The new boss at Kenya Rugby Union, Geoffrey Oduor Gangla
Kenya Rugby Union has turned to Geoffrey Oduor Gangla to redeem it to its erstwhile glory.
Mr Oduor was yesterday elected the union's chairman after beating his closest rival Alexander 'Sasha' Mutai -- who was having a second stab at the contest – by 13 votes at the RFUEA grounds.
The former KCB Rugby Club boss Asiko Owiro was third with a paltry two votes.
Oduor takes over the Ngong road-based office amid a deep crisis hurting the Kenya Sevens team.
The 2016 HSBC World Rugby Seven Series in Singapore champs are now on the brink of being relegated from the competition.
The new chair now promises to take back the team to its winning ways.
"I feel happy to have been given this mandate by the delegates and we will continue with the work to put rugby where it deserves to be," he said moments after confirming victory.
"My immediate task is looking at the team's performance in the World Sevens Series, we have the women's series qualifiers and the Barthes Cup here (Kenya) next month".
Oduor, however, says the fete will not be an easy one.
"We know that in the union we have a financial problem and we need to start attracting more sponsors. We have fresh ideas that we will need the board's approval to take the game-high," he said.
A day later, Game Yetu sought to ask Oduor of his specific projects and the timelines with which he had for them, our calls were unanswered.
Before taking over the reigns at KRU, Oduor was the union's secretary general, a position he has held since. The board will convene a meeting to find his replacement.
He is also a former chairman for the Kenya Cup side Impala Saracens.
An experienced player, Oduor featured for Blak Blad RFC, Mean Machine and Strathmore Leos in his yesteryears.
Oduor will be in office as the KRU chair for four years. He takes over from Richard Omwela who chose not to defend his seat despite the union's constitution not restricting him.
He will serve alongside Thomas Opiyo (vice-chairman), Joshua Aroni (treasurer), Oscar Mango (director) and Hillary Itela (director).
Eric Njiru, an experienced rugby writer at Ragahouse and Homeboyz Radio spoke exclusively spoke to Game Yetu on what Oduor needs to do to save the rugby situation in the country.
"Oduor has the technical ability to lift up rugby to where it was before. The Union has been through ups and downs but we can't just judge them by what happened in the Paris 7s. Since Oduor and his team assumed office in 2016, they have tried putting the Union in order.
"First thing to do is bring the board together and work as a team for four years. Let's hope the board will accept his manifesto because right now we are looking at how we can commercialise the game as we move to the new competition by World Rugby," he said.
"His experience as Impala Saracens chairman should help him in knowing how to run the leagues and hopefully all 12 clubs will be self-sufficient. Oduor should sort national squads' issues and make Kenya 7s a global brand again," Njiru concluded.
Oduor Gangla (33)
Sasha Mutai (20)
Asiko Owiro (2)
Ian Mugambi- 23
Ezekiel Owuor – 22
Ray Olendo – 28
Moses Ndale – 26
John Kilonzo – 32
Peris Mukoko -13
Sarah Otieno -5
Angela Olum -10
Ken Thimba -18
Kikechi Kombo -25
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