Coach of Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, Steven Polack says he is not prepared to play the 10 matches left in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) if he is not guaranteed his safety.
Polack blamed the KPL for their lack of decision making on the league season, stating that they should have had a backup plan.
“KPL should have held a meeting and unleashed a secret card to seal this matter after the government extended the curfew recently. Personally, I am very careful with my health and I will not be coaching if the league will resume. In any case I am not convinced of the safety measures put in place,” Polack said.
“I don’t think we have the capacity to test twice a week, fumigate the field before every match and sanitize the buses. Most of our players use public transport and it will be hard to manage the situation,” he added.
Polack made the statement after nine clubs petitioned the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) stating their lack of support towards the resumption of the league due to their financial constraints.
The KPL and Chemelil Sugar went to the SDT challenging FKF President Nick Mwendwa’s declaration of Gor Mahia as champions of the KPL in April 30.
Polack said the KPL should not make decisions based on those of other countries who have the financial muscle to resume their league.
“We should not just follow decision taken by other countries who have the financial muscle to complete their matches amidst this pandemic. Financial challenges are still with us but I can confirm Gor Mahia is not among the clubs which wrote to FKF,” he added.
The Briton went on to say that Gor Mahia should be handed the league trophy instead of nullifying the league.
“Nullification is not an option for me because of the expenses incurred by clubs in the 23 matches. However, if it will be the decision taken, I wouldn’t appeal in courts but just respect it,” he said.
The KPL was suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and are yet to decide to either resume or cancel the league season.
Fenerbahce Sign Samatta From Aston Villa On Loan
Captain of the Taifa Stars of Tanzania Mbwana Samatta has signed for Turkish Super Lig side Fenerbahce on loan from English Premier League side Aston Villa.
Samatta made the move to Aston Villa from Genk for £8.5million but after scoring twice in 16 appearances, and the arrival of Ollie Watkins and Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore meant Samatta was surplus to requirements, hence his loan move to Fenerbahce.
Samatta’s loan deal could see him stay beyond the 2020-2021 season on a permanent move.
The Yellow Canaries made announced the signing of Samatta with a statement from the club.
“Our club has added Mbwana Samatta, captain of the Tanzania national team from Aston Villa, England, to their squad for four years,” a club statement read.
“This season, the player who will wear our shirt on loan will receive the testimonial at the end of the season. We welcome Samatta and wish him well in the striped jersey.”
The Tanzanian captain is pleased with himself for having the opportunity of playing in the English Premier League, and he hopes other Tanzanian footballers can do same.
“When I was starting my professional career, the ultimate goal I set myself was to play in England,” he said.
“But more than a goal achieved, coming here was, above all, the realisation of a dream. It’s a dream that a great many Tanzanian players pursue but one that had never been achieved before. I realise therefore how fortunate I am.
“It’s a source of great personal pride, but I hope it can serve to help others. If I can succeed, then other Tanzanians can too. And if I can help them believe in themselves, so much the better!”
Samatta might not make his debut when Fenerbahce take on league rivals Galatasaray this weekend, but he heads to Istanbul in search of first-team football eight months after his move to Aston Villa.
Tanzania’s Simba Extend Partnership With Al Ahly
Tanzanian Premier League (TPL) side Simba have extended their partnership with Egyptian giants Al Ahly as plans are on the way for a sports center to be built in Tanzania to benefit the sports personalities in the country.
The partnership extension was revealed by Simba’s Information and Communication Officer, Haji Manara who said that both clubs are looking forward to building a good relationship.
“Our CEO has gone to Egypt, looking forward to building the relationship with Al Ahly and will have an opportunity to visit Zamalek. It is also an opportunity for Zamalek to expand their exposure regarding how to manage and guarantee growth in such big clubs. Learning from those big Clubs will eventually give them an experience that will impact our club’s growth.”
“Besides building relationships between the two clubs, Al Ahly plan to build a joint facility that will be run by both Simba and Al Ahly. This will be their first facility they will build outside Egypt.”
He further stated that the facility when built will have Egyptian trainers in it, and players will be scouted by big clubs.
“This project will grace us with Egyptian trainers who will have an opportunity to exchange experiences while enabling our players to get a chance to be scouted by big clubs. Thus, this project will be very profitable; for not only Simba but also the whole country as Al Ahly building a centre will be for the benefit of all.”
Simba and Al Ahly met twice at the group stage of the CAF Champions League last year with Simba winning the first leg 1-0 at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania, but went on to lose comprehensively in the second leg 5-0 at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt.
African Stars Set For Doha Leg of Diamond League
The names of some of Africa’s finest track and field stars were conspicuous when the provisional entry lists for the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha on 25 September were released.
Timothy Cheruiyot, Hellen Obiri and Marie-Josée Ta Lou are among the star-studded cast of world and Olympic medallists that will grace the track at Doha’s Qatar Sports Club in the final Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season.
Kenya’s world 1500m champion Cheruiyot won the 1500 m Diamond League on three occasions: in 2017, 2018 and 2019. He has been in excellent form this season, setting a world lead of 3:28.45 in Monaco and winning in Stockholm last month in 3:30.25.
Cheruiyot will face a stern test in the 800m from Ferguson Rotich, Wycliffe Kinyamal alongside Erik Sowinski of the United States of America and Giles Elliot of Great Britain.
Cheruiyot’s Kenyan compatriot Olympic 1,500m champion Faith Kipyegon will be chasing her fourth victory in the Diamond League Series when she lines up in the 800m race.
Kipyegon has three race victories under her belt in the shortened Diamond League circuit having won the 1,000 m race in Monaco (2:29.32) and Brussels (2:29.92) last month before returning to her 1,500m favourite in Ostrava this month and winning in 3:59.05.
For the two-lap race in the Qatari capital, Kipyegon will face off with former 800m champion Eunice Sum and compatriot Emily Cherotich. Competition will also come from Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo, Ethiopia’s Alemu Habitam and Angelika Cichocka of Poland.
On her part, Ivory Coast’s multiple World Championships medallist Marie-Josée Ta Lou will go head to head with double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Olympic silver medallist Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands in a strong women’s 100m field.
“In spite of incredibly challenging circumstances, I’m proud of the fantastic fields we’ve put together for this event,” says Khalid Al Marri, Wanda Doha Diamond League meeting director.
“It’s been a tough summer for everyone, yet we’ve witnessed some exceptional track and field performances. I’m confident that in Doha, the fourth and final competitive meeting of this shortened 2020 Wanda Diamond League series, we’ll provide a fitting finale.”
Doha’s Qatar Sports Club will host the revised 12-event programme for the Wanda Doha Diamond League which includes sprint hurdles and 800m for both men and women; 100m, 3000m and long jump for women; and 200m, 400m, 1500m and pole vault for men.
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