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No, Julius Yego has not turned down Sh1b for Qatar switch

Javelin maverick Julius Yego has trashed as “rumours” widespread talks that he has been offered Sh1 billion from Qatar to ditch Kenyan citizenship.

Some blogs had suggested that Yego had been offered the staggering amount to ditch Kenya and to start to compete for Qatar.

But in an interview with Nairobi News during a heroes’ welcome at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Yego said no country has ever approached him to change citizenship.

Captain Julius Yego is welcomed home by relatives at JKIA.
Captain Julius Yego is welcomed home by relatives at JKIA.

“Why would I do that? Money can’t take me anywhere. Who will recognize me in Qatar? How many Kenyans have gone to Qatar and come back here crying? Most have since returned to the country and are destitute,” reasoned Yego.

Even if he agreed to change his citizenship, Yego, 26, would not be eligible to compete for the Arab country for the next three years according to the IAAF edicts.

The Daily Nation’s athletics writer Ayumba Ayodi said should the world javelin champion agree to such a move, he would reach his retirement age before lining up for the Qataris.

It would mean he would have to sit out during the home stretch to the 30s, which is basically the most productive period for most athletes.

Deputy President William Ruto with Ezekiel Kemboi (left) and Julius Yego (right).
Deputy President William Ruto with Ezekiel Kemboi (left) and Julius Yego (right).

Yego, who learnt his trade on YouTube, made international debut for Kenya at the 2010 commonwealth games in India.

Yego’s massive throw of 92.72m last Wednesday earned Kenya its first gold medal in the field events at the just concluded IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.