Photo and Article: Chrispine Magak
The Kenya national amputees football team had to wear Sonko Rescue Team jerseys at the 2018 World Cup tournament in Mexico.
The amputee stars — while playing against USA on their second match — donned yellow jerseys emblazoned with Team Sonko. And they performed well, beating USA 2-1.
Pictures of the team clad in conspicuous Sonko Rescue Team jerseys have drawn condemnation back at home — with many terming it mockery of unprecedented proportions.
The Nairobian spoke to the team’s secretary-general Peter Oloo who is also in Mexico to get his view on this issue that has left the Sports ministry with egg on its face.
He says the team has always depended on donations and that the jerseys they used against USA were one of the two pairs donated by the Nairobi County Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
“All our jerseys were donated to us by well-wishers. Our team has four kits – one for training and the other three for matches. Governor Sonko gave us two different jerseys; one green and the other one yellow. I’m happy we beat USA,” he told The Nairobian.
He added that: “Our team also received black jerseys from the World Cup organisers. These were given to us at the registration point for this event. The fourth one was donated to us by Kenya Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (KUSCCO) led by George Ototo.”
When asked whether donning a ‘non-formal’ jersey is against the laws of the amputee matches at the World Cup level, Oloo said it’s never a big deal, but expressed his wish to have the team dressed in Harambee Stars jerseys in their subsequent competitions.
The amputee stars will be in Mexico until November 5 when the World Cup ends. The team last week made news after they were reportedly abandoned at the Sports ministry offices as they sought money to cater for accommodation during the Mexico event.