Sports

Mourners take dig at State over plight of former sportsmen

The government has been challenged to offer better facilities and care for retired Kenya sportsmen and women.

Businessman Stanley Livondo led a chorus as speakers decried the poor state in which most sportsmen live after their active careers, something that leads them to live like paupers in society, depending on friends for upkeep.

Livondo stoked anger during the burial of Olympic silver medallist Dick ‘Tiger’ Murunga at the Langata Cemetery on Saturday where the country’s sporting hero was buried in a quiet ceremony.

“I am ashamed to be here today. I am very ashamed that one of the best sportsmen in the country is buried like this. There is no official from the boxing federation, there is no official from the Olympic association and we are here burying a boxer who brought this great country glory,” said Livondo.

He decried the practice by politicians and others in society to milk the fame of the active sportsmen for personal greed and dump them after their careers. He insisted on the ministry formulating a policy to shore the politicians like the perks retired MPs are offered.

Former Kenya Professional Boxing Commission (KPBC) chairman Reuben Ndolo, a contemporary of Murunga called for Sport Secretary Rashid Echesa to consider incorporating as many sportsmen and women in the committees that oversee sports in the country to get a real feel of what afflicts them.

“None of the politicians this generous man helped are here to offer him his deserved rest. The boxers are only used for a few days when their services are needed by the politicians and dumped almost immediately. It is only the government that can offer the best through a policy that will guide them in retirement,” said Ndolo.

Another former KPBC chairman Joe Aketch lauded Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko for forming a sporting body that has former football stars

Scores braved the mid-afternoon showers to give Murunga his final respects. Others who attended are former international boxers, George ‘Foreman’ Onyango, Absolom Okinyi, Daniel Otieno ‘Tyson’, Chrispine Ochieng ‘Ochi Live’ and former Kenya football star Mahmoud Abbas.

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