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Neymar’s Champions League suspension reduced

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AFP

By AFP
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Neymar’s Champions League ban for insulting match officials on social media has been reduced from three games to two following an appeal, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Tuesday.

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The world’s most expensive player will miss the fixtures against Real Madrid on Wednesday and Galatasaray in two weeks’ time due to the original ban from Uefa but will now be free to face Belgian side Bruges on October 22.

The Brazilian criticised the referee and his assistants after Paris Saint-Germain’s last-16 collapse against Manchester United in March which he watched from the stands due to injury.

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Kenya Sevens’ rampaging ‘Buffalo’ – Daily Nation

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AYUMBA AYODI

By AYUMBA AYODI
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Kenya Sevens might have signalled their return to winning ways at the 2019-2020 World Rugby Sevens Series with an unbeaten group matches run at Cape Town Sevens, but it is Homeboyz winger Alvin Otieno, who has been a revelation.

Kenya beat Samoa 24-19 on Friday before edging out Australia 12-7 in a tense encounter Saturday to set up a Group “D” decider match against Ireland later that evening. It ended 24-24 to secure Shujaa their first Cup quarter-finals of the season.

And one man has been in the thick of things for this exciting Kenyan side

Otieno, who has been nicknamed “Buffalo” or simply “Buffa”, has been the talk of the Series with his ball carrying ability and sheer physicality that has left man a defender sprawled on the ground.

The 26-year-old has shown an eye for the try, good vision to set up team mates and love for the physical battle, a hallmark of the game.

The Kakamega High School old boy landed Kenya’s fourth try for a 24-17 lead against Ireland

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Johnstone Olindi latched on the restart ball before putting Otieno through on the flank. In what has become his trademark, Otieno gave an Irish defender a hand-off before cantering to the try line.

Otieno exploits added to tries by skipper Andrew Amonde, who was sin-binned for a late tackle, Vincent Onyala and Johnstone Olindi. Daniel Taabu made two conversions.

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But the red-hot Ireland fought back to draw level at the death of a pulsating game and clinch the group on superior points aggregate.

Ireland had earlier stunned Australia and Samoa 26-21 and 28-14 respectively.

The result was enough for Kenya, to qualify for their second Cup quarters appearance in two seasons, having made only one in Paris last season.

Otieno, who made his Kenya Sevens and World Rugby Series debut at the 2016 Hong Kong Sevens, was again at the centre of the action in the victory against Australia, scoring one of Kenya’s two tries.

The rampaging “Buffalo”, deep inside his half, gave an Australian defender a smashing hand-off before quickly shifting up the gears to race for the try box.

On Friday, the explosive Otieno made his presence known when he tore into Samoa’s territory, swatting defenders to the ground at will or dragging them along his devastating runs.

The rest of the gang quickly fed off his destructive path finding gaps in the disorganised defence of the opposition to score.

“Buffa was destine for greatness when I plucked him from Western Bulls in 2014 to Homeboyz,” said Homeboyz former coach Paul “Pau” Murunga.
He described Otieno as a humble and disciplined player. “His energy levels are always up and he is always the happiest player even in morning runs. He always motivate players,” said Murunga.

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African Games outing showed Kenya can reclaim lost glory

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Francis Mureithi

By Francis Mureithi
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Boxing, once a glamour sport in Kenya, is on the path to regaining its lost glory in continental arena after the national team redeemed its image in the African Games in Morocco.

The national team, popularly known as “Hit Squad”, put out one of their best performance to win five medals.

Members of the “Hit Squad” who boxed their way to the podium were Kenya Police’s Shafi Bakari (flyweight), who won a silver medal, Ely Ajowi (heavyweight), George Cosby Ouma (middleweight), Boniface Mugunde (welterweight), Fredrick Ramogi (superheavyweight) who returned home with bronze.

In the 2015 African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, Kenya clinched only two bronze medals through Nick Okoth and Ajowi.

While men posted improved results, the women team comprising Christine Ongare (flyweight), Elizabeth Andiego (middle), Lorna Kusa (welterweight) and Everlyne Akinyi (lightweight) did not win any medal exposing the poor standards of the women’s game in Kenya.

All the Kenyan women boxers were knocked out of the competition in the first round.

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“We hope our women boxers will improve in the next competition as they have now been exposed to continental competition,” says Boxing Federation of Kenya competition secretary John Waweru.

The Morocco lift up gave the “Hit Squad” high hopes of doing well in the first 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers set to be held in Senegal from February 15 to March 1.

The second Olympic qualifier will be held in Paris, France from May 13 to 25 and Kenya will be represented by eight men and five women boxers.

In the national league, the firing Kenya Police also know as “Chafua Chafua” clinched the league after winning all the legs in Nakuru, Kisumu, Nanyuki, Busia and Mombasa.

The policemen popped the champagne thrice as their head coach David Munuhe was voted the Coach of the Year while Bakari was voted the Boxer of the Year.

Martin Oduor (bantamweight) also from Kenya Police was named as the Most Disciplined Boxer.

The best referee cum judge of the year was Steve Ndung’u from Ndenderu in Kiambu County.

Unlike in the past when the judges and referees gave controversial verdicts, this year the men in white were fair in their decisions which is a clear indication the standards of officiating was improving steadily.

“This year the judges and referees made the right decisions and that is a big plus as in the past they have been blamed for biased officiating,” said Waweru.

