Kenya Simbas get timely 53 million sponsorship from Tusker Lager

The Kenya Simbas have received a timely shot in the arm ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifiers with Tusker Lager sponsoring the team to the tune of Sh53m.

The sponsorship has been backdated to last year and will cater for the team’s expenses and other financial commitments starting with Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Morocco in Casbalanca.

The Simbas will play in Tusker branded jerseys at the qualifiers .

The Simbas are slated to play Zimbabwe on June 30 at the RFUEA ground and host Uganda Cranes a week later. They will take a one month break before hosting Tunisia on August 11 and then a tough away tie against holders Namibia in Windhoek.

Speaking during the presentation yesterday Tusker Lager marketing manage, Christine Mwaura reaffirmed the brand’s commitment towards supporting the growth of rugby and sports in Kenya.
“We at Tusker Lager are always delighted in supporting the sport of rugby and this kit launch reaffirms our commitment towards supporting the growth of not only rugby but sport in Kenya,” said Mwaura.

“We believe this partnership, which enables our gallant sportsmen don the iconic Tusker kit, will go a long way in encouraging the team play well and qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.”

Kenya Rugby Union director of rugby, Thomas Odundo, said: “The Kenya Breweries Limited have been one of our longest serving partners and I want to thank them for once again supporting us ahead of this crucial World cup qualifier campaign.” He said.

Simba’s captain, Davis Chenge, added: “On behalf of the boys, I want to thank Tusker for their support and promise that we will do our best to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.”

Courtesy: The Star

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Nigeria’s victory over Iceland hands Argentina slim opportunity to qualify from Group D

Nigeria’s victory over Iceland on Friday afternoon will have been celebrated as vehemently in Buenos Aires as it was in Lagos.

Argentina looked destined to exit the World Cup at the group stage for the first time since 2002 after their embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Croatia.

However, Nigeria’s 2-0 victory over Iceland has blown Group D wide open, and keeps the World Cup dreams alive for Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and their team-mates.
After two games, Nigeria have three points, while Argentina and Iceland both have one. Leaders Croatia, on six, have reached the last 16 with a match to spare.

Crucially, Iceland’s goal difference is marginally better than Argentina’s – minus two, while the South Americans are on minus three.

Goal difference is the primary decider of group ranking at the World Cup, after points, unlike in the Champions League where head-to-head takes precedence.

The final games in the group kick-off at 7pm UK time on Tuesday, with Argentina playing Nigeria in St Petersburg, while Iceland face Croatia in Rostov.
Argentina must win their match, and at the same time better Iceland’s result against a Croatian team who may rest players, given their knockout spot is secure.

So for example, if Argentina win 3-0 and Iceland win 1-0, then Argentina qualify on goal difference. If they win 2-0 and Iceland win 1-0, then Argentina would also go through – both sides would have four points and minus one goal difference, but Messi and Co would have scored three goals to Iceland’s two.

argentinavsiceland

Of course, if Iceland draw or lose and Argentina win, then Messi’s hopes of being a world champion can continue.

However if both sides win 1-0, then Iceland knock Argentina out, as their goal difference would be minus one to Argentina’s minus two.Iceland therefore require not only a win and for Argentina to beat Nigeria, but for the Argentina winning margin to be the same or narrower than theirs.

Nigeria meanwhile will progress if they beat Argentina, or if they draw and Iceland fail to win by more than two clear goals.

Nigeria would also be likely to progress with a high scoring draw, regardless of the Iceland result, as number of goals in all group matches follows goal difference in deciding the rankings.

So, should Nigeria draw 2-2 and Iceland win 2-0, for example, they would have the same number of points and goal differences of zero – but Nigeria would have scored four goals to Iceland’s three, and would progress.

Courtesy: Daily Mail

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Safari Rally back in Kenya after the country was granted a 2019 slot

The Safari Rally is on the verge of regaining its lost world status after the prestigious event secured the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship candidacy.

FIA President Jean Todt confirmed the deal in a tweet on Thursday in Paris. The Paris meeting was attended by the WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesler, Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, and CEO of the WRC Project, Phineas Kimathi, who is also the President of Kenya Motor Sports Federation.

