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Raila boosts Ingwe kitty with Sh1.2m

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NAIROBI, Kenya, March 6- It keeps getting better for Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders AFC Leopards after they received Sh1.2m from Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday.

The Premier received the Ingwe players, technical bench and club officials in his office where he appealed for sponsorship of community based football clubs, saying it would raise the standards of soccer in country.

Leopards who lead the KPL log on ten points after beating the 2009 champions Ulinzi Stars at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru home turf, are seeking to procure a team bus and a recent fundraiser raised Sh2.4m for the project.

“I want to see the standards of soccer in the country improve. You must support the community clubs since soccer is the most popular sport and richest sport in the world.

“As a Government, we want to give support to management and players and I wish you all the best since I want to see a community club win the league this year,” Raila emphasised.

He reiterated his call to corporate organisations to sponsor sports, particularly football clubs as part of their corporate social responsibility noting better results have been realized where this has been done.

“I therefore advise our football clubs to improve on their standards of playing to attract support from sponsors and soccer fans alike.”

At the same time, Raila advised football clubs against allowing internal feuds to ruin their clubs, saying any issues should be quickly resolved so that it cannot interfere with the running of soccer in the clubs and in the national team as well.

He commended national team Harambee Stars for their sterling performance recently when they played Togo in the African Cup of Nations 2013 qualifier, noting their 2-1 win was a clear demonstration that the standards of football in the country were on the mend.

“I also wish to commend our Under-20 women team for plunking Zambian team 4-0 in a world cup qualifying match recently,” he added.

The AFC party was led by club chairman, Alex Ole Magelo and head coach, Dutch national Jan Coops.

Raila is the patron of AFC Leopards archrivals, Gor Mahia who unlike Ingwe, are going through a rough patch after losing their second KPL game last weekend at Karuturi that prompted their coach, Anaba Anono, and his entire technical bench to be send home on Tuesday.

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