Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Rangers Football Club to Disband...

It's never good to hear of budding talent and promising institutions close shop and this one on Rangers United Football Club isn't either. This club had lots of promise going into the 2011/12 season having come in as one of 3 promoted sides from the country's Nationwide League.

Oh no....
But their success was tempered by their then sponsors Postal Corporation of Kenya ( a most notorious Corporation for building sports teams and players only to bail out on them at the hour of need, check the hockey and volleyball ladies teams).
Their last season was a tough one for the team surviving on handouts even as its officials went round the corporate world with an enviable record and promising start to the season. This was short-lived with the team barely scraping through to avoid relegation.According to Press reports, the current Football Kenya Federation, Sam Nyamweya is rumoured to have bankrolled the club's salaries and wages to players and management. (Unconfirmed sources also tell us that the team had secured a corporate sponsor who had agreed to part with about KSh. 30 million and which they offered 10% of last season to help the team secure their place in the Premier League...)
Its chairman Yobes Ondieki Ongeri is reported to have given up on securing financial support hence throwing the gauntlet on the team's hopes.
Of urgency is how KPL will address the issue to ensure either the club receives emergency funds to be able to make it through the league or seek alternative representation since the fixtures including Rangers had already been scheduled.

It also calls to enquiry the financial health of other clubs which might have similar if not worse ramifications. Last year at least a 1/3 of the League's teams had this or that issue with players' salaries, lack of transport to honour fixtures and management wages. What happens to the SuperSport TV revenues pledged? What measures do Kenyan football clubs have to ensure longevity and survival of their clubs? Is the success of a few clubs blinding us to see what is the real situation on Kenyan club football? 

Your work is cut out for you, KPL honchos!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

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)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Road to Olympics : 1960 Rome Games - Kenya's Second Appearance

Kenya’s slowly cements her place in Olympic History
1960 – Rome Olympic Games
Starting with the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome- Italy, Kenya inched closer to making statements at the Summer Games. This was under 4 years to the country’s independence and the local populace was rising to national patriotism to see that the country gets its place in the family of states across the world. By the next Games, the country will have talent that's matured and taking the world by storm.
1960 Olympic Games
Globally the world was slowly coming to the realisation of the need for a new world order as the ‘wind of change’ swept across the African continent with colonies earning their new found independence.
Politically and economically there were few controversies and crisis which meant the Games proceeded with no boycotts for the first time in a long while.

  • 83 countries took part ( though they would have been 84 had Surinam’s sole athlete not withdrawn)
  • 5350 participants, a swell by over 2000 from the 1956 Games (4738 men & 612 women);
  • Kenya participated in 4 sporting disciplines, 13 events once again – athletics, hockey, sailing and shooting
  • 27 participants from Kenya all men.
  • Dismal show with only Nyandoro Maiyoro making it to 5000m final to place 6th
This would be the last time that Kenya NEVER won a single medal in the Olympics. 

Interesting Facts:
  • One of Kenya's budding talents in Athletics in Kenya, Seraphino Antao was one of the participants but didn't quite make a mark. 
  • Abebe Bikila announced Ethiopia's & indeed Eastern Africa's entry into Olympic mythology by winning the marathon  barefoot.
  • One Cassius Marcellus Clay, later to be known Muhammad Ali wins the light heavyweight title preparing the way for global stage of arguably the world's biggest boxing fighter.
  • South Africa makes its last appearance in the Games thanks to the adoption of their oppressive regime rule of apartheid.
  • Cassius Clay ( now Muhammad Ali in 1960 Rome) - image courtesy of
  • TV Broadcasts rights are sold to CBS for screening in the United States, paving the way for what would become lucrative business for the IOC later ( of selling media screening rights).
Other Facts around 1960:
  • The Space Race between the US and USSR ( now mainly Russia) started in earnest and would culminate with man on the Moon by the end of the decade.
  • US voters brought in charismatic Irish origin John. F. Kennedy - the only Catholic faith US president up until then.
  • The Pill was introduced to the masses and much to the relieve of many females especially in the developed world.
  • UK Prime Minister Harold McMillan delivers the Wind of Change speech in British colonies of Ghana's and South Africa's Parliament ( funny that the latter state enforced minority rule while the rest of Africa was getting liberated around the same time...)
These Olympic Games would serve as the least controversial of the 1960s decade which was riddled with all sorts of cultural evolutions, revolutions in countries and continents as well as major economic and political challenges that would in turn interfere with sport. 

