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Wed, Sep

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Kenya’s record goal scorer Dennis Oliech and UEFA Champions League winner, MacDonald Mariga are the high profile omissions from the Harambee Stars provisional team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match away to Congo Brazzaville.

 

National team coach, Bobby Williamson, omitted the duo from his provisional 31-man list that will be whittled down to the required number before the June 14 clash against Congo Brazzaville in Owande City.

 

Mariga has only recently resumed to regular football having been on the sidelines with incessant injuries but was unable to help his Serie A side Parma FC avoid relegation. Oliech’s career on the other hand has assumed the backstage since signing for Dubai side Al Nasr from AC Ajaccio.

 

The surprise call-up was Peter Nzuki who captains Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League outfit Nakumatt FC. Nzuki has netted four times this season for Nakumatt who are placed 9th on the log and was the only player whose doesn’t play abroad or in the Kenya Premier League that earned an international call-up.

 

Ulinzi Stars midfielder, John Makwatta, was also rewarded for his fine form having scored seven times this season. He will fancy himself playing alongside Southampton’s Victor Wanyama who will captain the national team.

 

Williamson had hinted he would include Gor Mahia forward Michael Olunga in his team and the Scot made true his word as the lanky forward was one of six players from the reigning champions who made it to the provisional squad. Others are goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch, defender Haroun Shakava and Musa Mohammed and midfielders Collins Okoth and Ali Abondo.

 

Lillestrom keeper Arnold Origi is expected to be the first choice keeper and will be deputized by Oluoch and AFC Leopards’ Wycliffe Kasaya. El-Mereikh’s Allan Wanga and Amazulu’s Paul Were lead the frontline alongside five other forwards picked from the KPL.

 

Harambee Stars are expected to play a friendly match against Iran next week Wednesday but the tie is yet to be confirmed. They will also take part in a five-nation tournament to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the June 6 Rwanda Genocide.

 

Goalkeepers: Arnold Origi (Lillestrom,Norway), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia), Wycliffe Kasaya (AFC Leopards)

 

Defenders: David Ochieng (Al-Tawoon, Saudi Arabia), David Owino (Zesco, Zambia), Haroun Shakava, Musa Mohammed (Gor Mahia), Edwin Wafula, Jackson Saleh (AFC Leopards), Robinson Kamura (Mathare United).

 

Midfielders: Victor Wanyama (Southampton, England), Collins Okoth (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Tusker), Ayub Timbe (Lierse SK, Belgium), Bernard Mangoli (AFC Leopards), Peter Nzuki (Nakumatt), Steve Wakhanya (Chemelil Sugar), Francis Kahata (FK Tirana Albania), Anthony Akumu (Al Khartoum, Sudan), Kevin Kimani (Tusker), Ali Abondo (Gor Mahia), Mark Makwata (Ulinzi Stars ).

 

 

Strikers: Jesse Were (Tusker), Paul Were (Amazulu, South Africa), Michael Olunga (Gor Mahia), Jacob Keli (AFC Leopards), Allan Wanga (El-Mereikh Sudan), Eric Johanna (Mathare United) and Noah Wafula(AFC Leopards).

 

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In a rare gesture of humanity and love for each other, fans of bitter rivals AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia on Thursday came together to rescue AFC Leopards captain Martin Imbalambala who has been plunged in a deep financial meltdown.

 

The 25-year-old was locked out of his apartment in Thika town on Monday after failing to clear three-month rent arrears. 

 

Through a banter page “AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia Fans,” the rival fans managed to collect over Ksh 45,000 to help the lanky player sort out the mess, at least for now.

 

The fans were led by Roselinder Achieng of Gor Mahia and Leopards’ Benard Agunda.

 

Imbalambala has been missing in action for a month now with many saying that he had quit the club. However, it was later established that he’s been depressed following his wife’s illness which forced him to forgo training. His wife is suffering from stomach complications, something which has exhausted all his savings.

 

In an interview with Four4TwoMedia, the former Kenyan International admitted going through very serious financial troubles and was not sure on how to get out of it.

