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Sony, Chemelil set to dish out KPL walkovers

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Happier days. Sony Sugar players celebrate after scoring during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Sony Sugar/Twitter

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct – Sugar belt sides Sony and Chemelil are on the brink of dishing out walk overs for this weekend’s Kenyan Premier League matches due to the current financial drought witnessed in the country’s top-flight league.

While Sony have categorically stated they will not travel to Machakos for their early Saturday morning tie against Tusker FC, Chemelil are yet to leave their base in Awasi for Mombasa where they will take on Bandari FC in a 3pm kick off.

“We cannot burry our heads in the sand and pretend everything is okay. We just simply requested for our fixtures to be shelved as we look for a sponsor but they could not listen to us. The truth of the matter is that we don’t have money and we will not travel to Machakos,” Sony chairman Gabriel Otieno told Capital Sport.

Sony players have also not trained since their pre-AFC Leopards walkover a fortnight ago with head coach James Nandwa still in Nairobi.

“We cannot train and we are unable to honor matches. We will not be able to play until we are financially able to do so. At this moment, we don’t have money,” the chairman further stated.

Sony handed out a walk over to AFC Leopards in Awendo two weeks ago and it was highly doubtful they would not be able to honor their away trip to face Tusker in Machakos.

-Relegated to NSL

According to KPL rules, of they hand out a third walkover, they will be relegated to the National Super League, with Otiende stating they are not afraid of the axe.

Chemelil meanwhile are yet to leave their base in Awasi, as at 4pm Friday evening to Mombasa, a distance of 784km which might take up to a maximum of 12-13 hours.

“The company boss was not around and has just returned. We are waiting to hear whether or not finances will be availed for us to travelled. Everyone is on standby if all goes well we might travel at night,” a source at the club told Capital Sport.

If Chemelil travel on Friday night, they will arrive in Mombasa on Saturday morning and will have only a few hours to rest and recover from the long journey before facing the on-form Bandari.

Chemelil sit bottom of the KPL having lost all their opening four games, shipping in 13 goals and scoring only once. Sony on the other end are 16th having won only once, lost thrice and handed out one walkover.

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Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.

“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.

“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”

With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.

There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

Rugby Championship

There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.

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That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.

South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.

“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.

‘Seven Nations’

Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?

Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.

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England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.

Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.

Super Rugby

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Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.

The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.

Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.

South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.

‘Pro16’

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.

“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.

But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.

While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.

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Currie Cup

The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.

First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.

But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections

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By NATION REPORTER

Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.

The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.

Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.

Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.

Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.

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