    Monday, 20 February 2012

    Top 5 Kenya's Football Clubs Social Media Ranking

    Over the last week, there was a survey being conducted on Kenya's listed companies and their use of social media. Along the same lines, we had a discussion with a pal about Kenyan sporting scene and the lack or minimal use of the social media space. While social media has exploded onto the scene in the last 3-5 years, local sports organisations and clubs are yet to realise the potent that this platform has.
    A quick survey on online presence, visibility and regular updates and information regarding the clubs' activities leaves a lot to be desired. Kenyan social media enthusiasts take up your roles and make this year a winning one for Kenyan sport on social media.
    Tweep, can we play ball? image courtesy of

    This ranking was done on Facebook and Twitter which are the biggest social media platforms currently. Our non-scientific survey is based on clubs' official pages, fan pages and 'likes' as well as official Twitter handles (or pages) and fans too. Since most clubs do not have an official page and even when they do, there are other duplicated ones, we shall aggregate each of these to the nearest 100th person/like( NB: These was as of 17th February 2012 based on Internet findings);

    1. Gor Mahia - An estimated 59,500 Likes on various Facebook pages. These range from official pages to fan pages to others like 'Gor Mahia is not a club, its a lifestyle, but do we say?' Their web-page's - this site aggregates info on the club from other news sites and is quite basic. No links to Facebook or Twitter accounts. There are 3 Twitter pages linked to Gor Mahia @GOR_MAHIA - 108 followers, @Gor_MahiaFC - 99 followers and @Onegreenfamily - 289 followers bringing total to 596 followers
    2. AFC Leopards - An estimated 18,300 Likes on various Facebook pages also has wide range such as ' AFC Leopards Facebook Branch'. The club has a website which is quite interactive. The site has a link to the Facebook and Twitter accounts and also has YouTube channel linked to SmartTV which went burst a few weeks ago. The club also has 4 different Twitter handles @afcleopards_SC - 316 followers, @afcleopards - 272 followers, @ingweleopards (fans page) - 628 followers and @AFC_Leopards - 43 followers totalling 1259 followers. 
    3. Sofapaka FC - with an estimated 5,100 Likes on Facebook pages, batoto ba Mungu's football club is 3rd most visible club on social media. The club's website is also quite well-done and frequently updated. It also has Twitter page @SOFAPAKA with 98 followers and another unofficial one @Sofapaka_Kenya with 79 followers - 177 in total
    4. Ulinzi Stars FC - is at number 4 of the social media savvy football clubs. It has 2835 Likes on its Facebook page. Its Twitter handle is @UlinziStarsFC with 234 followers. It is without a website despite being one of the biggest clubs in the country and having a wide followership not just in the army ranks but with ordinary football fans.
    5. Mathare United FC - carries the top 5 of the football clubs on social media. It has a modest 2800 Likes on Facebook. The club has a website which needs a bit of sprucing to meet the current season's set-up and corporate identity. You can also access their details via which is the parent company under which Mathare United FC was borne. Its Twitter handle @MathareunitedFC has 313 followers.

