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Rescheduled Magical Kenya Open to be held in November at Karen Country Club

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – The postponed 2020 Magical Kenya Open will now he held from November 12-15 at the Karen Country Club, the Kenya Open Golf Limited and the European Tour announced Friday.

The premier tournament was initially due to be played from March 12-15 at the same venue, but was postponed following the Government of Kenya directives to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

The rescheduled Magical Kenya Open is part of the European Tour’s reshaped 2020 schedule, with all tournaments subject to the Tour’s stringent medical health strategy which will evolve in line with government guidance in the countries the Tour visits.

Making this announcement, Peter Kanyago, the Chairman of the Kenya Open Golf Limited pointed out the special relationship that the Kenya Open continues to have with the European Tour and the aim of growing the game of golf in Kenya and the region.

“The Kenya Open has been connected with the European Tour since the mid-1970s. We held the first designated full European Tour title event last year and we were all happy with the success. We would like to keep the momentum going by hosting the second European Tour event this year,” said Peter Kanyago.

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“Being a European Tour event, the Magical Kenya Open will be televised live all over the world just like it was last year. This will give the Kenyan tourism industry the impetus it requires to start rebuilding after the devastation caused by the global pandemic as people all over the world see that our country is opening up.” Added Kanyago.

The prize purse for the rescheduled Magical Kenya Open 2020 will be Sh 120 million (€ 1 million) and is expected to have a field size of 144 players. Out of these, 12 will be from the 2019-2020 Safari Tour as well as six amateur golfers selected by the Kenya Golf Union.

Ben Cowen, the European Tour’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer International, said: “We are very pleased to be able to keep the proud tradition of the Magical Kenya Open going this November. We look forward to working with Keyna Open Golf Limited, the tournament partners and everyone in the local region in staging another successful edition as part of our reshaped 2020 season.”

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‘Unicorn’ Hamilton bows head, raises fist to celebrate Styrian triumph

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SPIELBERG, Austria, Jul 12Lewis Hamilton raised a podium fist to salute the global anti-racism protests on Sunday as he celebrated his first win this season and the 85th of his career at the Styrian Grand Prix in a performance so dazzling that his Mercedes team boss described him as a “unicorn”.

In a gesture that recalled the action of Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games, Hamilton delivered an image and message that transcended the pre-race muddle offered by his sport when at least four drivers remained standing while others took a knee and some were absent.

For the second consecutive weekend, Hamilton had taken a knee wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt accompanied by others in ‘End Racism’ t-shirts.

However, television coverage of the drivers’ symbolic act of support for his sport’s anti-racism stance lasted only two seconds.

Instead of showing the drivers, the direction switched broadcast attention to a pre-planned aerial demonstration while, with a global audience tuning in, confusion reigned.

Hamilton, the sport’s only black race winner and champion, who had drawn attention to F1’s need for a smarter and more unified demonstration as with football and other sports, was not surprised or perturbed.

Instead, he heaped praise on his Mercedes team –Valtteri Bottas had finished second behind him in a solid one-two – for their on- and off-track excellence as they seek to add to their six-year dominance as champions and focus on developing diversity.

“The easiest thing is to lose focus, to ease up and lose determination,” he said after the race.

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“I don’t see this happening with this team. We are so united.

“You can see this on grid when all the team took a knee. I didn’t see it. I was told just before the race that they were going to do it.

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“It’s not something I asked for, but it was a beautiful thing. It doesn’t take a lot to do and maybe its not changing the world, but it is hopefully changing perceptions and shifting ideals.”

After his masterful demonstration of wet weather driving in Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying session, Hamilton delivered a measured message on Sunday to drive within six wins of Michael Schumacher’s record and make his wider point.

“When he is in that space, he is just unbeatable,” said his Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in top-class motor racing. It’s like seeing a unicorn.”

Wolff added that the Mercedes team had all taken a knee, but none wished to judge others who did not.

“The team did it, but I think we have to be non-judgmental. None of the drivers standing are racist. We have to respect each point of view and I don’t want to judge what other people do.”

Hamilton attributed his victory to the team and hard work in preparation following the previous week’s disappointments at the Austrian Grand Prix.

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“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” he said.

“Last weekend was psychologically challenging. To have the penalties and be called to the stewards on the Sunday morning, just before the race, and to get a penalty there and then another one in the race. Its never easy.”

“But there’s nothing you can do about the past. All you can do is focus and channel your energy to the future.”

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Police arrest 12-year-old for racially abusing Palace star Zaha

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Wilfried Zaha (right)takes a knee prior to Crystal Palace’s Premier League match with Aston Villa on Sunday © POOL/AFP / Tim Keeton

London, United Kingdom, Jul 12 – A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha was racially abused in a series of social media messages before his side’s Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Zaha posted on Twitter three screenshots of messages containing racial abuse from an Instagram account belonging to a Villa fan.

