our esteemed hosts,we seek your indulgence and consider these as our main highlights and hope to influence your thinking as you vote for the host of the 2030 World Cup. Indeed…This is Africa, Our Africa !