    Do you Like what you see? - Image courtesy of

    Take Outs:
    A lot of work needs to be done to these among other clubs which are featuring in the Kenyan Premier League. The League is also rapidly engaging with social media enthusiasts and fans alike and revamped its website at and also has a Twitter handle @KenyaPremierLg with 1,568 followers & 676 Likes on its Facebook page.
    • Constant review and regular updates are a must in social media where as they say, it's not a monologue but an exchange of ideas between the clubs/management and the fans.
    • Competitive brand offers can be made every so often to increase visibility and have a sense of ownership to the followers and fans alike - e.g. AFC Leopards did engage some of its fans last season online and even managed to book flight tickets to a local game in Mombasa - brand loyalty anyone?
    • Instant feedback on ways to improve the clubs' fortunes - from suggested playmakers to colours of the team, club management can use social media to have fans engage them instantly.
    • Sponsorships - many a clubs internationally have had sponsors who are willing to look beyond the usual streams of revenue to engage and entice users. Social media platforms can supplement to such campaigns and ensure sponsors have a wider audience and measurable means of showing success rate of the campaigns.
    These are but a few points which Kenyan clubs and sports management specialists can learn from. Finally let's look at the top 5 Football Social Media League as of December 2011;
    1. Barcelona-25,359,311 Facebook fans(27,030,540 Likes); 2,316,765 Twitter followers = 25,676,076 fans
    2. Real Madrid-22,182,985 Facebook fans( 24,876,778 Likes);2,872,018 Twitter followers = 25,055,003 fans
    3. Manchester United-20,269,260 fans (22,598,283 Likes); 102,773 Twitter followers= 20,269,200 fans
    4. Arsenal - 8,155,842 fans (8,989,136 Likes); 1,061,636 Twitter followers = 9,217,478 fans
    5. Chelsea - 7,885,970 fans (8,704,028 Likes); 501,375 Twitter followers = 8,387,345 fans
    This shows you the power of social media. It's free and its waiting for you, just LOG ON & GET GOING! 

    Kenyan Club Football - Faltering at many levels

    Over the weekend, besides the Kenyan Premier League fixtures, two of Kenya's clubs were representing the country in the continental club championships - Tusker FC at home to Rwanda's Armee Patriotique Rwandese (APR) FC ( first leg of Round 1 of CAF Champions League) while Gor Mahia was away in Maputo Mozambique to Ferroviaro de Maputo. ( first leg of Round 1 CAF Confederations Cup)
    Homeboys Tusker could only afford a 0-0 draw which makes their work hard going to Kigali a few days time. Not taking advantage of the home crowd and wasting chances to at least secure a goal will most likely cost the club any continental exposure. They must pray that they can get their skills up and find winning ways in the return match. A scoring draw will safely see them through thanks to an away-goal advantage.

    K'Ogalo as Gor Mahia's fondly known to its fans on the other hand saw 3-0 past their own net to Ferroviaro which will require some real inspiration to cancel out and eventually beat to qualify. For the longest time I have said that the team lacks technical skills and this was exposed once again on this game. It must also be remembered that their win last year of FKL's Cup after seeing passage as one of the best losers. That was never resolved & FKL's oversight might cost the country a place on the continent's other major club championship.
    Listening to the club chairman's seek to make comparison to last year's Sofapaka's miraculous mauling of Egyptian opposition was stretching it a bit too far. As one may remember, the political and social situation in Egypt was very unstable and still is thus the lack of inspiration for the players and clubs. The Egyptian national team missed the Africa Cup of Nations despite having been reigning champions early this year.
    All's not lost though cos as they say 90min is a lifetime in any football game and again, Gor Mahia has one of the largest following in the country and are likely to sermon those strengths to add their 12th man in the return match.
    The bonuses promised by their sponsors should also seek to inspire the players - as is expected in an election year, many a politician will seek to support such club exploits if only for some political mileage, take advantage!
    We wish both clubs all the best in their respective return matches!

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    Road to Olympics : Journey from the Past - 1956 Melbourne Games Kenya Debuts

    As promised in the last post, we shall start a series of posts tracing our country's journey in Olympics Games since our début in 1956. We shall welcome any comments, views and also critique for us to make worth your while reading. Here we go;

    Kenya’s First Appearance in the Olympic Games

    Souvenir Programme Cover for 1956 Melbourne Olympics -
    The modern Olympic Games had been ongoing for 60 years after the return of the same adopted from the Greek civilisation before Christ. With the world’s nations having recovered from the World War II, there was a feel-good factor going around the world at that time – though the Cold War was starting to threaten world peace with USSR ( Soviet Union) invading Hungary leading to Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland boycotting , while Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon boycotted the Games over the Suez Canal. China also protested Taiwan’s recognition and boycotted too.

