‘Ni mimi pekee yangu najua uchungu,’ Zarika hits out at Gov’t after losing boxing title
- Kenyan boxer Fatuma Zarika, has come out strongly to condemn the government for lack of support, hours after she lost her World Boxing Council Super Bantam Weight belt to Mexican Yamileth Mercado.
- The fight was held Sunday morning at Poliforo in Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, with Mercado winning via unanimous decision on the scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 to dethrone Zarika, who previously held the title for four years.
Kenyan boxer Fatuma Zarika has come out strongly to condemn the government for lack of support, hours after she lost her World Boxing Council Super Bantamweight belt to Mexican Yamileth Mercado.
The fight was held Sunday morning at Poliforo in Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, with Mercado winning on unanimous decision on the scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92 to dethrone Zarika, who previously held the title for four years.
Zarika becomes the latest sportsperson to join the long list of sportsmen and bodies critical of the Government over its lackadaisical approach of managing sports and sports persons.
So weighty were her comments after losing the fight, that she said it was better she threw in the towel in the fight, because it was better for the belt to remain in Mexico where their government supports them, rather than in Kenya where no one knows even how she survives.
“I know what I have done and I am not apologizing to anybody. When I won the belt, I did not have anybody on my side, I was alone” said Zarika in a video that has since gone viral.
She further added that in the same period of her struggles, nothing better has come on her side except betting firm giants Sportpesa, who were her sponsors before the company closed shop in Kenya, due to unfavorable policies set up by the government.
“Since Sportpesa exited, nobody has come to hold my hands. It is better for the belt to remain in Mexico because they will take care of it and the government supports them (Sportspersons). I have no apology because I am the one who knows the pain I am going through” she said.
This was the second WBC fight pitting the duo, having first fought in September last year at the KICC in Nairobi where Zarika won in a split point decision.
Zarika had previously won twice against Catherine Phiri of Zambia.
The sentiments come days after Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga pleaded with the Government to give a befitting financial support to national teams which fly Kenya’s flag in international competitions, in regards to claims of late payment of hotel bills for the team during their African Cup of Nations qualifier in Egypt.
Olunga cried for respect to athletes across all disciplines, retaliating that they deserved governments support.
“The government supported us fully during the AFCON and I hope they continue supporting us in future and not football alone but also in other sports which deserve the government’s support,” Olunga said moments after the Group G opening qualifier tie.
His sentiments were echoed by team captain Victor Wanyama who also called for calm among his teammates, amidst simmering heat between the federation and the Sports ministry.
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