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Ruto promises to return Kenya to international football

Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday evening promised to ensure Kenya returns to international football if elected as the fifth President of Kenya after the August 9 General Elections.

The Deputy President made the pledge when he unveiled the Kenya Kwanza Alliance manifesto at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani.

Kenya has been serving a suspension from Fifa since January this year after the world football governing body faulted Sports CS Amina Mohamed’s move to disband the Nick Mwendwa-led Football Kenya Federation in November last year.

Since then, football has been under the management of the FKF Caretaker and Transition committees. However, the national team and Kenyan clubs can’t participate in the international competitions due to the suspension.

Dr Ruto however didn’t elaborate whether he will directly engage Fifa on the issue or reinstate the officials of the disbanded federation as a way of complying with Fifa’s demands.

The Deputy President also didn’t mention on how he will ensure he delivers on the stadia promise of 2013 when the Jubilee government took over power.

The UDA Presidential candidate, also promised to promote county leagues and inter-county sports championships that will culminate to a national annual sports extravaganza.

To attract sponsorship for sports and athletes, Ruto promised to reduce tax incentives and review the Sports Act in line with recommendations from stakeholders.

“Consideration should be given to a national lottery, tax incentives for corporate sponsorship, a dedicated or ring-fenced tax and public-private partnership framework for infrastructure development,” the DP said.

He also promised to form a task force to identify sustainable sources of sports funding and expand National Youth Talent Academy (NYTA) by devolving it to through creation of County Sports Talent.

Dr Ruto said the government had let down sports people, in terms of facilitation and providing adequate resources and a situation he promised to rectify if he takes over the leadership of the country.

“We should never see Kenyan sports people stranded in a foreign country, or complaining about equipment, allowances and hospitality during competition. Our international athletes should never retire to a life of penury,” said Ruto.