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What Harambee Stars need to qualify for round of 16

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The national football team Harambee Stars bolstered its chances of reaching the knockout rounds with a 3-2 win over neighbors in a spectacular contest on Thursday night.

Michael Olunga’s blistering brace, that included the 80th-minute winner ensured Kenya chalked up only their second-ever win at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Simon Msuva and Mbwana Samatta put Tanzania in front but Olunga and Johanna Omolo leveled for the Harambee Stars before Olunga struck the winner nine minutes from time.

Tanzania, yet to get off the mark, became the first team to be eliminated in the 24-team tournament.

Kenya, who had won only once in 15 previous matches in the competition, have three points from two games in Group C, level with Senegal.

Coach Sebastien Migne’s team is currently the best-ranked team among those that could reach the last 16 as ‘best losers’ and could nail that spot with a positive result against Senegal.

On a special night in Kenyan football, President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in hailing Stars for a monumental effort to pull in pulling off victory after twice coming from behind to beat Tanzania.

In a statement from the official Statehouse Twitter account President Uhuru said:

Stars lost their opening match against Algeria on Sunday 2-0 and they will be facing Senegal on 1st July in the last match of the group.






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No sanctions for Sancho and Bundesliga players for Floyd protests

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BERLIN, Germany, Jun 3Bundesliga players including Jadon Sancho who staged protests during matches following the death of American man George Floyd will not be punished, the German Football Federation said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the DFB said “no action” would be taken against Borussia Dortmund players Sancho and Achraf Hakini, Schalke’s US midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Moenchengladbach’s French forward Marcus Thuram for “their symbols of solidarity”.

“This line will also be taken should further players make demonstrations on racism and the death of Floyd over the course of upcoming matchdays,” the DFB added.

After scoring in Dortmund’s win at Paderborn on Sunday England winger Sancho lifted his shirt to reveal the message “Justice for George Floyd”.

Floyd’s death after a policeman kneeled on his neck for several minutes has sparked eight days of protests in the US cities.

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Hakimi and McKennie expressed similar calls for justice, while Frenchman Thuram, the son of World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, took a knee after scoring for Gladbach in memory of Floyd, echoing similar protests against police brutality started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

On Tuesday, FIFA chief Gianni Infantino said that players demanding justice for Floyd, should be applauded.

The DFB had launched their investigation into the players’ tributes following guidelines from the sport’s lawmakers, the International Football Association Board.

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Italy rugby star earns country’s highest award for volunteer coronavirus work

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MILAN, Italy, Jun 3 Italian rugby international Maxime Mbanda has earned one of Italy’s highest awards for his work as a front-line volunteer in the fight against the coronavirus.

President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday named the back-row forward a ‘Cavalieri al merito della Repubblica’, or ‘Knights of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic’ for working with a volunteer ambulance team in the city of Parma during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It was unexpected news. This recognition fills me with pride,” said Mbanda.

“The credit goes to all the people who have worked hard during this period and who have been doing it for years in silence.”

The honour is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves in the service to the community, including doctors and nurses during the recent crisis which killed over 33,500 people in Italy.

Born in Rome to a Congolese father and Italian mother, Mbanda had been scheduled to face England in the Six Nations for his 21st Italy cap on March 14 when all sport was suspended as the pandemic quickly spread.

Instead, wearing a mask and protective suit, the 27-year-old volunteered as an ambulance driver with the volunteer medical transport group “Croce Gialla” (Yellow Cross) in the region of Emilia-Romagna, one of the areas most affected by the coronavirus.

“When everything was cancelled in rugby, I wondered how I could help, even without medical expertise,” Mbanda, who plays for Zebre Rugby, the Parma club, told AFP in March.

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He said he found the group, which helped transport patients, medicine and food for the elderly during the crisis.

“It was the 70 busiest days of my life,” Mbanda wrote on his Instagram account in May.

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“I transported more than 100 patients, had gruelling shifts where I had lunch in the evening, because I couldn’t take off that suit to avoid the risk of getting infected until I was sanitised,” he wrote.

Mbanda joined a service that transports patients who have coronavirus © AFP/File / ANDREAS SOLARO

“During the most intense period I cried in the evening, as a way to release what I saw during the day which I wasn’t used to,” he added

Mbanda’s father, a surgeon in Milan, was “also on the front line,” he said, adding that, if asked, he would do it all again.

“In fact, I have admitted several times during this period that I regretted not having started earlier and I will advise anyone from now on to try to volunteer,” he wrote.

“For me it was an incredible experience.”

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Amazon to make Premier League matches free-to-air

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LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 3Amazon will make its four Premier League matches in the remainder of the 2019/20 season free-to-air as broadcasters prepare for the return of the English top-flight.

The Premier League is set to resume behind closed doors on June 17 after being suspended since March due to the coronavirus.

All 92 remaining fixtures will be televised live and Amazon has a small package of games.

Unlike earlier this season, fans will not need a Prime membership to watch fixtures on the online platform.

“Like the rest of the country, we are excited to see the Premier League return to action,” said Alex Green, managing director of Prime Video Sport Europe.

“We will be making all four of Amazon Prime Video’s additional fixtures in the 2019-20 season available free of charge. Fans will not need a Prime membership to view the games on Prime Video.”

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The online streaming service entered the competitive Premier League live rights market in 2018, changing the landscape of British sports broadcasting.

Sky Sports has announced 25 of its 64 matches will be free-to-air on its Pick channel, while the BBC has the rights to screen four games on terrestrial TV.

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It will be the first time the BBC has shown any live English top-flight action since 1988.

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