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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Five-Star Football Event in a Five Star Hotel

With Just over 10 days to the World Cup, the African Continent has been gripped with the football fever and every quarter is looking to cash in on the historic spectacle.
Businesses ranging from airlines, transport companies and even hotels have taken initiatives to set the mood with others coming up with innovative ideas to woo customers during the upcoming football season.

Over the weekend, Nairobi’s Intercontinental Hotel launched its football season with a high-lumen projector for their big screen aimed at providing real entertainment for the Hotel’s visitors with love for football. The screen which was launched by South African Ambassador to Kenya; Tony Msimanga was first unveiled during the UEFA Champions League finals between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, a match that was played at the famous Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid Spain. The event was graced by various key personalities including Zain Kenya’s boss Rene Meza, Mathare United FC chairman Bob Munro; Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya S. O Omene, thesteifmastertake blogger, Me, and other dignitaries.

The match, which was decided by a perfect brace from Argentinian World Cup-bound striker, Diego Milito, was particularly a big show in Kenya because 23-year old MacDonald Mariga, a Kenyan, plays in the Jose Mourinho-led Italian giant that has carried the season with splendid performances after becoming the first Italian team to win the Italian treble. Inter had earlier won the Serie A title,  and the Italian Cup before lifting the coveted Champions league title infront of a capacity crowd at Real Madrid's 80, 354 all-seated homeground.

Another Kenyan international star Denis Oliech of France’s AJ Auxerre, who I got to meet and share a picture with (see left) also watched the game at Hotel Intercontinental Nairobi. The Auxerre frontman was upbeat that the World Cup would be historical moment for the continent but regretted the underperformance of African teams in international soccer.

Oliech said: “it’s unfortunate that Kenya is not taking part in this world cup yet this is a powerful moment in the history of this continent. African players need to up their game and seize opportunities that will keep coming up.”

The intercontinental Hotel is one of the early birds in terms of joining the bandwagon for the football fever and is looking to offer specialized packages for its visitors during the season. Already, pubs and other entertainment joints have purchased big screens, projectors and LCD screens in readiness for the world cup as transport companies finalize plans to travel down south for the games. 
In Video

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