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Coast stakeholders want caretaker committee to run football

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By PHILIP ONYANGO

Coast region football stakeholders now want the government to put in place a normalization committee to take over the running of the sport ahead of the overdue Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections.

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Led by former Coast FKF Secretary, Ismael Mohammed, the stakeholders who included current and former administrators, referees and players said they have had enough of the musical chairs at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) and now want the Sports ministry to step in and take action.

According to them, the current FKF regime’s term of office expired in February as per the constitution and that ought to be respected.

SDT nullified FKF county and national polls in December and March citing irregularities in the way both exercises were conducted.

“The Sports Disputes Tribunal has been doing a good job so far, but made an error by allowing FKF president Nick Mwendwa to stay in office because any work that is remaining at the federation should be done by the Secretariat and not the presidency “, Mohammed, who was speaking at the Mombasa Municipal Stadium Wednesday , said.

According to him, having a normalization committee will restore confidence in all those interested in elective posts and allow stakeholders to choose leaders of their choice without fear of victimization. 

According to Mohammad, Kenya has had four normalization committees in the past and does not therefore see anything strange with the government putting one in place with Kenyan football at crossroads. 

Mohammed said the decision by Nick Mwendwa to skip the SDT virtual hearing on Tuesday was a clear pointer that he was no longer interested in peaceful transition and should therefore be ignored.

“Mwendwa should first clear his name with the Directorate of Criminal Investigation on several scandals surrounding his tenure at the federation before thinking of any elective positions in future, because as things stand now, no one is interested in his leadership”, Mohammed said.

Mohammed said Mwendwa’s continued stay in office poses real danger to the FKF finances, which he still has access to.

“It is laughable when we are told that Mwendwa should stay on to wait to hand over. That is not his work, because any NEC member and the secretariat can easily hand handover when that time comes”, he said.

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Vardy secures vital point for Leicester at 10-man Arsenal

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LONDON, United Kingdom, July 8 – Jamie Vardy salvaged a much-needed point for Leicester in their quest to claim a place in next season’s Champions League in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Tuesday dominated by VAR reviews.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike gave the Gunners a well-deserved first half lead, but Arsenal were reduced to 10 men for the final 15 minutes when substitute Eddie Nketiah was shown a straight red card after a lengthy VAR review.

Leicester made the most of the man advantage as Vardy slotted home from Demarai Gray’s cross, but also had a nervous wait before the goal was awarded as VAR checked for offside.

Despite the late rally, Leicester have now won just once in six games since the restart to the season and drop to fourth after Chelsea won 3-2 at Crystal Palace earlier on Tuesday.

Manchester United can close to within one point of the Foxes if their scintillating form continues at Aston Villa on Thursday.

Arsenal’s own chances of a top-four finish appear gone as they remain nine points adrift in seventh.

But after a poor start to English football’s restart with back-to-back defeats at Manchester City and Brighton, there were more promising signs from Mikel Arteta’s men as his reign at the Emirates begins to take shape.

 

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20 and counting: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 20th Premier League goal of the season opened the scoring against Leicester
© POOL/AFP Shaun Botterill

Bukayo Saka has flourished since Arteta replaced Unai Emery in December and the 18-year-old was again at the heart of an excellent first 45 minutes from Arsenal.

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Saka created the opening goal as he latched onto a defence-splitting pass from the outstanding Dani Ceballos and teased Jonny Evans into falling over his own feet before laying Aubameyang’s 20th Premier League goal of the season on a plate.

But for Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester goal, the hosts would have been out of sight before half-time as the Danish number one produced an incredible low save to deny Alexandre Lacazette in between further smart stops from the French striker and Saka.

After weathering the Arsenal storm, Leicester felt aggrieved not to go in level at half-time when Kelechi Iheanacho was penalised for a soft foul before he tapped in Vardy’s cross and this time VAR offered no assistance to the visitors.

Iheanacho was denied by Emiliano Martinez, who produced another impressive performance in the Arsenal goal since stepping in for the injured Bernd Leno, before Vardy failed to connect properly with a great chance.

Arsenal were far less potent as an attacking force after the break, but Lacazette’s frustrating night in front of goal was rounded off when he did turn in from David Luiz’s flick-on only to be flagged offside.

Seconds after Lacazette was replaced by Eddie Nketiah, the Gunners were down to 10 when the young striker’s late lunge on James Justin was deemed worthy of a red card by referee Chris Kavanagh after he came to the side of the pitch to review the incident.

Rodgers immediately threw on an extra attacking option in Gray and his cross was the service Vardy had been seeking all night as turned home to regain his two-goal advantage over Aubameyang in the race for the Golden Boot.

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Sh3bn emergency allowance for frontline health teams released

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By ANGELA OKETCH

The Ministry of Health has finally released Sh3.4 billion for allowances and benefits for frontline healthcare workers dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache said the funds were voted under the ministry as current grants to State agencies and other levels of government.

County governments will receive Sh2.3 billion for the health workers.

 They will also get an additional Sh20 million for psychological support to the health care workers.

RECIPIENTS

State corporations that will also receive part of the money include Kenyatta National Hospital (Sh157 million), Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (Sh107 million), Kenyatta Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (Sh12 million) and Kenya Medical Research Institute (Sh8 million).

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The ministry has also allocated Sh500 million for medical cover for 22 county governments that are not covered in any medical scheme.

“We would really wish to see that our soldiers, who are in the frontline and helping us with the fight against this disease, are working in peace and their welfare is well taken care of. We are also going to take care of their psychological needs,” Ms Mochache said.

HARMONISE ALLOWANCE

Earlier, 17 cadres of health professionals had demanded the release of their three-month risk allowance that President Kenyatta awarded them in May.

The professionals have also demanded that the risk allowance be harmonised considering that some are more prone to infections than others.

“This was long overdue and we welcome it. However, we still want the ministries of Labour and Health to come together and harmonise the allowances,” said Mr George Gibore, the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers secretary-general.

He said some 230 health workers have been infected with the virus — clinical officers at  49 per cent, followed by nurses at 33 per cent, laboratory technicians at 17 per cent and others including doctors at one per cent.

SRC APPROVAL

According to an approval by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), doctors, dentists and pharmacists were to get Sh20,000 each, while nurses, clinical officers and laboratory technicians and technologists were allocated Sh15,000 each.

Public health officers, community health officers, radiographers, nutritionists among others were getting Sh10,000. The support staff deployed in hospitals were to get Sh5,000.

Assess and award

Mr Gibore said the salaries commission should assess and award the allowances depending on the most affected workers trickling down to the less affected.

“How do you award doctors more allowances yet they are not at risk while the ones at high risk are awarded less?” Mr Gibore posed.

He said the country is moving towards a very dire situation and workers in lower level facilities, including health centres, will be at higher risk of infections.

“We will not rest until the allowances are harmonised. They should consider sharing the criteria they used in allocating the allowances,” he said.

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Alonso set for Formula 1 return with Renault

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PARIS, France, July 7 – Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso is set to return to Formula One with Renault next year, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Spaniard has already signed for the French team and an announcement will be made soon, sources told BBC Sport.

Renault declined to comment with contacted by AFP.

He left Formula One in 2018 after four fruitless years at McLaren and is due to make a third attempt to win the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren in August.

A return to Renault means Alonso will be reunited with the outfit with whom he won his world championship crowns in 2005 and 2006.

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Renault needs a replacement for Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, who will join McLaren at the end of this season.

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