West Midlands Police said after Villa’s 2-0 win that they had arrested a boy from Solihull in relation to the incident.

“We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy,” West Midlands Police said on their Twitter account.

“The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated.”

Villa condemned the abuse and vowed to issue a lifetime ban, tweeting: “We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha.

“We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with @CPFC . We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban.”

All Premier League games since the season’s restart last month have begun with players, staff and match officials taking a knee to protest against racial injustice.

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The shirts of all 20 sides in the English top-flight have also carried a logo promoting the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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Speaking ahead of the match, Palace manager Roy Hodgson said he supported Zaha’s call to make the direct messages public, as well as condemning the content of them.

“It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse,” Hodgson said.

“I think it is right that Wilf made people aware of it; I don’t think it is something he should keep quiet about.

“I think it is very good that our club, Aston Villa and the Premier League are doing everything they can to find out who this despicable individual is and one can only hope that they will get identified and they will get called to account and they will pay for these actions.

“There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all.”

The posts came two weeks after the Premier League launched a new system to allow Premier League players to report online abuse.

“This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the Premier League stands alongside @wilfriedzaha in opposing this, and discrimination in any form. There is NoRoomForRacism, anywhere,” a Premier League statement said.

“We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.

“Through our dedicated reporting system we can take immediate action on cases like this.”

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Covid-19: Alliance wants Interfaith Council dissolved over tough rules

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By FAITH NYAMAI

By SARAH NANJALA

The Pentecostal Alliance of Kenya wants dissolution of the interfaith council formed to spearhead phased re-opening of churches amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alliance chair Jonah Kariuki said the Inter-Faith Council on the National Response to the Corona Pandemic has misled the government instead of advising it on the importance and the place of the church during the pandemic.

He added that the alliance is disappointed with the decisions by the government and the council even as cases of the virus in the country continue to increase significantly.

“INSULT”

As of July 12, Kenya had passed the 10,000 mark with 379 more cases of Covid-19. The number of deaths stood at 185 and the recoveries at 2,881.

Bishop Kariuki said on Saturday, “The church cannot be perceived as the place where the virus is being spread yet people are interacting all day long in marketplaces, matatus and other places.”

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He added, “Do we have a pandemic that knows the church and not the market? These people are going to markets and are travelling in buses and matatus yet they can’t come to church.”

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The alliance further said that limiting services to an hour is an insult to God and noted that the Constitution covers the freedom of worship.

Bishop Kariuki said the solution to the pandemic lies with the church as it is only through prayer that God will have mercy on the world.

He said the government must not put the church in the same category as clubs and bars.

“This country must realise that the church of  Jesus Christ must not suffer because of lack of knowledge,” he said on Sunday.

POPULATION

The alliance further said the council does not sufficiently represent evangelical and pentecostals yet their population is the highest.

Bishop Kariuki noted that according to the 2009 census, evangelicals and pentecostals are the majority in Kenya, numbering about 18 million.

The alliance said Catholics are about nine million in number and Muslims about three million.

“Every religion should have been allowed to come up with guidelines on how to ensure health guidelines are observed. There is no way people from different faiths can agree how to worship their gods,” he said.

“Muslims cannot plan how Christians worship, Hindus cannot plan how Muslims or Christians worship and vice versa,” he said.

The alliance also said the age limit of 13-58 goes against the right to worship so it should not be embraced.

MORE OPPOSITION

The Clergy Association of Kenya raised similar concerns in a statement on Sunday, Executive Member Bishop Hudson Ndeda saying the restrictions, including having only 100 people in services that last one hour, lower the significance of the church.

Bishop Ndeda said the time limit does not make sense given there is no limit for other social spaces, including public service vehicles.

“The members we have in our churches are the very ones who, for six days, are meeting in matatus, markets, supermarkets and restaurants. Why is it that everywhere else the capacity is determined by social distance?

“The move makes one wonder if Covid-19 is anti-church or if some people are using it to fight the church in Kenya. Can someone clearly tell Kenyans that the church is no longer needed in this country instead of hiding behind Covid-19?”

MIXED REACTIONS

Following the council’s submission of its recommendations, churches are expected to start re-opening next week.

The announcement has drawn mixed reactions, with churches such as Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam) saying they will remain closed until further notice.

Bishop Ndeda, of Bethel Christian Pentecostal Church, said the council did not consult them.

“Kenya has several church and clergy umbrella bodies but they are not well represented in the council. We realise some of them have no interest in re-opening as seen in their letters,” he said.

The official wants the council’s recommendations evaluated and “more practical” rules developed in a process that will include all stakeholders.

“If we are not careful, the wrath of God will fall heavily on this country. Let us respect God and the church. Anybody dealing with or talking about the Church must exercise a lot of care and humility,” he said.

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