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Mathare United midfielder set to join Egyptian club

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By SAMUEL GACHARIRA
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Mathare United midfielder Cliff Nyakeya is set to join Egyptian top tier side FC Masr.

FC Masr was recently promoted to the Egyptian Premier League after finishing top of Group B in the second division last season.

Nyakeya, who joined Mathare United in June 2016, guided the Slum Boys to a sixth place league finish in the 2018/19 season with an impressive tally of 15 goals and seven assists.

This was an improvement from the previous campaign where he bagged the Midfielder of the year award after scoring 14 goals and assisting six others.

His exploits had seen him emerge as a top transfer target for record SportPesa Premier League champions Gor Mahia as well as newly promoted moneybags Wazito.

However, his move to the Cairo-based side is now at an advanced stage.

“He jetted out of the country on Monday morning and he is expected to sign with them once he completes his medical. The club (FC Masr) is so impressed by his steady progress and believe he is the next big thing in Kenyan football,” a source privy to the transfer told Nation Sport.

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Should he put pen to paper, Nyakeya will become the third Kenyan to play in the Egyptian top tier after Simeon Mulama, Pascal Ochieng’ and Isaiah “Song” Omondi.

The club currently plays in the Egyptian Premier League, the highest league in the Egyptian football league system. FC Masr was founded on November 1, 2009.

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School games boss Orero wants students kept active

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PHILIP ONYANGO

By PHILIP ONYANGO
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Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association (KSSSA) chairman Peter Orero has urged the youth to especially avoid social places saying the youth form the base of the of pyramid of population growth and can easily infect the old.

He is therefore advising schoolteachers and coaches to ensure that the students especially players are kept busy, individually, at their homes during this period of social distancing.

This can be done by giving them coaching assignment using social media platforms.

Orero, speaking from his isolation base at Dagoretti High School where he is the principal, said allowing the children to venture out into gatherings can be a recipe for increasing the curve of coronavirus infection.

He pleaded with the school going children, who fall under is custody as KSSSA chairman, to strictly follow the government guidelines on social distancing, washing hands frequently and sanitising.

“It is really annoying that some youth have not taken these government guidelines seriously and can be often be seen playing in groups and venturing in social places which can be very catastrophic should they get this virus and spread it to the old who are more vulnerable,” said Oreo.

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According to Oreo, KSSSA will have a very busy calendar whose climax will be defending the East Africa Secondary School Games overall title when Kenya hosts the championships in August.

He said this will require that the players be fit and in the correct frame of mind all which he said cannot be achieved if the players are not engaged now.

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“All over the world, we have seen players taking advantaged of any small available space in their compound and even living rooms to keep fit and learn some basic on instruction of coaches through technology.

“If applied by our teachers and coaches, this will not only ensure the youth are kept from public gatherings but will also ensure they return to school very fit and ready to continue with the school programs from where they stopped,” he said.

He pleaded with the Kenyan youth to take great care of themselves to preserve their future.

“I would not wish that any of the students who are home contract this disease. I advice them to form groups to send messages to each other on washing hands, self-distancing and sanitising, among other things to fight this virus and eventually return to school as fit as fiddles. Exactly the way they left school,” he said.

He confirmed KSSSA secretary general David Ngugi’s announcement that schools term one games that were set to take place in Kapsabet from April 14, would be held in June during the half term break.

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So far, so good within the scattered Leopard lairs

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JOHN ASHIHUNDU

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU
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As uncertainty still surrounds the future of our local football season because of the coronavirus pandemic, I commend our players for adapting special training programmes to remain physically and mentally fit.

AFC Leopards players are busy training individually and we trust that they are practicing according to our technical staff’s schedule as we wait for the league to resume.

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season was put on hold last month following a government directive owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

I really sympathise with our technical bench because currently things are not working according to their plans as they wait to resume full training.

It has been very difficult too for our players to train especially those who stay in small houses.

Our physical trainer, Vincent Mbwabi assured me that Ingwe players have special programmes for their individual workouts.

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The players have been advised to adhere to self-discipline during this difficult times.

Of course, there is little the head coach can do, apart from advise the players through a special WhatsApp group formed for communication purposes.

Players are doing runs within their locality but are not allowed to train anywhere where there are people to adhere to the social distancing rule.

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I believe the boys can only remain strong during this period while they are training individually if they maintain self discipline and follow the instructions given to them by our trainer to the letter.

Mbwabi told me the boys are doing well with maintaining their shape to the same level they were before the season was put on hold.

Besides Mbwabi’s assurance, I request our players to take precautions and keep on training with the right intensity as they keep their sights on the league and the Betway Cup titles.

We are in the quarter-finals of the Cup competition with no serious opponent, meaning the title is as good as ours.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the normal KPL calendar and concerned parties are scheduled to meet this week to discuss a way forward after the 30 days period elapses.

According to Dr Patrick Ngusale, who heads Leopards our medical team, there are no injuries within the squad.

It is reassuring that Ngusale talks to the players all the time and is available at a moment’s notice to guide and educate them accordingly. So far, so good at the Leopards den. Let us keep it that way.

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Coronavirus has worsened poor financial state of KPL players

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MOSES OJUANG'

By MOSES OJUANG’
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There is an ancient Chinese curse that simply says: ‘may you live in interesting times”. Well, the interesting times are here.

There are people deluded enough to think this curse is a blessing but they are really wrong.

Interesting times are those where nothing seems to work; there is too much fear and anxiety; what we may do as humans to change the tide seems useless and uncertainty clouds our future plans and scuttles them.

Nobody thought of the Covid-19 onslaught on the planet. We were looking for the completion of football leagues all over the world but now we are staring at a desert of unhappiness and unrequited love.

The Olympics have been shelved until next year if the situation changes. There are many that think if only the curfew was imposed when there is football and other sports to be watched it would have been somehow bearable.

Well, if there was football, we wouldn’t have minded even a complete shutdown but that’s not the case; it is killing the souls of men out there and we really sympathise with those comrades suffering at present.

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There are leagues — and the Belgian one comes to mind — that have finished the season without playing all the matches!

They have already crowned the league leaders and named the teams to be relegated.

Soon there shall be an avalanche of other followers that will borrow the same leaf even though the conditions of their league are totally different from those of Belgium.

The players all over Europe are soon going to be forced to take a 30 per cent pay cut and the negotiations are going on.

In England, there is a possibility that the remaining Premier League matches will be played behind closed doors thus removing the fans from the stands.

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This means that the broadcasters will not be there and as such revenue will not come from the match attendance or from sponsors and advertisers whose merchandise will not be on display.

They have not yet decided whether to go the Belgian way or not bearing in mind that if they do, the EPL will have to forfeit some £800 million to the aggrieved parties.

Liverpool may be crowned champs and many will not complain, but the battle will be upon those that wish to qualify for Champions League next season and the other batch wishing to join Europa League. These leagues too have not ended this season.

Who then will be relegated and by what formula? Any method used shall be very unfair.

It is on the same note that we turn to our own country where the league remains suspended. There are calls already to crown K’Ogalo the champions for this season. That will be a waste and very narrow thought. Our players in Kenya cannot take a 30 per cent pay cut since they are lowly paid and many have not seen a payslip in months.

Here it is brutal since we are very sure clubs are not paying salaries and blaming it on the coronavirus! We know it because we talk to the players.

This is a call of distress to all those concerned: pay the players now even if the virus be thy refuge.

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