In his tweet, Todt who officially opened the WRC Project facility at Kasarani, said: “Safari Rally becomes official WRC FIA candidate event, signing off the agreement between government of Kenya and WRC Promoter today in Paris at the Automobile & Club De France.”

Todt who participated in the Safari before heading the Ferrari Formula 1 team further stated: “I hope I will encourage the development of motorsports and road safety in Africa.”
Kaberia on behalf of the government of Kenya said: “This signing is a major milestone and a day we have looked forward to for a very longtime. Arriving at this point is a great pleasure.”

“The government is very committed to the Safari rally, and we will do everything in our power to make sure this great event is brought back to WRC,” he added.

Safari was first held in 1953 as a coronation rally for Queen Elizabeth and gained WRC status in 1973 the same year Shekhar Mehta won it. But the event lost its global status in 2003 and relegated to African Rally Championship status when Kenya failed to meet the necessary guarantees of the World Governing Body, FIA.

Courtesy: The Star

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Naby Keita arrives in Liverpool after 53 million pound move from Leipzig

Naby Keita arrived in Liverpool on Friday night as he finally gets set to join up with his new team-mates after his £53million move from Leipzig.

The Reds broke their transfer record last August, since bettered by the £75m acquisition of Virgil van Dijk, to bring the midfielder to Anfield this summer.

And after an extra season in the Bundesliga, the Guinea international will join up with Jurgen Klopp at the start of pre-season next month.

He could make his first appearance in a red shirt as soon as July 7 when Liverpool face Chester in a friendly.

The Champions League finalists have nine friendlies organised in the space of a month, including a tour of the USA, ahead of their Premier League opener against West Ham.

Keita will be joined by fellow new signing Fabinho, whose £44m arrival from Monaco was rubber-stamped within 48 hours of Liverpool’s defeat by Real Madrid in Kiev.

Naby Keita
Naby Keita

Liverpool had looked on the verge of adding France midfielder Nabil Fekir earlier this month, only for Lyon to announce the deal was off at the 11th hour.

This week the 24-year-old’s agent claimed the deal could still go ahead, with his client on international duty at the World Cup in Russia.

‘Well he didn’t sign because well… it is not over,’ he told LCI. ‘This is not the end of the story. We now wait for what happens next.’

Courtesy: Daily Mail

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Diego Maradona’s presence looms large over Messi as he struggles to lead Argentina

Lionel Messi has become accustomed to having the world of football watching him on matchday, but one man’s presence who looms large over him is Argentina icon Diego Maradona.

Maradona and Messi are Argentina’s two greatest footballers – both have very strong cases to be the best ever to have played the game – and everywhere the Barcelona star seems to be, the controversial yet brilliant ex-player seems to follow.

maradona

Messi has won almost every big honour there is to win in the game but the greatest title of them all still alludes him to this day, the World Cup.
Maradona claimed football’s biggest prize in football back in 1986 in Mexico and there is no one out there as desperate as him to see Messi lift the World Cup before he hangs up his boots.

The flambuoyant 57-year-old showed his huge support and love for his compatriot on Thursday before the Croatia match by proudly hanging up an Argentine ‘Messi’ shirt over the railings.

The whole of Argentina were wishfully hoping Maradona’s presence would inspire Messi and Co to victory against Croatia… but it wasn’t to be and they are now on the brink of elimination at the World Cup following their humiliating 3-0 defeat.

But despite Argentina’s latest setback, Maradona will certainly not shy away from supporting Messi and his beloved country.

Maradona – scorer of arguably the best goal in World Cup history against England in 1986 – has followed Messi everywhere he has gone since making his debut in the tournament, whether that be in a supporting or coaching capacity.
In 2006, an exciting, young and floppy-haired Messi burst onto the World Cup scene against Serbia, where he assisted Argentina’s fourth strike and scored their final goal in a 6-0 rout after coming on as a substitute.

lionel.messi.hat.trick

Maradona witnessed the start of something special against Serbia and was also in attendance against Holland and Mexico before they were knocked out in the quarter-final stage by Germany. His apprentice had arisen on the international stage.

