South B Combined FC's Teddy Akumu (left) and God Above All FC's Amos Asembeka in a past Kothbiro match. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The 46th edition of Kenya’s biggest off-season football tournament Kothbiro is set to kick off on July 15.

According to the organising committee chairman Paul Polosa, teams from Nairobi, Kajiado and Kiambu counties have already confirmed participation in the 32-team tournament.

Traditionally, the finals of the tournament are always held in December, but this year’s finals are scheduled for August 19 to align with the Football Kenya Federation calendar. 

Unlike last year’s edition which was postponed severally due to sponsorship issues before Nairobi County came to their rescue, Polosa, a former Nairobi City Stars defender, says they are doing everything possible to ensure they have a successful tournament.

Gikomba-based Team Korogez clinched the 2022 tournament after beating Leeds United 4-2 on penalties in the final following a 1-1 draw in regular time.

Plans are also underway for this year’s winners to face off with Tanzania’s Dondo Cup champions.

“Last year we had issues of sponsorship but currently we are negotiating with a couple of partners among them Nairobi County through Governor Johnstone Sakaja who also sponsored the last edition,” said Polosa.

“We are hoping that the winner of this year’s event will play against the winner of Tanzania’s Dondo Cup which is currently going on. Covid-19 pandemic and some unforeseeable problems on the sponsors’ side hampered our plans to go regional.

He continued: “This year we plan to have different awards for different categories because as you know this tournament presents an opportunity for players to get scouted in the top leagues.

“We’ll have a Koth Biro 11 team selected by former stars of the tournament and we also hope to engage with the teams to see how they can be trained to market their brands to potential sponsors. 

“On behalf of the management I would like to thank Nairobi Governor for the support he accorded the tournament and not forgetting Pangani ward MCA Peter Wahinya who played a great role in linking Kothbiro to the County.”

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