‘Time to conquer Africa,’ Says Gor Mahia coach after clinching KPL title

After guiding Gor Mahia to their 18th SportPesa Premier League title, Gor Mahia coach Hasan Oktay has turned his focus in conquering Africa when the club returns to the CAF Champions League.

Gor claimed the title yesterday after playing Vihiga United to a 1-1 draw at Kenyatta Stadium—an outcome which gave them the green light to represent the country in the elite Champions League. Oktay wants to better last edition’s results after bowing out in quarterfinals.

“Gor have been winning the league every year and now it’s time to conquer Africa. Gor is one of the best teams in Africa and we have to better our results continentally. We have to strengthen our squad by making few but quality additions. We will not release many players for it will disrupt the cohesion in the playing unit.”

Oktay, who took over the reins at the start of the season, began his tenure on a losing note, bowing 2-1 to Bandari but recovered in the subsequent matches to eventually guide the club to their third consecutive league title.

“I am happy to win my first title with Gor. We began poorly but I was confident of recovering and winning the title despite the fixture congestion throughout the season. Even though I wanted to win by 15 or 20 point margin between us and the second team, I am glad we have won it. Special thanks to our players, the rest of the coaching staff and management of the club.”

Oktay, who earlier guided Gor to the historic CAF Confederations Cup quarter-finals said his short term success earned him offers but turned them down.

“I have received numerous offers after our Caf matches but I chose to stay in Gor. The club is my second family.”

FIFA scrap plans to expand 2022 World Cup to 48 teams

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be a 32-team tournament as originally planned, FIFA has announced.

The world governing body had considered expanding the event to 48 teams – as is planned for the tournament from 2026 – but this has proved impractical.

With the event just three years away, Qatari organisers did not feel there was enough time to carry out studies on the logistical impact of an expanded competition.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will have 32 teams, with FIFA scrapping a proposal to expand it

The desert state has been preparing for a 32-team tournament, with eight stadia, since 2010.

Feasibility studies involving neighbouring countries were also carried out but no solutions were found.

‘The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams,’ a statement read.

The 2026 tournament in the United States, Canada and Mexico will be the first World Cup for 48 finalists.

 The world governing body considered expanding the event in three years' time to 48 teams

The statement added: ‘FIFA and Qatar have jointly explored all possibilities to increase the number of participant teams from 32 to 48 teams by involving neighbouring countries.

‘Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process… it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now.

-Dailymail

Asamoah Gyan revises decision to retire following call from president

Ghana’s record goalscorer Asamoah Gyan has reversed his decision to retire from international football after speaking to the country’s president.

The 33-year-old, who has scored 51 goals in 106 internationals, said on Monday he had quit “permanently” after being replaced as captain.

President Nana Akufo-Addo spoke to Gyan on Tuesday, prompting the Kayserispor striker to change his mind.

“A presidential request is one that cannot be disregarded,” he said.

“I have taken the request in good faith, and will make myself available for selection by coach Kwasi Appiah.”

gyan

On Wednesday, Ghana are due to name their provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, with Andre Ayew likely to be captain.

Gyan has not featured for the national side since September 2017 after persistent injury problems, and has also struggled for game-time at Kayserispor.

He said his desire to help Ghana win Afcon “still burns strong” and he remains “committed to serving this great nation and the people of Ghana”.

Gyan has scored at six consecutive Nations Cup finals, as well as three World Cups between 2006 and 2014.

-BBC

Gor Mahia close to 18th league title after thumping AFC Leopards

Gor Mahia made light work of perennial rivals AFC Leopards in a one-sided Mashemeji derby to move just two points of securing a record-extending 18 league title.

The goals came either side of the break with a brace from Nicholas Kipkirui and a controversial Jacques Tuyisenge strike at the 65th-minute mark all but ending the match as a contest.

Ingwe were able to get a consolation goal in the 87th minute after Vincent Oburu intercepted Joash Onyango’s short pass on the edge of the box, before hammering a powerful past Gor Mahia keeper Peter Odhiambo.

This victory gives Gor Mahia their 26th victory in the much-heralded rivalry. Below are scenes from the match:

Mashemeji Derby
AFC Leopards fans
Mashemeji Derby
Mashemeji Derby
Mashemeji Derby
AFC Leopards fans
Mashemeji Derby
AFC Leopards fans
Mashemeji Derby
Mashemeji Derby

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Quick history of 86th Mashemeji derby that is taking place today

The 86th Mashemeji derby will take place today. The gladiatorial contest takes place between two of Kenya’s biggest clubs; that is, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.

