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Kenya Name Squad For Cecafa U-20 Championships

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Kenya have named a strong squad for the Cecafa U-20 Championships fixed for Tanzania later this month.

The competition is slated for November 22 to December 6.

U-20 team Coach Stanley Okumbi’s squad largely features players who featured for the Kenya Under-17 team during 2019 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations qualifiers and the Union of North African Federations (UNAF) Under-17 tournament in Egypt in 2019.

Among them are AFC Leopards goalkeeper Maxwell Mulili, Wazito custodian Bixente Otieno, Boniface Mwangemi, Alphonse Omija, Nicholas Omondi, Keith Imbali, Telvin Maina, and Arnold Onyango.

Ligi Ndogo midfielder Enock Wanyama and Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala have also been included in the team.

Rising Stars have been pooled in Group ‘C’ alongside Ethiopia and Sudan.

Group ‘A’ is comprised of hosts Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, and Djibouti, while Group ‘B’ will have Burundi, Eritrea, South Sudan, and Uganda.

The top teams in each of the three groups will proceed to the tournament’s semi-finals, alongside one best runner-up.

Full Squad

Goalkeepers

Maxwell Mulili (AFC Leopards), Bixente Otieno ( Wazito), Elvis Ochieng (City Stars)

Defenders

Boniface Mwangemi (Kariobangi Sharks), Omar Somobwana (AFC Leopards), Joseph Levin (Naivas), Wardfine Akhatsika (Chebuyusi High School), Kelvin Mose (Uweza), Alphonse Omija (Gor Mahia), Frank Odhiambo (Gor Mahia), Lewis Badi (AFC Leopards), Fredrick Alushula (Kariobangi Sharks), Rolland Ashimoto (Kakamega High School), Steiner Musasia (Talanta), Nicholas Omondi (Gor Mahia), Keith Imbali (Gor Mahia Youth)

Midfielders

Enock Wanyama (Ligi Ndogo), Ronald Reagan (Kariobangi Sharks), Alphonse Washe (Bandari), Hamid Mohammed (Bandari), Danson Kiprono (Zoo), Ian Simiyu (Nzoia Sugar), Austine Odhiambo (AFC Leopards), Mwakio Kisaka (Riruta United), Timothy Ouma (Nairobi City Stars), Telvin Maina (Kisumu All-Stars), Arnold Onyango (USA)

Forwards

Benson Omala (Gor Mahia), Henry Meja (Tusker), Stephen Otieno (Bongonaya), Kappen Samuel (Liberty), Sellasie Otieno (Nzoia Sugar), Unaiz Shajani (Starfield Elite FC)

East Africa Sports News

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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East Africa Sports News

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

Rwanda’s AS Kigali Sign Nigerian Striker, Aboubakar Lawal, On Two-Year Deal

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Nigerian striker, Aboubakar Lawal, has joined AS Kigali of Rwanda on a two-year deal following a successful trial.

Local reports said coaches at the Rwanda Azam Premier League club were impressed with the Nigerian who scored three goals in two friendlies.

Aboubacar scored two goals in his recent friendly against Interforce, scoring another goal in a 4-0 win over Vision.

After the Interforce match, Kigali coach Eric Nshimiyimana described Aboubacar as a good player who needed more games to get along with his teammates.

“The striker we have been working with for days, he is a player who has a lot of tricks, he is a player who knows how to stand on the pitch. He knows how to play with others, he is a player who meets all the requirements for a striker, the rest is to give him a lot of games, the days we spent together. I saw him as a good striker,” he said.

In August this year, another Rwanda Football League side, Musanze FC, signed Nigerian striker, Abbey Natty, from Gor Mahia of Kenya on a one-year contract.

Lawal, 21, joins Musanze from Kenyan league champions, having also played for Western Stima FC in 2012 and Muhoroni Youth FC in 2013.

Rwanda’s 2020/21 season is scheduled to get underway in December.

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