Baraza sympathizes with ‘lost’ boy Avire


Sofapaka FC striker John Avire (40) celebrates scoring against Posta Rangers FC during their Kenyan Premier ...
Sofapaka FC striker John Avire (40) celebrates scoring against Posta Rangers FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on May 01, 2019. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • According to FC Tanta's website, Avire has a contract with them until the end of June, 2021, although the 22-year-old has not kicked a ball for the team in a competitive match.

Sofapaka head coach John Baraza has advised his former striker John Avire to humble and seek an amicable solution with his former employers, regarding his controversial transfer to Egyptian Premier League side FC Tanta.

Baraza is concerned that Avire, whose star shone brightest in 2019 with Sofapaka in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), has been in the cold since moving to Tanta without a formal release agreement by Sofapaka.

Despite earning place in the Harambee Stars squad that featured in the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) where he was capped twice, the youthful Avire has never been called up again for national team duty.

It is his transfer conundrum that forced former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO Robert Muthomi out of office, having been accused of engineering the unprocedural move by Sofapaka.

But, Baraza now feels Avire was misguided and has paid dearly for his decision, stagnating his rise in the sport.

“It is very sad. Poverty is bad, it can lead someone to regrettable decisions and that is what happened with Avire. He wanted to move and earn more but he did not follow the laid down rules.

“He should make an effort of engaging his parent club (Sofapaka) and see if this problem can be solved,” a concerned Baraza told Citizen Digital.

According to the celebrated former Harambee Stars ace, Avire has a big future if he quickly redeems himself and gets the necessary goodwill from relevant stakeholders.

“He is a young player with a great potential. Whatever has happened should not steal his football career destiny.”

Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa was clear that the club will never give Avire the blessing of playing for Tanta unless the money they want from the transfer is duly paid for.

“His place at Sofapaka is guaranteed as long as he has a running contract with us, because we all know Avire is a good player. However, if he wants to leave, we will allow him as long as we talk with the buying club that reaches our valuation of the player and in consideration of his contract,” Kalekwa said when the transfer saga broke out.

Kalekwa values Avire at Sh10 million, an amount that Tanta were not willing to meet from the onset as the initial deal was to sign him as a free agent, on ground the energetic forward had not been paid for three months at Sofapaka at the time of his exit.

Former Harambee Stars midfielder Simeon Mulama recently told Citizen TV that Avire would be a wasted player if he is not helped to overcome the tide.

Sofapaka FC coach John Braza follows the proceedings during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Under 20 Championship against Bandari FC at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi on December 18, 2016. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com
Sofapaka FC coach John Braza follows the proceedings during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Under 20 Championship against Bandari FC at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi on December 18, 2016. The match ended 1-1. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha/Citizen Digital

“You can’t avoid that feeling (he was rushed), even in the national team especially for a big tournament like the Afcon. Some arguably good and experienced players were axed from the Stars squad for  the tourney at his expense, and with that rare exposure it would be a big waste if he is not helped to build on what he got. Stakeholders in the game must also be very careful when handling young players as careers can be easily ruined..,” advised Mulama.

Having showed admirable abilities , Avire was expected to be among the top players in Kenya’s botched campaign for the Cameroon 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) immediately after the Egypt fiesta, but was not available for then coach Sebastian Migne following his Sofapaka exit.

Neither would the current Stars boss Francis Kimanzi consider him for subsequent duties as he has not been in active football, at least until the last Harambee Stars matches in the Kampala 2019 CECAFA Senior Challenge.

Soccer Football – Africa Cup of Nations 2019 – Group C – Kenya v Senegal – 30 June Stadium, Cairo, Egypt – July 1, 2019 Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Kenya’s Johanna Omolo and Kenya’s John Avire after the match REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

According to FC Tanta’s website, Avire has a contract with them until the end of June, 2021, although the 22-year-old has not kicked a ball for the team in a competitive match.

 

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