Harambee Star are still waiting for The 50 Million that they were promised should they qualify for AFCON 2019,and the new Sports Cabinet did drop a hint good news on that.
With the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa Quarter Finals Draws over the 16 teams have already found out their fate whereas some fixture we reversed.
In Athletics Kenyan Steeplechase Champions Ezekiel Kemboi has been busy getting himself ready for the Hamburg Marathon.
Take a look at the day’s top stories making the headlines:
Did Ruto honor his Ksh 50M pledge to Harambee Stars? CS Amina spills the beans
During one of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers matches at Kasarani Sports Centre, Deputy President William Ruto promised the Kenyan side a whooping Ksh 50 million if they could qualify for the AFCON tournament. The boys played hard the day they faced Ethiopia, and indeed they qualified. Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko honored his Ksh 3 million pledge on the spot, but has the DP honored his pledge? Well, Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohammed on Friday came out to address the issue.
Amina indicated that the government had approved the budget of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) of Ksh244 million, which included the Ksh50 million promised by DP William Ruto.
The FKF budget that was given by the ministry is for purposes of preparing the national team for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The CS, however, failed to explain why the two amounts were enjoined since FKF prepared its budget without any considerations for the promised money.
DP William Ruto pledged that Harambee Stars would get the money during the qualifiers before they secured a slot in the much-awaited tournament.
Ruto spoke to the players at Kasarani Stadium indicating that the government would give them the money as a reward for good performance if only they could end the 15 years wait for Kenya to secure a slot at the tournament.
Harambee Stars put in the effort and performed beating Ghana 1-0, drawing with Ethiopia 0-0, and winning over the Walya Antelopes by 3-0.
In the end, the team managed to win a slot for competing in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 set to be held in Egypt from June 21-July 19 but the promise offered by the DP was never kept.
CS Amina surprised FKF officials by indicating that the Ksh50 million was in its Ksh244 million budget.
Speaking at the Sports Ministry headquarters on Friday, the new Sports and Social Development Fund chairman Jackson Tuwei also indicated that the money would be issued as part of the Ksh244 million budget tabled by FKF.
Tuwei stated, “We have discussed the issue and have resolved to give the Stars their money as part of the budget tabled forward by FKF. We have given them Ksh244 million and that money has already been wired to their accounts.”
Hamburg Here I come! Ezekiel Kemboi set to take Marathon
Steeplechase king Ezekiel Kemboi is eagerly-anticipating to making his marathon debut on April 28 in Hamburg after organisers confirmed his entry alongside that of 2012 Olympic champion Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich. Kemboi, a two-time Olympic and four-time world champion in the 3000m steeplechase, will for the first time tackle the 42km after transiting from track.
Kiprotich meanwhile, the 2012 Olympic and 2013 world marathon champion, will return to the northern German port city for the third time, after finishing second in 2017 and fifth one year ago. The 29-year-old, who is the national record holder at 2:06:33, clocked sub-2:08 performances in both of his Hamburg appearances.
The fastest runner on the start list is Ayele Abshero, who clocked 2:04:23 in his marathon debut at the 2012 Dubai Marathon. The Ethiopian returns after finishing third last year.Worldhalf marathon record holder Joyciline Jepkosgei, who will also be making her marathon debut, and two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui were previously announced.
Kirui, the world champion over the distance in 2009 and 2011, has already announced his intention of chasing the course record of 2:05:30, set by Eliud Kipchoge in his marathon debut in 2013. Compatriots Jonathan Korir and Amos Mitei, who have personal bests of 2:06:51 and 2:07:28 respectively, are expected to join the hunt. Japan’s Taku Fujimoto, who clocked his personal best of 2:07:57 in last year’s Chicago Marathon, will also be in the race.
The women’s contest will also feature Portuguese star Jessica Augusto, who won the race in 2017 clocking 2:25:30. The field will also include Madai Perez of Mexico (2:22:59 PB), Japan’s Tomomi Tanaka (2:23:19) and Dibabe Kuma of Ethiopia (2:23:34).
