Sun. Nov 17th, 2019

A Kenyan in Qatar unites community through football

2 min read

Doha: FC Kenya’s humble origins can be traced back to Friday kickabouts in the park. The players gathered simply to catch up with friends and enjoy their day off. A decade later, however, and thanks to the stirring drive and passion of one man in particular, the club now boasts a fanbase, along with founder member status of Qatar’s leading amateur football league.

And if John Ngurugwe gets his way, this is only the start. His dream is to one day see FC Kenya compete in the professional ranks of Qatari football.

“What I want is for this football team to carry on and grow into something even bigger,” said Ngurugwe, who plays as the team’s goalkeeper. “You never know, one day it might be part of the Qatar Stars League.”

Thanks to his involvement with FC Kenya, Ngurugwe has xem bong da truc tuyen become a popular and well-known member of the Kenyan community in Qatar. And one of the main reasons for his status is the unifying power of football.

“I am a person who likes reaching out to people,” said Ngurugwe, who works as an HSSE Officer at UCL Qatar. “When I first came to Qatar, I thought football was the best way to reach out to other Kenyans in the country.”

Those Friday kickabouts were given a new lease of life when Ngurugwe joined them in 2009, as team captain Eric Otwal recalls.

“About six of us used to play every week,” said Otwal. “It was a way to enjoy our day off and we’d discuss family and work issues, sharing what’s going on in the world.”

Otwal continued: “We used to play friendlies until John came. When he joined the team, he came up with new ideas. At first, nobody knew much about Kenyans here, but now this club has a fan base and people come to cheer us on.”

The club’s chairman, Athman Hamis, remembers Ngurugwe’s liveliness during those early games

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