New owners take over World Hope FC - Daily Nation

New owners take over World Hope FC

Thursday October 16 2008

Nairobi City Stars officials Musa Otieno, Justin Birichi and Tim Tucker at Hope Centre.

Nairobi City Stars officials Musa Otieno, Justin Birichi and Tim Tucker at Hope Centre. 

By JOHN ASHIHUNDU

Premier League club World Hope FC has changed its name and will feature in next year’s league as Nairobi City Stars FC.

The Kawangware-based side has new owners after Ambassadors in Sport (AIS Kenya), a member of AIS International, purchased it.

AIS Kenya is an NGO dedicated to “bring hope through soccer,” took control of the team in a colourful function held at Hope Centre, Kawangware on Thursday.

The new sponsors, AIS Kenya, operating in 15 countries, did not disclose the amount of money involved in the deal.

The function was witnessed by, among others, former Harambee Stars captain Musa Otieno and Kenya Premier League managing director, Jack Oguda.

The former President’s Cup champions, who represented Kenya in the 2006 Confederation Cup, will retain their playing unit and officials.

Club chairman Charles Macharia said despite the competitiveness, the team still had hopes of winning this year’s Premier League title.

Macharia said the team, formed in 2002, had been facing financial constraints before the takeover. Club President Justin Birich said the new owners would expose the team.

The AIS Africa director, Tim Tucker, said he would bring in plenty of new talent to the team challenge top teams in Kenya and Africa.

Otieno, who has a seven-month contract with South African Premier League club Santos, was appointed the team’s vice-chairman.

He said Kenya needed a partner to improve the game, develop players’ character and faith. World Hope finished eighth in last year’s league and are currently placed fifth.

Club officials are Justine Birichi (chairman), Musa Otieno (vice-chairman), Peter Jabuya (CEO), Sammy Mbugua (treasure), Stephen Rigby (general manager), Benjamin Mutuku (executive director), Lawrence Njenga (team manager), Bobby Ogolla (head coach) and Kennedy Odhiambo (assistant coach).

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