Big blow for Gor Mahia ahead of must win CAF fixture
Gor Mahia FC are likely to face Petro Atletico without their preferred centre back pairing during Sunday’s crunch CAF Confederation Cup Group D clash in Kasarani.
Both Harun Shakava and Joash Onyango could be sidelined through injuries while another center half Charles Momanyi is also a doubt after sustaining a knock at Zamalek.
Captain Shakava injured his ankle yesterday during their 2-1 Kenyan Premier League win over Kakamega Homeboyz and will be subjected to further tests before his availability is determined in certainty.
‘’Our defence is the problem because we have so many injury doubts in that department. We pray that Shakava gets well before the match,” Gor’s deputy Secretary general Ronald Ngala said.
Ngala implored on Gor fans to turn out in large numbers to roar their team on for a final push towards the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals.
A win for Gor will take them through to the quarter-finals and earn them 38 million Kenyan shillings guarantee money.
Earlier on assistant captain Jacques Tuyisenge said they will give everything to go through.
“We will have nothing to tell our fans if we lose so we cannot afford to disappoint. We will play like champions playing in a final,” said the Rwandese striker.
Tuyisenge and defender Philemon Otieno are available to play having missed the first round against Atletico in Angola due to suspension.
The match will be played under floodlight on Sunday March 17 beginning 1900 hrs at Kasarani.
Barcelona served with easy task in the champions league draw
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tilt began with a disaster 2-0 home loss to Paris Saint-Germain, leaving United with a task no team had ever managed.
Now a team has managed it. United, in the 94th minute, completed a two-goal first-leg home loss turnaround to make the quarter-finals.
Manchester United will face Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals after the draw was made at UEFA’s Swiss headquarters in Nyon on Friday.
Serie A giants Juventus will face Ajax following the Dutch side’s incredible victory over Real Madrid while last year’s beaten finalists Liverpool was arguably handed a favorable draw against Porto.
Meanwhile, Tottenham will face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the only all- English Premier League quarterfinal.
Ole told us on Friday afternoon: “Yes, it had to be [Barcelona]!
”I’ve had so many texts from friends saying this year is going to be the year that we’ll get through because of my number, 20, and it being 20 years ago.
“We’re off to the Nou Camp again!”
“It was the biggest night I’ve had in football. Of course, for all of us in that team, it was an unbelievable night.
Referring back to the Treble-sealing trip to Barcelona in May 1999, Solskjaer added:
It’s a great stadium… and, of course, we met them in the group stages as well that year – 3-3 each both home and away. It’ll be a good game.
Arsenal Pair Napoli as Chelsea Get Easy Tie in the Uefa Europa League Draw
The Draw for the UEFA Europa League with English Side pairing Italian Side Napoli.
Spanish Sides Villareal and Valencia CF will also square it off.
Portuguese Side Benfica will have a date with German Side Eintracht Frankfurt.
English Side Chelsea will square it off with Slavia Praha.
Should Chelsea progress to the semi-final, it will face the winners of Benfica and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Arsenal’s comeback against Rennes in the UEFA Europa League has seen them rewarded with a mouth watering tie against Italian giants Napoli in the quarter finals.
The Carlo Ancelotti led team are one of the favorites to win this year’s competition but will come up against yet another strong favorite in Unai Emery’s Arsenal. Most Arsenal fans will probably feel they should have gotten an easier draw but drawing Napoli is not the worst case scenario, here’s why…
You have to beat the best to acquire legendary status in any competition. Arsenal were always going to face any of these big teams if they are going to win the competition and qualify for next season’s Champions League. Beating Napoli would send a clear message of intent to the other big teams still left in the competition, most notably London rivals Chelsea. Beating the likes of Rennes and BATE Borislov is all good for squad morale but Unai Emery’s charges will be judged by how they perform against the Big Boys, Napoli is surely one of them..