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Kenya Coach Will Not Resign If Harambee Stars Fail To Qualify For Afcon

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Jacob Mulee

The coach of the Harambee Stars of Kenya, Jacob Mulee says he will not resign from his position even if the team fails to make it to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

Mulee has been in charge of the team for two games, after taking over from Francis Kimanzi on a three-year deal. He was in charge of the 1-1 draw against Comoros in Kenya, and the 2-1 loss against the same team over the weekend.

With two matches left in the AFCON qualifiers, the Harambee Stars have had three draws and lost one so far.

Mulee was asked if he will resign if Kenya fail to make it to the AFCON finals, he said he has targets with the team and will work hard to achieve them unless he is sacked by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

“I have resigned before and it is not a problem but for now I have set myself targets, which I want to achieve with the team and so, for now, the days of resigning ended a long time ago and I will fight to achieve my targets unless FKF decides to sack me.” Mulee said.

“I love soccer, like every Kenyan, but we are not good enough to play [because our league is suspended], we must have our league back, and then we can talk on Kenya’s performance.

“We don’t have a league being played in the country [because of the Covid-19 pandemic] and it is affecting our national team’s performance, unless we start playing then I will keep using the players I tend to think are fit to play.”

Mulee also wants the Kenyan government and football stakeholders in the country to find a way to get fans to attend national team matches in the future.

“I think we as Kenyans should also put in place plans and know, ‘Yes, we have Covid-19’ but [we should] have the fans back to the stadium,” Mulee continued.

“All we need is to put tough measures in place and also plan on how to have fans back into the stadium [like other nations are doing], and you know Comoros did exactly that and they were granted permission by Caf.”

Kenya have three points in four games played in Group C. They are five points behind Comoros, and will play hosts to Egypt on March 22, 2021 before ending their campaign away against Togo on March 30, 2021.

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East Africa Sports News

Zambia Not Doing Enough For Its Athletes, Says Former World Champion Matete

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Samuel Matete, Zambia’s first track and field world champion, has said the East African country is not doing enough to develop its athletes.

The 52-year-old, who in his heydays competed mainly in 400 metres hurdles, expressed sadness that since he won the gold at the 1991 World Championships in Japan no Zambian athlete has won a medal at a major event.

Matete, who won 10 medals – six gold and four silver – in his career, is contesting to become president of the Zambia Athletics Association and runs an athletics academy in his name.

“We are talking about the global level. We are not talking about where you go to South Africa and compete with three countries and win a medal. No. Those are developmental medals,” he said.

“Ever since I left the podium, we have only seen one medal which is through Sydney [Siame] at the Africa Championships. So we are not doing enough. We have not done anything about athletics that we can talk about.”

Matete represented Zambia in the 400 m hurdles on four occasions at the Olympics between 1988 and 2000, and was the silver medallist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

His personal best of 47.10 seconds, achieved during the Weltklasse Zürich in 1991, is the current African record and ranks seventh on the all-time list.

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East Africa Sports News

Egyptian Eksab Raises $500,000 in Funding

With the investment, Eksab plans to scale its product to the millions of football fans in the region with the goal of launching its first paid competitions over the next year.

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Egyptian start-up Eksab, a daily fantasy sports platform, has raised US$500,000 in funding to help it reach more football fans across the Middle East and Africa.

Eksab is looking to tap into the MEA region’s love for football by providing users with exciting and engaging mobile games.

Users download the app, make predictions about live football games from around the world, collect points based on the accuracy of their predictions, and get rewarded with prizes.

The startup, which raised a round of seed funding from 500 Startups in June 2019, has announced an investment of US$500,000 from 4DX Ventures as well as other strategic investors within the international sports and entertainment ecosystem. 

Read also: Autochek Secures $3.4 Million Pre-Seed Funding

With the investment, Eksab plans to scale its product to the millions of football fans in the region with the goal of launching its first paid competitions over the next year. 

“Daily Fantasy Sports and monetised competitions are a multi-billion dollar a year industry in the US,” said Eksab co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aly Mahmoud. “Our goal is to become the premier sports entertainment company in the MEA region by offering exciting fantasy sports competitions as well as highly engaging local sports content.” 

Peter Orth, partner at 4DX, said he saw the region as one of the most exciting and underserved markets for a sports entertainment platform. 

Orth further said “We’ve been really impressed with Aly’s vision for a next-generation and technology-driven platform that is also highly tailored to local fans and their preferences. We’re excited to be on this journey with Aly and the rest of the Eksab team.”

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Tributes Pour In for Departed Ivorian Football President Sidy Diallo

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Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President, Nick Mwendwa; former Chelsea forward, Didier Drogba; and Ivorian defender, Serge Aurier, have paid tribute to the departed Ivorian counterpart, Augustin Sidy Diallo, who died on Saturday.

The 61-year-old football administrator succumbed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

The federation are due to hold a meeting to name an interim president as it prepares to hold elections when it receives the go ahead from Fifa.

“We grieve for the loss of Augustin Sidy Diallo, a great man, his contributions to Ivorian and African football is undeniable. Sidy has been a great servant for football at all levels,” Mwendwa said in his statement.

Mwendwa hailed Diallo, describing him as a great football man, a mentor and a father figure to the young and upcoming soccer administrators in Africa.

“In this painful moment, on behalf of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Executive Committee, Kenya’s football family, and on my own behalf, I wish to express our sincere condolences and deep sympathy to FIF, the whole Ivorian football community and to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased,” condoled Mwendwa.

He added:”It’s a big loss for Ivorian football and we extend our deepest sympathies. Rest in Peace (RIP) my friend, Honourable Sidy Diallo.”

On his part, Drogba said, “The Ivorian and world football family has just lost one of his son.

“Thank you for all President, a few only will understand but rest in peace. My sincere condolences to the family”

Tottenham Hotspur and Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier also took to social media to express his sadness.

“Even ill, you always wanted to be with us, I have no words and nothing to say except thanks for everything,” Aurier wrote.

“Rest in peace president. May Allah accept our prayers and welcome you in his kingdom.”

Diallo was the federation’s vice-president of between 1991 and 1994, during which time the Elephants won their first African Cup of Nations title in 1992.

In 2006, he was part of the FIF as Ivory Coast qualified for their first World Cup finals in Germany.

He was elected FIF president in 2011 and was in charge as Ivory Coast won a second Nations Cup title in 2015.

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