President Ruto celebrates AFC Leopards' milestone with big boost for Kenyan football


FOOTBALL President Ruto celebrates AFC Leopards' milestone with big boost for Kenyan football

Festus Chuma 10:06 - 25.03.2024

The President has committed to reviving Kenyan football highlighting infrastructure, youth development and support for clubs and national teams.

President William Ruto has expressed the Kenyan government's dedication to reviving the country's football glory highlighting efforts by local clubs and national teams in propelling the sport forward.

During a significant speech at the Nyayo National Stadium, Ruto emphasized the government's commitment to sports, particularly football, aligning it with the national agenda for youth development and sports excellence. 

The event marked the 60th anniversary of AFC Leopards, a testament to the enduring spirit and contribution of football clubs in Kenya.

In his address, President Ruto acknowledged the pivotal role played by clubs such as AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia, Bandari, and Shabana in nurturing talent and fostering the development of football in the country.

"I want to commit to you as sportsmen and women we are properly aligned under our agenda football is front as we go into the future. We are also proud of our national team Harambee Stars who beat Malawi on Saturday in a four-nation tournament in Blantyre," President Ruto said. 

He emphasized the importance of investing in youth development programs as a cornerstone for elevating the sport, highlighting the participation of Kenya's Under-19 select boys’ and girls’ teams in the Costa Daurada Cup in Spain.

The president underscored the necessity of quality sports facilities to enhance sports development, mentioning the ongoing renovation of Kasarani and the construction of the Talanta Sports Stadium. 

This new facility, which began construction this month with a budget of Sh30 billion, is anticipated to be a significant milestone in hosting the AFCON 2027 alongside Tanzania and Uganda.

In a demonstration of his commitment, President Ruto fulfilled his promise by donating Sh10 million to AFC Leopards.

He was joined by a host of dignitaries, including Chief Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, and governors from Nairobi, Bungoma, and Kisii, among others.

“This is a historic occasion for the club that has a wide array of both local and regional silverware," Ruto remarked, expressing his pleasure at being part of AFC Leopards' milestone celebration. 

The event was marked by a series of matches, including an international friendly in which Leopards triumphed over the visiting Spanish side AE Ramassa 4-3.

Other exhibition matches included a victory for Ingwe Legends over Gor Legends and a draw between Ingwe Ladies and Shabana Ladies.

The event also saw generous donations from various leaders, including Musalia Mudavadi, Ken Lusaka, Simba Arati, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, and Nairobi Senior Edwin Sifuna, contributing to the future development of the club and Kenyan football at large.

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