Sports

Talanta Hela tourney will revolutionize football in Kenya, says President Ruto


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – President William Ruto believes the Talanta Hela Under-19 football tournament will play a big role in revolutionize Kenyan football, saying the success seen from the inaugural edition whose curtains rolled on Sunday is testament of the long-term potential of the project.

The Head of State was present at the national finals at the Nyayo Stadium Sunday evening, watching the boys’ final where Homabay saw off Kisumu with a 4-2 scoreline to clinch the inaugural title.

“I enjoyed the football and that is why I am here. I have also been here several times because I love the game,” President Ruto said.

President William Ruto hands the trophy to Homabay skipper Samuel Onyango. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu
President William Ruto hands the trophy to Homabay skipper Samuel Onyango. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He adds; “The Talanta Hela tournament has given an opportunity for young people from across Kenya to demonstrate their talent and expertise. Finally, this game of football will be different because of Talanta Hela. I am confident that apart from giving them a chance, this will monetize their talents and give them an opportunity to make football a job for them so that they can earn from their talents,” President Ruto further said.

He has affirmed that his government will continue its commitment to sports in the country, as he believes it forms a larger part of the creative economy and has the ability to help millions across the country earn a modest living.

“We are systematic, deliberate and intentional. Nothing gets done when you are not; whether it is in the economy or in football. We have seen talents from the very bottom come all the way to the nationals. I am very proud of what has been achieved by these young people,” said the Head of State.

He also believes that the success of the tournament in subsequent years heading towards 2027 when Kenya is expected to co-host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Uganda and Tanzania will help build a formidable national team.

President William Ruto speaking to former Saturday Music and Sports presenter James Wokabi. PHOTO/ Timothy Olobulu
President William Ruto speaking to former Saturday Music and Sports presenter James Wokabi. PHOTO/ Timothy Olobulu

“By the time we get to 2027, this will be a national carnival and not just what was witnessed today (Sunday). We are fine tuning and improving. We are looking at what can be done better and how we can nurture talent that will culminate in forming our national team. I am confident that football will go to the next level,” added the President.

Ruto also affirmed the government’s commitment to successfully host the AFCON in 2027, saying resources have been channeled to renovating Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia as well as the construction of the all-new Jamhuri Stadium.

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