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KCB pumps KSh70m into 2019 Karen Masters

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The Karen Master sponsors KCB have pumped KSh70 million into this year’s tournament, the event organisers announced on Thursday during its launch.

A total of KSh15 million has been allocated for prize moneys which will be contested by the 152 pros and 4 amateurs who are set to participate at the four-days golf action.

A cut will be done on June 28 that will see 152 pros abridged to 60 and ties will later contest for top honours on Friday and Saturday.

“The pros will have to battle it out for the total prize kitty of a whopping 15 million Kenyan shillings and the Karen Masters blue jacket,” KCB Chief Operating Officer Sam Makome said.

The sponsors said that the continued backing by the sunshine tour as one of the major golf tours, has raised the profile of the tournament exposing professional golfers and armatures to the allure of playing at such a world class event, growing in the African continent.

“The tournament has grown to its stature and we are delighted to welcome top class golfers to Our country, we are refining the golf experience in our region” Added Mr Makome.

This year’s tournament faceoff presents 4 days of competition and a pro-Am tournament, KCB Karen masters tournament director Mr Andy Watt said that all systems are now ready for the event.

“We have been working round the clock to meet the deadlines and I am happy to present a great course and facilities for the 2019 Karen Masters series, we also made changes to the way golf holes will be played. The first nine holes will be played as normal, However the current 13th to 18th holes will play as the 10th to 15th holes and the current 10th to 12th holes will play at 16th to 18th holes,” Said Andy Watt

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South African Michael Palmer who won the last Karen Master series urged more professional golfers from Kenya to join the Karen master series, this year’s event will see Kenyan 27 pros play.

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Eldoret’s 64 Stadium just an open grazing field in world-famous

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By BERNARD ROTICH

Eldoret is normally referred to as ‘City of Champions’ but the 64 Stadium run by Uasin Gishu County government is an eyesore.

Parts of the perimeter wall of the stadium have come down, and it can be accessed from any point. The main gate is missing.

The main dais resembles a shanty and can be blown away by strong winds, leaving any VIP guests at the mercy of the elements.

The football pitch has no grass at the centre, putting local players who have been using the stadium for training in danger of picking injuries.

Perhaps those living in the nearby Eldoret West estate find it convenient to cross the stadium as they walk into Eldoret’s Central Business District because there is no perimeter wall round the stadium.

There are four ablution blocks  at the stadium, three of which have been run down and are being used by street children and homeless people.

Next to the dais are the ticketing booths which have no doors. Street families have taken advantage and are using it for sleeping.

The stadium is remembered for hosting high adrenaline Kenyan Premier League football matches featuring teams like Eldoret KCC and Rivatex in the 90s.

It has since been turned into a venue for political rallies.

Eldoret, revered as the mecca of global long distance running, hosted the Kenyan trials for 2016 Olympic Games.

It was also the main base for a month-long training for Team Kenya ahead of the quadrennial Games  but even this could change if training facilities are not improved.

Just a few metres along the length of what should have been the stadium, some members of the public can be seen taking a nap, perhaps after a long walk in town.

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Sports men and women in the region have been complaining about lack of training facilities, especially after construction work at Kipchoge Keino Stadium located  few kilometres away stalled.

The stadium used to be home ground for lower-tier team GFE 105, among other teams in the region. In its current condition, only upcoming footballers train at the facility.

Athletes in need of training facilities have to travel to the Moi University School of Law (Annex Campus) or to the University of Eldoret. But the two facilities cannot meet the growing demand among youth who are venturing into athletics, especially  road races.

Since 2017, the county government led by governor Jackson Mandago has been promising to improve the facility in vain.

The County Government has allocated Sh250 million for first phase of work on 64 Stadium, which is expected to transform it into a modern sports facility.

The chief executive in charge of sports, Joseph Kurgat, told Nation Sport that the delay in start of the work has been occasioned by lack of adequate funds but the county was preparing bid documents for a contractor to start construction work immediately.

“Next month, we shall award the tender for work at the facility. Phase one of the work should start immediately before we can open the facility for the public as the other work continues. It will be an ultra-modern facility. We also look forward to hosting major sporting events here once it’s complete,” said Kurgat.

Work at the stadium will include construction of a VIP pavilion, changing rooms, and 20,000-seater terraces.

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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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Cash-strapped Gor Mahia put up Paybill number to raise funds

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By DAVID KWALIMWA

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By CECIL ODONGO

As a financial crisis bites through the local football scene, Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has reached out to landlords of members of his team’s playing unit to exercise patience.

And in a related development, the 18-time Kenyan champions have, through Gor Mahia Augmentin Fund (GMAF), set up a Paybill number which members, supporters, and well-wishers can contribute money to the club in form of cash and ‘Bonga points.’

Bonga points is a loyalty scheme for all of Safaricom’s pre-paid and post-paid customers.

The points can be used to redeem prizes and goods at selected supermarkets.

Rachier has sought to strike a deal with the landlords of his players following consistent delay in rent payment by the players. This has been occasioned by financial crisis at the club that has caused salary delays.

“We have not paid salaries for five months,” Rachier said Wednesday.

“I keep writing to their landlords just to understand and I want to thank those landlords that have extended a good time for them (players) to be able to pay when we are able to pay,” he said.

Rachier spoke at an event where a section of club supporters and players, led by Lawrence Juma, Joakim Oluoch and Samuel Onyango as well as members of group called ‘Kulundeng original’ donated foodstuff worth Sh100,000 to the Fikisha Rehabilitation Centre. 

The function was held at the Lutheran Centre in Kawangware, Nairobi.

Gor players each received a Sh10,000 monthly stipend from the government last week in a bid to cushion them from the effects of coronavirus pandemic which has paralysed football activities in the country.

Most of the Kenyan Premier League clubs have benefited from the scheme launched by the government in conjunction with various partners.

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