 

"I have been having a very difficult time and I even don’t know what I will do to get out of this situation," he admitted. “The club management has failed us big time despite all efforts we put to make sure that AFC Leopards retains its pride,’ said the Leopards leader.

 

Imbalambala and his Ingwe teammates have gone for months without pay and have been surviving on handouts, a situation which culminated in chairman Allan Kasavuli quitting his position.

 

"I tried to seek for help from the hierarchy but no one listened to me. I want to thank all fans who have come and helped me during this time and I pray that things get better soon.’

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Tusker vs Sony Sugar 

Troubled Tusker will be keen to bounce back to winning ways after last weekend’s 2-1 loss to 2010 champions Sofapaka. Francis Kimanzi and Zedekiah 'Zico' Otieno face each other in what is a must win clash for both sides. Kimanzi’s Tusker and Zico’s Sony have both hit a rough patch of form this year with Tusker winless in their last three games and Sony in five. 

KCB vs Muhoroni Youth 
KCB welcome back coach Rishadi Shedu who underwent surgery on his left foot in March. The Bankers have only two wins this season and are in a danger of facing relegation if they can’t start picking maximum points beginning with Muhoroni  who are currently blowing hot and cold in the league. 

City Stars vs Nakuru All Stars 
Inarguably the league’s weakest sides who are currently occupying the bottom two spots and look likely to be relegated sooner than everyone thought. With just one win each for both, both sides will see this match as one where they can get the elusive three points. Should City Stars win and KCB lose, they will move to 14th on the log. However, All Stars are destined to remain bottom even if they win.


Chemelil Sugar vs Western Stima 
Chemelil are lying in an unfamiliar 12th spot in the league and any further slips will see them drop further down into trouble. Mike Mururi’s side host a rejuvenated Stima side that last weekend beat AFC Leopards 2-0 to move to the top five in the KPL table. 


Sofapaka vs Ulinzi Stars 
Both sides will be seeking for vital points as they try to close the gap on leaders and defending champions Gor Mahia. Ulinzi are having an impressive season and beat Mathare United 2-1 in their last outing at Afraha. The second spot will be on offer as the duo are currently locked tied second on 24 points.

Mathare United vs AFC Leopards 
The first of the two Madaraka Day fixtures. Mathare United have enjoyed some good form against Leopards losing only once in their last three outings. Stanely Okumbi’s charges will depend on hot shot Eric Johanna for goals against a troubled Ingwe side that had their form put in check by Western Stima last weekend. 

Thika United vs Gor Mahia 
As if a change of venue will help them win, Tim Bryett’s Thika have moved the clash to Kasarani on Monday. Thika are in good form but they will need something special to overcome a Gor Mahia side that has not tasted a league loss in 2015. Bryett believes his side will have an edge over the two-time defending champions but as witnessed, Kogalo are just a hard nut to crack. Maybe this is their time to end Kogalo’s unbeaten run. 

Summary Fixtures

Sat 30-05-15 
KCB vs Muhoroni Youth - Kasarani Stadium 1300hrs
Chemelil Sugar vs Western Stima  - Afraha Stadium1500hrs
City Stars vs Nakuru All Stars - City Stadium 1500hrs

 

Tusker vs SonySugar - Kasarani Stadium 1545hrs

Sun 31-05-15 
Sofapaka vs Ulinzi Stars - Ruaraka Grounds 1330hrs

Mon 01-06-15 
Ushuru vs Bandari - City Stadium 1330hrs
Mathare United vs AFC Leopards  - City Stadium 1545hrs
Thika United vs Gor Mahia - Kasarani Stadium 1800hrs

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He may be thousands of miles away from home but Kenya’s number one goalkeeper Arnold Origi is a man who keeps tabs with what’s happening in his mother country.

The 31-year-old keeper at Norwegian club, Lillestrom, was this week monitoring closely his former KPL side Mathare United who traveled to Nakuru for a crunch clash against Ulinzi Stars.