    LIFE Magazine - Dec 1956 - image courtesy of
    On the other hand, more African states ( most though still under the colonial rulers mainly British) made their debut including Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda and of course Kenya. Other seasoned African states in the form of Egypt and South Africa also were at the Melbourne city.
    An issue of the northern and southern hemisphere arose threatening major boycotts since the weather in the Southern hemisphere is warmer during the latter part of the year as opposed to traditional mid-year when most Summer Olympic Games are held. There was also the issue of equine quarantine which led to equestrian (horse) events being moved to Stockholm, Sweden.

    Interesting Facts:

    • 67 countries in total attended the Games
    • 3194 participants including 2824 men and 370 women)
    • 18 sporting disciplines were competed against ( though all Equestrian events were held in Stockholm)
    • 145 events were conducted
    • The Games were opened by  His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Philip ( since Australia still recognises the British monarchy)
    • Kenya had 25 participants in 4 sports disciplines – 24 men and 1 woman. She was represented in the 4 disciplines which included; athletics, hockey, shooting and swimming.

    Nyandika Maiyoro - image courtesy of
    Finalists in their respective events included;

    -          Nyandika Maiyoro – Athletics  5000m – 7th place

    -          Arap Sam Kanuti – Athletics Marathon – 31st position

    -          Joseph Lerease – High Jump – 18th position

    Fun Fact:

    One enthusiast sports fan by the name of Barry Larkin made a fake Olympic torch and apparently managed to fool the mayor of Sydney.

    Other Sporting news in the World - 1956:
    Rocky Marciano - undisputed heavyweight champion retires from boxing undefeated. 

    Saturday, 11 February 2012

    2012 Olympics : London We're Coming...

    After last week's miss by the Kenyan volleyball women's national team, it is more than clear that we have finalised the list of sports disciplines that will be represented at the Olympics in London in July-August later this year. Next week we start a coverage of what should be the biggest sporting event of the year. Keep it here for the first and last of Kenya's rich Olympic history over the last 56 years.

    After 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, can Kenya find its place in 2013 ?

    As the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations reaches its penultimate stages this weekend, Kenya will be once again ruing its chances of having not qualified for the continent's biggest football showpiece. While much aplomb came towards the end of the qualifiers as the country faced off with its fierce neighbour Uganda, the die had already been cast and not much of a miracle was going to happen anyway.
    Football Kenya - image courtesy of  Football Kenya Limited

    Well, the first Africa Cup of Nations in an odd year will be back next year hopefully landing at South Africa in less than 20 years. What gives?

    a) First the top football body in Kenya finally held elections and new officials have fresh mandate and endorsement from majority of the game's stakeholders. This goodwill ought to be exploited and trickled down to the national team.

    b) With the Football Kenya Federation, indicating its willingness to work with the Harambee Stars Management Board, structures ought to be in place to ensure the team has maximum corporate support and technical support to see the team through the qualifiers.

    c) Address branding and sponsorship issues as early as possible. In December 2011, a new uniform kit was launched to reflect the country's colours and though not all of us like it, it ought to be more stable than we've had in the past. Full disclosure too ought to be made to avoid situations of missing kits and mismatching uniforms for international fixtures.

    d) Technical bench - One major flaw that was made in the last 1 year was having a technical bench which was led by a coach who also managed a top club. Given the demands of both jobs, we could even say he gave it a good shot but well we won't remember missed opportunities. Give the bench their contracts and ensure their pay's on time to avoid Antoine Hey's scenarios and such shenanigans.

    e) Stadium facilities - With the biggest stadium in the country coming to completion from repairs, it's about time the national team got used to this venue as the hunting ground for valuable home points. This venue has been a good motivator to the boys maybe its the softer ground or maybe its the 60,000 + fans that would flock it at its maximum...

