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Chinese firm engages ex-German star to promote Kenyan football

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong  (People's Daily Online)    17:37, September 19, 2017

Lothar Matthäus led Germany to victory at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Photo: German football archives

As part of efforts to help develop football in Kenya, major Chinese media company, StarTimes Group, is undertaking a tour to the African country with former German captain, Lothar Matthäus. According to a release from the company, Matthäus will be in Kenya from September 19-20, 2017 as part of the "Bundesliga Legends' Tour," jointly organised by StarTimes and the German professional football league, the Bundesliga. The forthcoming trip is sequel to the Legends’ Tour to Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya in December 2016 by former Nigerian stars, Jay-Jay Okocha and Sunday Oliseh.

Apart from several media engagements, the captain of the "Bundesliga Legends' Network" will also meet Kenyan sports stars and introduce football fans to the great features of Germany's top flight league at several events. The schedule includes a training session for players of three of Kenya’s most prestigious football academies with the "World Footballer of the Year 1991" as well as a meeting with Kenyan javelin talent, Julius Yego, a silver-medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Matthäus will also comment on the Bundesliga clash between FC Schalke 04 and FC Bayern München in a live studio programme. To round off the trip, there will be numerous media engagements, including with StarTimes and other local media partners. "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to introduce Bundesliga’s great features to Kenyan fans on my first visit to the country," said Lothar Matthäus, a brand ambassador for the Bundesliga since 2015. "The development of the Bundesliga is impressive. It is enjoying constant growth, and has professional structures, modern stadia and a fantastic fan culture. I really enjoy communicating this to the world," he said.

"I believe African football fans will enjoy a wonderful Bundesliga Legends’ Tour with Lothar," Cole He Xin, StarTimes Media Division Sports Director said. "StarTimes will always bring the best to African football fans," he added. Aged 56, Lothar Matthäus played 464 Bundesliga games for Borussia Monchengladbach and FC Bayern München, scoring a total of 121 goals. He won seven German league titles, captained the German national team to victory in the 1990 World Cup in Italy, and was "World Footballer of the Year" in 1991.

The "Bundesliga Legends' Network" consists of ex-professionals who active in key target markets such as brand ambassadors of the Bundesliga. It includes Ghana’s Anthony Baffoe, 52, who made 199 Bundesliga appearances between 1983 and 1992. Meanwhile, StarTimes has exclusive Bundesliga broadcast rights in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 2015/2016 season.

*Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, a contributor to People’s Daily Online, is Sub-Editor for World News with Cameroon Tribune bilingual daily newspaper in Cameroon. He is currently a 2017 China-Africa Press Centre, CAPC fellow. 

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(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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