Sports

President orders recovery of Korogocho land

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney to recover land that has been assigned to National Youth Service in Nairobi’s Korogocho that was initially used as a play ground.

The President was speaking at State House, Nairobi yesterday when he received the FIFA World Cup trophy which is on a two-day tour of Kenya. Sports being a devolved function Uhuru promised to work hand-in-hand with the governors, most of whom attended the event to make sports in the country better.

An exciting seven-aside match between Bunge FC and a select Copa Coca-Cola team from various schools ended in a 1-1 draw. Bunge opened the scoring through Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen before Copa equalised in stoppage time.

Meanwhile, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has revealed that his ministry has partnered with Football Kenya Federation to nurture talent in all 47 counties with a view to qualifying for the World Cup in the near future.

“The ministry together with the federation have decided we will nurture talent from the grassroots to the national level so that in future Kenyans can hold the cup as opposed to just viewing it from far,” said Echesa, who was speaking while receiving the World Cup trophy at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, accompanied by his Tourism counterpart Najib Balala and FKF president Nick Mwendwa among other football stakeholders.

“We thank the FIFA team for including Kenya in their tour of the African continent. We assure you that you have visited a country where soccer excites as Kenyans are passionate about the sport,” added Echesa.

“The chance which you will accord a large section of Kenyans to view the trophy up close and candid will inspire our national team to work hard and up their standards.

The experience might just cause them to qualify for the global showpiece sooner than later,” he said. Harambee Stars has failed to impress in all international competitions for close to two decades but FKF insist the team will qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“This is a challenge for us as a federation to approach the government for any assistance since they will take it seriously. The World Cup will act as a catalyst for better infrastructure with a view of playing in future,” said Mwendwa. His sentiments come on the back of last week’s resignation of Paul Put as Harambee Stars coach just a few weeks before two scheduled friendly matches.

“This is normal in football. The coach has left but in a few days, we will have a replacement. We will combine a foreign coach with a local technical bench as that works better for us at the moment,” added Mwendwa.

Kenyans will have a chance to view the trophy at KICC today where they will be able to take photos next to it. Only heads of state are allowed to handle the six-kilogramme gold trophy.

Made of 18 karat gold with a malachite base, it stands 36.8 centimetres high and weighs 6.1 kilogrammes. The trophy was made by Stabilimento Artistico Bertoni company in Italy.

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