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The judges and referees fairness was evident in the Nanyuki competition when Ajowi was clobbered by Joshua Wasike of Kibra in a match that saw one of the most balanced decision made by the judges and referees.

This year the management of the league has improved as 14 counties participated in the competition.

The league attracted new entrants such as Busia County which produced two promising boxers in Cyrus Wandera in (bantamweight) and Wanende Hassan in the lightweight category.

The sterling performance of pugilists from little known boxing regions such as Busia is attributed to the launch of boxing at the grass roots.

Other counties which were making their maiden appearance in the top flight boxing league were Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Trans Nzoia and Murang’a counties.

This year, the number of women boxers participating in the league doubled to 10 unlike in the past when only two or three boxers were featuring in the competition.

The federation has been urging clubs at the counties to recruit more boxers in a bid to attract other upcoming women boxers.

In 2012 Olympic qualifiers in China, Kenya was supposed to be represented by a full team but the country managed to send a team of six women fighters.

The most promising women boxer of the year was Alice Wayiego (bantamweight) from Nairobi.

The stylish Wayiego did not miss a single competition in the gruelling league and when she climbed the ring she did not disappoint as she dazzled her opponents with stinging blows that saw her win bouts with unanimous points decisions.

In a bid to take the game to all the 47 counties, the federation launched a campaign at the counties urging their members to comply with the Sports Act.

“The federation is keen on taking boxing to grass roots and we have started a conversation with the counties to ensure they comply with the Sports Act and form a boxing team,” said Isaac Mbote.

Mbote, who is the first vice chairman of the federation, attributed the improved standards to a new team of officials at the helm who are determined to transform the game.

However, the new boxing leadership has not secured sponsorship and must look for potential sponsors instead of relying on individual to bail the teams out in the domestic league.

Kenya Police, Kenya Defence Forces and Kenya Prisons are the only teams with sponsorship in the national league while the rest of the 18 clubs were sponsored by an individuals.

The “Hit Squad” will start residential camp in January for the Olympic qualifiers.

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Capital FM defends football title as Mediamax dominate Betway SJAK Sports Day

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Mediamax are 2019 winners of SJAK Sports Day. Photo/SJAK

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 14 – Capital FM retained the football title as Mediamax Network Limited were crowned the 2019 Betway Sports Journalists Association of (SJAK) Sports Day champions held at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday.

In the annual fun day that was graced Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed, brought together 13 teams from various media houses that competed in 4X100m relay, 5-aside football tournament, egg race, sack race and the tug of war.

Mediamax who were third last year, dethroned overall defending champions Capital FM to take the title and pocket Ksh 100,000 cash prize.

MediaMax amassed 104 points to secure the coveted silverware, Mount Kenya TV finished second after collecting 100 points while Switch TV closed the podium after garnering 88 points.

Capital FM cheering after winning football title. Photo/SJAK

Capital FM successfully retained the football title by piping Mount Kenya TV 2-1 through post-match penalties after a 1-1 stalemate during normal regulation time.

Apart from dominating football, Capital FM also won the egg race anchored by sassy newscaster Angela Wambui to finish fifth on 78 points overall.

Nation Media Group, who reached the final of tug of war, losing 2-1 to Metropolitan TV garnered 86 points to come home fourth.

Interestingly, MediaMax did not win in any category but managed four third place finishes in athletics, football, egg race and sack race coupled with being sixth finisher in tug of war.

The event, which was sponsored by main sponsors Betway, co-sponsored by Coca Cola and Safaricom attracted 13 media houses which was used to by SJAK to belatedly mark the World Sports Journalists Day.

Cabinet Secretary for Sports Amina Mohamed competing in Executive’s egg racing. Photo/SJAK

However, the Chief Guest, Amina Mohammed won the egg race in the executive’s category which also included Betway Country Manager, Leon Kiptum, Safaricom Sales representative Peris Nduta and Sports Kenya Chief Executive Officer Pius Metto.

Nation won the 4X100m while the sack race belonged to Ebru TV.

Sports CS Amina Mohammed lauded the initiative and said her ministry was committed to working with the media in improving service delivery and sporting standards.

“It is commendable that media houses consistently allocate adequate airtime and at least five pages in newspapers to Sports. As a key stakeholder, the media plays a pivotal role in Sports through dissemination of all information in the sector. The Ministry’s staff will join the Journalists in next year’s events in the spirit of collaboration and partnership,” the CS said.

Capital FM’s Grace taking part in the 4X100m relay. Photo/SJAK

The Betway Country Manager Leon Kiptum said they were impressed with the event and hoping for more collaborations with SJAK.

“We are very happy to be part of SJAK, the journalists are doing a commendable job, next year we hope to continue with the partnership,” Kiptum stated.

The Sports Journalist Association of Kenya (SJAK) chairman and International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Africa vice president Chris Mbaisi thanked the sponsors and the participating teams for making the event possible.

“We thank our sponsors for making this happen, its always good to see Sports Journalists mingle and compete. As Sports Journalists, we are used to report and criticize, today we are on the other end. It was exciting to see the fun and competitiveness, we promise to make it better next year,” Mbaisi underscored.

The purpose of the day is to encouraged sports journalists to strive for excellence in their work and to set an example to the world – not only to the world of sport, but to the world at large.

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