 Although the Soldiers won the match thanks to two first half goals from Stephen Ocholla and Kevin Amwayi, it was the consolation goal that Johanna Eric scored for the Slum Boys that delighted Origi.

 Trailing 2-0 and with the clock hitting the 48th minute mark, Johanna drilled in an unstoppable right footed strike from an impossible 30-yard angle, the ball’s movement defying the laws of physics past Ulinzi keeper James Saruni.

 “Just seen Eric Johanna's goal for Mathare United against Ulinzi. No keeper in the world would have kept that out,” said Origi after watching the goal.

 It was Johanna’s fourth goal of the season and the best of the lot which will for sure be a goal of the season contender.

Origi spent close to 7 years at Mathare United before signing for Tusker in 2006. He went to Norway a year later and has been playing in the Scandinavian country for nearly 8 years now.

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Reigning Kenya Premier League champions Gor Mahia have moved swiftly to tie down midfield anchorman Collins ‘Gatuso’ Okoth to a new deal.

The midfielder’s contract was due to expire at the end of the half season but the club’s top echelons have given him a two-year contract extension.

“It’s a nice feeling to have a new contract with Gor Mahia. I have been at the club for quite a while and I am happy to have more time in my football career,” Okoth told the club’s website.

The new contract is a reward and a major boost for Okoth who seems to have dropped his school boy antics and decided to concentrate on football.

“I will work hard and together with my team mates, we will help the club to do well at all levels,” pledged the much-travelled midfielder.

Okoth has carried on his good form from last season that saw him help his team to a second KPL title in a row. This season, he has continued with his task of shielding the back four almost impeccably with Gor Mahia having conceded only 6 goals in 13 outings and kept 8 consecutive clean sheets in a row.

“Gatuso has been doing tremendous since he rejoined the club and to offer him a new contract was the best thing we could do,” said club Chairman Ambrose Rachier. “It’s always good to keep some of your best players for consistency,” he noted

The midfielder rejoined Gor Mahia last season after taking a sabbatical from the game for almost a year. He has played for Sofapaka, Tusker and Mathare United.

 

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Ever heard of those mischievous friends who would lead you to a thicket of thorns then leave you to get the worst of it? No? Well, they are there, very many of them.

 

 

 

AFC Leopards, one of Kenya’s renowned football clubs, is experiencing the worst of it thanks to some club officials who have led the club to a deep financial dungeon but are now running away from it like some football federation officials should be running away from the management of local football but, sadly, aren’t.

 

 

 

Leopards’ chairman Allan Kasavuli on Wednesday resigned his position, citing, among others, the bad financial crisis at the club as the main reason for his exit.

 

 

 

A quick read on what functions a club chairman should do, you’ll notice that they are supposed to provide direction to the club. Apparently that wasn’t in Kasavuli’s job description. Instead, there must have been something saying, run away when you smell trouble.

 

 

 

It’s hard to measure what impact his resignation alongside the club’s TREASURER Esther Luvembe will have on the club but it points to an outfit that is being ineptly run.

 

 

 

The news of Kasavuli’s resignation was received with mixed feelings with a section of fans saying that his departure, albeit untimely, would leave the club in a better position. Fans opined that Kasavuli has failed to keep Ingwe’sship afloat and it was a matter of time before the ship wrecked.

 

 

 

News of Ingwe players going months without pay have dominated local headlines with club captain Martin Imbalamba the being brave enough to admit that he had been locked out of his apartment in Thika town.

 

 

 

Other fans however say that a deeper crisis is looming because other members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) have not resigned, a scenario which could compromise the works of incoming officials.

 

 

 

Politician Amin Walji was appointed to head a 12-man interim caretaker committee which also includes former club chairman Alex Ole Magelo, club ambassador Charles Bukeko ‘Papa Shirandula’, club legend George Sunguti and Duncan Angote among others. The committee is supposed to manage the club for six months until elections are held.

 

 

 

However, Leopards’ Deputy Secretary General Asava Kadima has written to the Kenyan Premier League saying that the top echelons of the club had not sanctioned any caretaker committee to run the club’s affairs.

 

 

The rot continues.

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