The two teams have collectively won the most trophies among Kenyan teams. The stats are below,

Afc Leopards and Gor Mahia stats
Afc Leopards and Gor Mahia stats

The Mashemeji derby is also commonly known as the Nairobi derby or the Ingo-Dala derby.

Fans of both A.F.C. Leopards and Gor Mahia (often referred to by their nicknames, Ingwe and K’Ogalo, respectively) recognize each other as arch-rivals.

Mashemeji Derby news
Gor Mahia fans

The two teams first locked horns on 5 May 1968 and have been bitter rivals since then; a rivalry comparable to that of Boca Juniors and River Plate in Argentina.

Since the first match the teams played, AFC holds the record for most wins with 28, with 31 draws and 25 wins for K’Ogalo.

Mashemeji derby
An AFC fan in the stands

The derby has a sad history of hooliganism

The Gor Mahia fanbase is predominantly from the Luo ethnicity while that of AFC leopards is mostly from the Luhya ethnicity; making the rivalry partly tribal despite the significant support of “neutrals” (other communities or nationalities) for both clubs.

Both teams have been involved in cases of hooliganism, but Gor Mahia fans are usually found on the wrong side of the law more often than their A.F.C. Leopards counterparts.

Mashemeji Derby news
Gor Mahia fans

So far Ingwe has had a torrid season and stare at another campaign without a trophy. This derby gives them a chance to redeem themselves especially against an opponent they have not beaten in three years, losing 7 of their last 8 fixtures.

Could AFC slow down the seemingly inevitable title match for a Gor team that leads 2nd place, Bandari with 11 points? Find out more on Radio Jambo.

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Antoine Griezmann booed by Athletico fans as Barcelona move mooted

Antoine Griezmann was subjected to boos and whistles as he played what is almost certain to be his final match for Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Griezmann has told Atletico that he intends to leave this summer, with a move to La Liga rivals Barcelona on the cards.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone spoke highly of the departing striker earlier this week, but away fans at Levante were less forgiving.

Antoine Griezmann with teammates
Antoine Griezmann with teammates

Griezmann was frequently jeered when he touched the ball during the 2-2 draw, with a section of the visiting support chanting: ‘Out, out, out’.

Atletico fans were given some reason to cheer though as their side fought back with 10 men from two goals down to claim a point at Levante.

Erick Cabaco and Roger Marti put Levante into a commanding lead, which only seemed to be strengthened when Angel Correa was sent off on 51 minutes. But Rodri and Sergio Camello hit back for Atletico as they ended their league campaign on 76 points and in second place behind Barcelona.

Antoine Griezmann celebrating
Antoine Griezmann celebrating

That Griezmann will end up at Barcelona is seen by many as a foregone conclusion but, according to Sport, the current squad at the Nou Camp don’t want him.

It is said that Griezmann upset many of his prospective team-mates last summer when he revealed his decision to stay at Atletico — and snub Barcelona — in a documentary called ‘The Decision’.

Sport claim that many Barcelona players feel Griezmann acted disrespectfully towards the club last summer and have made their feelings known to president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Daily Mail

Sterling hat-trick! Manchester City hammer Watford in FA Cup final

There was a time, long ago, before the oil money and Pep Guardiola and a brand of bewitching, pulverising football we have never seen before in this country, when Manchester City might have been considered the sentimental choice in an FA Cup Final. Now they are so good that they are the enemies of romance and friends only to relentless and unprecedented achievements.

At a bee-stung Wembley, Watford’s fans filled the stadium with the kind of colour and wide-eyed enthusiasm that recalled an era when this was the biggest event in the English football calendar but City had a different kind of history in mind and they pursued it with the unforgiving rigour and beautiful, scintillating football that has been the hallmark of another breathtaking campaign.

Manchester City wins F.A Cup
Manchester City wins F.A Cup

When the final whistle confirmed a 6-0 victory that was the biggest in the FA Cup Final for 116 years, it meant that this Manchester City team which broke a host of records last season had sealed the first domestic Treble of League, League Cup and FA Cup in the long history of our game. It was the treble that Sir Alex Ferguson had once said was impossible.
It was fitting testimony, too, to a team that is setting new standards for style as well as dominance. Some may see that as a problem for the English game. Some may see it as a reason to hope City lose but it is hard to root against a team that plays football like this even when it’s against an underdog like Watford and all the Elton John-Graham Taylor nostalgia that surrounded them.