    f)  Club versus country - this problem cropped up during the 2011 season where some clubs felt aggrieved that the national team kept requesting for their players and some usually came back with serious injuries. Case in point is Arnold Origi - one of Kenya's best goal-keepers who's called it quits on the national team due such incidences. The calendar should indicate ample time for players to adjust from club to national team engagements.

    g) Government engagement - Its about time the Government became a little more proactive in rallying support for national teams representing the country in any sport. Football a sport for the larger majority is the greatest unifier in this respect. We all saw the vibe it created when Kenya played its last qualification game against Uganda in Kampala last year. We can muster the same support albeit on a continuous basis. Kenyan people, its about time you elected a sports-crazed head of state....

     29th of February is a little over 2 weeks, FKF and all you who ought to make Kenyan football happen, the journey to 2013 Africa Cup of Nations starts NOW!

    Friday, 10 February 2012

    SuperSport pulls another first in East Africa Sport - SuperSport 9 East

    Wednesday's launch of SuperSport 9 (SS9) East is a major boost to sports media development in the Eastern Africa. Broadcasting in the Swahili language, the channel will provide live coverage, expert analysis as well as commentaries pre and post-game and weekends. It will also have programming specifically tailored for the Eastern & Central Africa market.
    SuperSport - image courtesy of

    Having engaged over 30 personnel in media training - from commentators to cameramen and photographers - SuperSport has provided a wealth of knowledge to this niche market that is slowly making it to the mainstream and becoming lucrative for business. Encouraged by the unexploited potent of football, athletics, rugby and other sports such as cricket and volleyball, the region will cut out its place in the African continent. Starting today at 1200hours (E.A time) , SS9 East will surely be welcome fresh of air to East & Central Africa!

    Kenya Premier League 2012 Season comes alive...

    For you the Kenyan football fan, the action is back on Kenyan pitches, this time with bigger and better oomph than ever.  Flurry of activity has been going on in the changing rooms as well as the technical benches for most of the teams. This year's league retains the 16 team set up (though the lower previously known as Nationwide League now named Kenya Division One attracts 2 Zones Western & Eastern each with 16 teams).
    New sides promoted include Muhoroni Youth who make a debut while Oserian (Fastac) make a comeback after being on the lower rungs for a few years. Dropping off were the 2 Coastal teams, Bandari and Congo United, which prompted a call by business leaders in Mombasa & Coastal region to rally around bringing back glory to the region's teams.
    Also one club City Stars changed names to Daima Stars after securing sponsorship from Daima Milk. From the transfer market, the following's the top spendings Clubs & players;

    1. AFC Leopards - KSh. 835,000
    2. Gor Mahia - KSh. 670,000
    3. Ulinzi Stars - KSh. 420,000
    4. Tusker FC - KSh. 260,000
    5. Oserian - KSh.100,000
    Most Expensive Players;

    1. Eric Masika  - KSh. 450,000 ( from Gor Mahia to AFC Leopards)
    2. Ivo Mapunda - KSh. 200,000 ( from Bandari to Gor Mahia)
    3. Kevin Amwayi - KSh. 200,000( from Western Stima to Ulinzi Stars)
    4. Wycliffe Ochono - KSh. 200,000 (from Gor Mahia to Ulinzi Stars)
    5. Abbasi Kiwalabye -KSh. 190,000 ( from Chemelil Sugar to AFC Leopards)
    6. Victor Ochieng - KSh. 190,000 ( from Chemelil Sugar to AFC Leopards)
    7. Hugo Nzangu - KSh. 150,000 ( from Sony Sugar to Gor Mahia)
    8. Patrick Kagogo - KSh.100,000 (from Sofapaka to Tusker)
    9. Peter Juma - KSh. 80,000 (from Karuturi Sports to Gor Mahia)
    10. Luke Ochieng - KSh. 75,000 ( from KCB to Tusker)
    It shall be interesting to see which club's spending has been justified and which one was a waste of the monies. Also there has been less buzz around corporate sponsors coming on board as most of those who had penned contracts had done 2-3 years/seasons.
    Make a date with your favourite club and for more info check for more updates.