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London Sevens: Kenya drawn in tough pool1 minute read

Kenya are now ranked 13th on the log with 26 points, a point ahead of Wales and four ahead of Japan

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Kenya have been drawn against Olympic champions Fiji, Samoa and France in Pool  ‘B’ of the next month’s London Sevens.

Shujaa picked a poor three points after finishing 13th in Singapore over the weekend.

Paul Murunga’s side beat Spain 21-5 in the 13th place playoff final. Kenya are now ranked 13th on the log with 26 points, a point ahead of Wales and four ahead of Japan as the race for relegation hots up with two tournaments remaining.

The team that finish 15th on the log will get relegated and their place will be taken by Ireland, winners of last weekend’s World Sevens Series qualifiers in Hong Kong.

Full Draw

Pool A: South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Japan

Pool B: Fiji, Samoa, France, Kenya

Pool C: England, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland

Pool D:  USA, Australia, Wales and Spain

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CAS to hold hearing over 2019 CAF Champions League Final

The Court of Arbitration for Sports will on May 29 deliberate on the feud between Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and Tunisia’s Esperance

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The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) will on May 29 deliberate on the feud between Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and Tunisia’s Esperance over the 2019 CAF Champions League final.

The Moroccan club had dragged the Tunisians and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to the Lausanne-based court after the second leg of the final was abandoned in controversy in the 58th minute.

Wydad had refused to continue playing after a row over the Video Assisted Referee (VAR) system. Play was halted when VAR was unavailable to judge a disallowed equalizer. VAR had been set up on the side of the pitch, but the players had reportedly not been told it was not working, although officials were aware. The referee then awarded the victory to three-time former champions Esperance.

The Tunisian side were leading 1-0 (2-1 on aggregate) in the second leg and VAR had been used in the first leg in Morocco.

But in the second leg in Rades, Walid El Karti’s header for Wydad was disallowed for an infringement. Both sides then lodged complaints with CAS following an initial ruling from CAF that the second leg should be replayed.

The court’s first ruling in August 2019 said that CAF’s executive committee “did not have jurisdiction” to order that the final be replayed. Following that decision, the disciplinary committee of CAF declared Esperance winners of the 2018/19 CAF Champions League.

Wydad then lodged a further case with CAF and its Appeal Board, which on 15 September rejected the Moroccan club’s request.

Wydad subsequently filed new evidence and documents with CAS against CAF and Esperance. A ruling was initially expected in March but CAS banned all in-person hearings in response to the coronavirus crisis while Switzerland’s borders have been closed and strictly controlled since March 13.

The hearing will now be conducted via video conference.

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East Africa Sports News

Embattled Kenyan football Chief interrogated in graft case

Former Football Kenya Federation President is facing the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on corruption charges

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Former Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa is being interrogated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over his role in the alleged embezzlement of funds during his tenure at the federation.

Mwendwa is being questioned about how his administration spent the KSh244 million for the Harambee Stars’ participation at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019.

He will also face questioning regarding a KSh125 million contract with British firm WTS Media for the purchase of equipment. WTS Media went into administration in 2018, a few months after receiving the money from FKF for an OB van which was not delivered.

Mwendwa was accompanied to the DCI’s Kiambu Road headquarters by FKF CEO Barry Otieno. The DCI had reportedly received a formal complaint from the ministry of sports who remained unsatisfied with explanations given for the utilization of the funds. Former Principal Secretary for Sports Peter Kaberia, now in the Ministry of Mining had been questioned in the past by the DCI over the same matter.

A DCI spokesman confirmed the interrogation. “He (Mwendwa) is in the building and it is evident that he will be here for some time because of the nature of questioning he has to go through.

“The investigations have been going on for months now and we are in the final stages of the process before a determination is made on whether or not he will face charges but it is unlikely that he will escape this.

“The books show there were a number of improprieties especially with regards to the spending of money from the government and FIFA.”

The DCI will also seek clarification from Mwendwa on a controversial issue regarding bonuses for the national team squad to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which has caused a rift between him and star players, including captain Victor Wanyama.

Earlier this week, Wanyama had accused the FKF of illegally removing Sh12 million from the Sh50 million the Kenyan government awarded the players for qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). The amount was part of the Sh244 million the State allocated to the national team’s qualification and participation at last year’s continental finals in Egypt.

He also accused Mwendwa of dishonesty in the handling the Harambee Stars unpaid Sh10 million winning bonuses for defeating Tanzania at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Mwendwa’s tenure at FKF ended on 10 February 2020 but he insists he is still in office until a new President is elected despite a ruling by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) finding that the term of the National Executive Committee which he was part of (according to article 37 (a) of the FKF Constitution 2017) had ended.

A ruling on whether or not he is in contempt of the tribunal and the way forward for the controversial FKF elections is expected.

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Southern Africa Sports

Du Toit decides to stay in South Africa

Pieter-Steph du Toit reverses decision to leave South African Super Rugby after initially giving notice he would terminate his contract

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World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit has reversed his decision to leave South African Super Rugby side, the Stormers, after initially giving notice he would terminate his contract.

A statement from the Cape Town-based outfit said the 27-year-old loose forward has withdrawn a contract termination notification made last week.

The announcement ends the intense speculation over du Toit’s future with a big-money move to France or Japan previously touted. The Stormers revealed that the 2019 World Cup winner will stay with them at least until after the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, scheduled for July-August 2021.

“Pieter-Steph is an important team member,” Stormers coach John Dobson said in a statement on Thursday.

“His extraordinary work rate coupled with his ball carrying skills, makes our forward pack even more formidable.

“The rehabilitation on his [thigh] injury is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing him in a Stormers jersey again when we get back on the field.

“We are proud as a union of our achievement of contracting eight Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks in the province and keeping them in the country.”

Rugby players in South Africa had been given a 21-day window to opt-out of their current contracts and become free agents in light of pay cuts forced on them by South African Rugby in a bid to save R1.2-billion ($US66.89 million) in expenditure in 2020. Players now face cuts of between 24% and 43% of their salaries between now and December.

South African media reported that Montpellier had offered Du Toit 75 million rand ($4.2mn/3.9mn euros) for a three-year deal, but the French club denied any interest.

Several Japanese sides were also reportedly interested in the 6ft 6.5″, 120-kilogramme flanker, whose younger brother, Johan, is another loose forward in the Stormers squad.

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