After watching him from the stands, it was then time for Maradona to witness Messi’s talent first-hand as he managed the squad at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Maradona led the Argentine’s to the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out yet again 4-0 by Germany.

But after opening wins against Nigeria and South Korea, in which Messi starred by having a helping hand in all four goals, Maradona decided to give his star man the huge responsibility of captaincy against Greece as he rested some of his main players.
Under Maradona’s management, Messi worked his magic in the round of 16, conjuring up an assist for Argentina’s first goal as they beat Mexico 3-1.

Out of the four World Cup’s Messi has participated in, the 2014 tournament in Brazil was the only one where the five-time Ballon d’Or winner didn’t have the pressure of Maradona hanging over him.

And it appeared to pay off with Messi and Co reaching the final, the closest he has ever come to claiming the biggest prize in world football.

But, they came up against their bogey team Germany in the highly-anticipated showdown, with Mario Gotze netting an extra-time winner.

So where was Maradona? Well the football icon was busy taking up his pundit duties for TV, in which he said he would lay out the ‘red carpet’ for Messi if he won the World Cup.

The only match Maradona attended as a fan that summer was against Iran, in which Messi scored a spectacular injury-time goal in the 1-0 win.

But it was telling that summer… with Maradona busy at work, Messi propelled Argentina to the final and won the Golden Ball.
And fast-forward four years to the present, Messi’s World Cup struggles have re-emerged and Argentina are in a precarious position with just one group game remaining.

Maradona has been his charismatic self in the stands, keeping a close eye on his fellow Argentine great, but Messi has under-performed with the weight of expectation firmly on his shoulders.

While Messi has been let down by his team-mates, the 30-year-old hasn’t been his normal self, missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Iceland before being kept limited as Argentina were crushed 3-0 by Croatia.

With Argentina on the brink of further humiliation, it’s time for Messi to stand up and be counted.

With this likely to be Messi’s last World Cup, it’s also time for him to make Maradona the proudest man in football.

Daily Mail

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World Cup 2018: My Nigerian Brodas You Promised The President The Trophy Now Prove It! – Mulee

After Croatia shocked the world with their world class performance which condemned favorites, Argentina to a humiliating 3-0 loss on Thursday night, Nigeria who are on the brink of exit are scheduled to play fearless Iceland today.

Should Nigeria lose today’s match, they will be as good as gone even before they step into the match to play Argentina next week.

Ghost Mulee revealed an interesting fact where the Nigerians promised their president that they would become the first African country to win the most coveted trophy, before they left for Russia.

So far, the team which carried many African hopes and dreams have been reduced to nothing but subject of ridicule and online trolls after their 2-0 loss to Croatia in their opening group ‘D’ match.

Brazil however will be up first against Costa Rica at 3pm and Mulee thinks the Samba boys will come out guns blazing after their shock 1-1 draw against Switzerland, and win their match.

Watch his predictions below.

Sweden Striker Berg’s Four-year-old Son Reduced To Tears As He Watches Daddy Make World Cup Debut

Sweden’s victory over South Korea in their opening World Cup match was a special moment for many, particularly the son of striker Marcus Berg.

Berg made his World Cup debut in the Group F game with captain Andreas Granqvist netting from the spot to secure a crucial 1-0 victory.

And the forward’s four-year-old son was clearly overwhelmed with emotion watching his father make such a big step in his career.

Berg’s wife Josefine took to Instagram to share a video of her little boy struggling to hold back the tears in his Sweden shirt as his dad made his way onto the pitch at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

‘This moment,’ she wrote. ‘Right there and then I was so emotional watching @marcusberg9 entering the field, then I looked down at Leonel and saw tears falling slowly down his cheeks.

‘Our boy, watching his hero entering the stage. It was like everything froze, so beautiful and pure.

‘This is the best way to describe how proud we are of you. You are and will always be our hero.’

Berg and Josefine married in 2014 and have two other children, named Jolie and Mateo.

Berg is expected to start again as group leaders Sweden continue their campaign against holders Germany on Saturday before their final game against Mexico next Wednesday.

Watch the video below.