Some will claim it confirms City as the best English club side ever. More, perhaps, will point to the Manchester United team of 1998-99 whose Treble did not include the League Cup but was crowned by Champions League Final victory against Bayern Munich in Barcelona. Others, too, will mention Liverpool’s European Cup-League-League Cup Treble of 1984.

It is to be hoped that the praise that is heaped on City in the wake of this feat will dispel some of the angst that has somehow been allowed to invade their own response to the victorious end to their magnificent title race with Liverpool. City, who have, quite rightly, been lavished with praise every week for much of the past two years, appear to believe they have not been given enough respect.

They might wish they were not the subject of a Uefa investigation into allegations that they circumvented Financial Fair Play rules but they cannot avoid the reality. It is a sensitive subject for all concerned. When Guardiola was asked about an aspect of the issue in the post-match press conference he grew combative and confrontational.

Manchester City wins F.A Cup
Manchester City wins F.A Cup

‘Do you know the question you’re asking me?’ Guardiola said, fixing the questioner with a death-stare. ‘Did I receive money for another situation, right now, today? Honestly, do you think I deserve to have this type of question, the day we won the Treble?’

If City and their fans want continued success, they are going to have to get used to some hostility. Neutrals don’t cheer favourites. They love underdogs. It is one of the immutable laws of sport. Maybe City supporters should talk to Manchester United fans about that: everyone loved to hate United under Ferguson when they dominated the English game in the late 90s and 2000s.

If they want sympathy and love from neutrals, City could always go back to being everyone’s favourite basket-case club. As it is, they are a fabulously wealthy organisation bankrolled by Abu Dhabi. They are bound to come under intense scrutiny. The time when their chairman was a bloke famous for a bad wig belongs to the past, too.

Abu Dhabi’s acquisition of City in 2008 is often cited as one of the most prominent examples of sportswashing, a process where dubious regimes use sport to deflect attention from their record and scrub their reputation clean. It is getting to the point with City, though, where the wash isn’t working. In fact, the clothes are coming out dirtier than they were when they went in.

Thanks to their purchase of City, we know more about the UAE’s involvement in Yemen than we would otherwise have done, we know more about their treatment of migrant workers, we know more about their absolutist monarchy and we know more about their imprisonment of activists hostile to their regime.

Thanks to the work of committed journalists, the involvement in City hasn’t hidden the UAE’s abuses. It has highlighted them. The next question is whether the distaste for what the owners stands for spills over into the view of the football the team plays. It is quite a contrast. For all the ugliness of the Abu Dhabi regime, there is great beauty in the football City play.

Their team dazzled on Saturday as it has dazzled for so much of the season. City were so good that by the time Raheem Sterling poked his second goal and City’s sixth into the net late in the game, Guardiola had stopped celebrating and started looking a little embarrassed. City are so good they could afford to feel sorry for their opponents. The first clear chance of the match, against the run of play, obviously, had fallen to Watford after 10 minutes. Abdoulaye Doucoure fed Gerard Deulofeu on the right, Deulofeu spotted Roberto Pereyra unmarked in the centre as City struggled to get back. Pereyra hit his shot low and true but Ederson was equal to it and blocked it with a trailing leg. In the Watford end, the encouragement of coming so close was tinged with the tortured thought of what might have been.

Manchester City wins F.A Cup
Manchester City wins F.A Cup

City took the lead 20 minutes before half time. Doucoure lost the ball inside the City half and when it was moved quickly to Sterling, his shot ballooned into the air and was nodded down by David Silva. When the ball came back to Silva, Kiko Femenia flung himself in the way of his left-foot shot but only succeeded in deflecting it past Heurelho Gomes.

Five minutes before half time, the game was effectively over. Bernardo Silva was allowed time and space midway inside the Watford half and his curling ball inside Femenia confused Gomes who dived to try to cut it out but allowed it to run to Gabriel Jesus. Jesus applied a cushioned touch and the ball bounced goalwards. Sterling lashed it into the back of the net but it had already crossed the line.

City went further ahead after an hour. The perseverance of Gabriel Jesus won the ball for City in midfield and when Sterling played the Brazilian forward through down the left, he squared it unselfishly for substitute Kevin de Bruyne. De Bruyne sat Gomes down with a feint, took another touch and then drilled the ball into the back of the net.

Gabriel Jesus scored the goal he richly deserved midway through the half when De Bruyne played him in on the half way line and he ran on to slide the ball past Gomes. It was a stroll for the champions now and they scored their fifth ten minutes from time when a driven cross from Bernardo Silva found Sterling at the back post and he lifted the ball into the roof of the net. Sterling applied the finishing touch three minutes from time.

Daily Mail

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne on his relationship with Victor Wanyama

Harambee Stars coach, Sebastien Migne visited the Radio Jambo offices, today.

The man spoke to Toldo Kuria, Diamond Okusimba and Fred Arocho.

The former French football player who was hired as the Harambee Stars coach in May last year, was open with the Radio Jambo presenters.

He said that salaries being delayed was a problem he had had since he became the Kenya team coach but he said that his focus is on managing the team as a professional.

He was asked why Jesse Were did not prominently feature on the team?

Migne said that he had no problem with Jesse personally but had not seen enough to put him in the starting line-up. He said that it was a technical decision for him, as he wanted a striker who could also defend at the front like Barcelona’s Luiz Suarez.

What was his criteria for choosing keepers, he was asked?

Migne replied that his choice was based on having harmony between the three keepers.

He was asked why he didn’t look for more maturity in the keeping ranks as the presenters referenced a previous tournament where lack of experience in the goalkeeping ranks had exposed Kenya?

Migne defended his choice saying he was not afraid to use inexperienced players as he had succeeded in the past, using the same startegy. He also added that Kenya has a problem with getting good goalkeepers.

Did Migne have someone to assist him to select players and was there any interference from the Football Kenya Federation? He said that no one had tried to influence him to chose a particular player and if they did; he would leave immediately.

He said that managers keep on calling since Kenya qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations. He also spoke about players who now wanted to be in the Kenya team despite refusing to participate in the qualifying run.

Migne also said that his relationship with his captain, Victor Wanyama was good and that he would critic him so as to improve.

Sebastien Migne said that his decision to camp in France was because it had great facilities and also many opponents for them to play in friendlies.

Migne said his dream was to write a new story by trying to qualify for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nation’s, tournament.

Read here for more 

Marcus Rashford and De Gea unsure about Manchester United direction

Marcus Rashford has delayed talks over signing a new contract after citing fears over Manchester United’s progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Manchester United striker will now ‘assess’ United’s intent on pushing forward this summer before committing to discussions about his future.

The club is keen for the England international to extend his current deal for another two seasons and explored the possibility of opening up talks with him recently. However, according to The Sun, Rashford has informed the club he does not want to enter negotiations due to his concerns over the club’s ambitions.

It has also been claimed that Rashford’s belief in Solskjaer’s capabilities has dwindled over the past couple of months following United’s failure to make the top four.

The 21-year-old wants to be playing in the Champions League in the near future and Solskjaer understands investment is required in the summer if United are improving on their sixth-placed finish last season. Solskjaer is expected to oversee a mass overhaul next month as he looks to rid his squad of the dead wood and rebuild it with exciting young players.

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford

Rashford is seen as a vital cog in Solskjaer’s plans but United are currently at risk of slipping into the same problematic situation they find themselves in with David de Gea, whose contract talks remain at an impasse.

The Spaniard only has one year left on his deal and Paris Saint-Germain is expected to pile the pressure on United to sell by submitting on offer this summer.

Rashford’s contract expires at the end of next season but the club has an option to extend that by a year, which they will trigger if they cannot agree on a new deal.

Daily Mail

Man United join race for Ryan Sessegnon after contacting Fulham

Manchester United have made their first move for Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon, according to Sky Sports News.

The London club have slapped a £40million price tag on the teenager, who will turn 19 on Saturday.

Tottenham and Juventus have also been linked with Sessegnon, who can play as a left back or winger.
Manchester United have made initial contact with Fulham over the potential signing of Sessegnon as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to recruit young, promising players under the age of 24 this summer.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has gone on record to say he wants new signings to arrive as early possible in order to integrate them into his squad as quickly as possible ahead of the season.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, however, has a reputation as someone who prefers to strike deals towards the latter stages of transfer windows.

But the north London club have changed tack this summer with a deal for Sessegnon already in the offing, while they have also made overtures regarding Barcelona’s Andre Gomes, who spent last season on loan at Everton.

Ryan Sessegnon
Ryan Sessegnon

Spurs are in pole position to land Fulham youngster Sessegnon, though Paris Saint-Germain retain a serious interest.

Craven Cottage chiefs are aware of Tottenham’s interest in the talented left-footer and now Fulham’s season is over, Spurs will look to conclude a swift deal.

Fulham value Ryan at £40million – but Tottenham want to pay closer to £25million.

The 18-year-old has been a primary target for Spurs for almost two years, but the Champions League finalists are growing increasingly confident of finally getting a deal over the line.

Sessegnon wants to remain in the Premier League, with a move to Tottenham understood to be his preferred destination.

Daily Mail