Messi’s World Cup dream left in tatters as Croatia humiliate Argentina

Argentina are on the verge of exiting the 2018 world cup after they were thrashed three nil by Croatia. Ante Rebic made the most of a Willy Caballero howler to open the scoring in the 53rd minute before Luka Modric curled in a sensational second goal and Ivan Rakitic rounded off the scoring in injury-time to secure his side’s passage to the knockout stages.

After their opening one all draw with Iceland, Argentina go into their final Group D game with Nigeria with only one point and their hopes of staying in Russia beyond the group stage are hanging by a thread and their fate is no longer in their hands.

Earlier on, Kylian Mbappe’s first World Cup goal was enough to send France into the last 16 of FIFA world cup with a one nil win against Peru in Group C.

The forward tapped home from a deflected Olivier Giroud cross in the 34th minute and became France’s youngest ever goalscorer at a major tournament in the process, overtaking David Trezeguet’s previous record vs Saudi Arabia in 1998.

Peru impressed again with their attacking play particularly in the second half but once again could not find the breakthrough and will exit the competition at the group stages after their final game against Australia next week.

REVEALED: Why Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu was fired despite his achievements

The Kenya Rugby Union board has fired Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu.

Sources told the Star that Simiyu took responsibility for players who refused to display the Brand Kenya sponsorship logo during a game in Paris two weeks ago.

He gatecrashed a disciplinary meeting on Tuesday saying he would take the fall.

Earlier on Thursday, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala canceled a Sh20 million sponsorship deal between Brand Kenya and the Kenya Rugby Union.

A furious Balala accused the union of not paying the Kenya Sevens players their allowances during the Paris Sevens earlier this month. As a result, they blocked the sponsors’ logo ‘Make It Kenya’.

Balala observed: “Kenya Tourism Board is using the athletes to promote and market destinations. What they did was very embarrassing. I am not happy about it.”

He went on to say: “How can a Kenyan go to an international activity and  cover Brand Kenya? How, even if you have a problem with your organisation?

“That was not Brookside or Tusker, or Safaricom. It was Make It Kenya! That name there is your country’s, your motherland which made you what you are,”the Minister said at a Mombasa Hotel during the Kenya Association of Hotel-keepers and Caterers symposium.

The players noted that they were to receive Sh100,000 each, for taking part in photo-shoot before departure to the final two legs of the world series (London and Paris), but that this was not the case.

Balala instructed them to get in touch with Acting Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Floice Mukabana to get their dues.

Brand Kenya had remitted Sh4 million to the union as the first share to cater for the players’ allowances and miscellaneous requirements.

Sources have however revealed that, when the money hit the union’s account, part if it was swallowed by an overdraft while some was used to pay outstanding debts and facilitate training camps for the Kenya 15s team in Nanyuki.

Balala said there will be no more funding from the government for rugby in the wake of the fiasco with Brand Kenya.

Speaking yesterday from Toronto, Canada, KRU chairman Richard Omwela termed the move unfortunate.

“We have started disciplinary proceedings on some of the players and are looking at making changes in the team due to what happened in Paris,” said Omwela.

The move will affect Shujaa’s preparations for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Sevens in USA from July 20-22.

-William Njuguna

Juventus confirm Can on free transfer from Liverpool as German midfielder touches down in Turi

Juventus have confirmed the imminent signing of Emre Can on a free transfer after the midfielder was pictured arriving in Turin.

After failing to agree a new deal with Liverpool, Can has decided to make the switch to Serie A.

Can joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014 and made 167 appearances for the club, the last of which came in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

It is anticipated that Can will be the second arrival at Juventus in this transfer window after the club also signed goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Genoa.

Liverpool previously confirmed Can’s departure and have already acted to strengthen their midfield ahead of next season by securing the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho from RB Leipzig and Monaco respectively.

EMRE CAN’S SENIOR CAREER

2011–2013: Bayern Munich

2013-2014: Bayer Leverkusen

2014-2017: Liverpool

2018: Juventus

The Reds had attempted to persuade Can to remain at the club but it soon became apparent that his future lied away from the club.

Last season Juventus won the Serie A title as well as the Coppa Italia, although they went out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.