Kenya: KPL Clubs Blast Amina's Sports Resumption Guidelines

21 September 2020

A section of Kenyan Premier League clubs have been irked by Friday's decision by the Ministry of Sports to push indefinitely, resumption of football activities in the country

The clubs says the decision has hampered their preparations for the new top-flight season.

A number of clubs had already started training in anticipation for the new season before Sports CS Amina Mohamed announced that football wouldn't still resume.

Football Kenya President Nick Mwendwa had earlier indicated that the new season would kick off next month. However, Mwendwa was left with egg on the face as Amina said contact sports, football included, would not resume despite a drop in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula wondered why football activities were not allowed to resume yet teams had already started training and a number of tournaments going on in most parts of the country.

He said that it was hypocritical that political rallies were being witnessed in the country, yet football clubs which were even ready to play without fans and follow protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health, were denied a chance to be back on the pitch.

"It is hypocrisy to say that football should not resume yet the behaviour of our political leaders has shown that coronavirus is no longer a big threat. Players depend on football for their earnings and are eager to be on the pitch again to fend for their families," he said.

"I am disappointed by the decision because football tournaments are being played all over without even following the said health guidelines, yet we have to wait longer for the league to resume. This is biasness," he added.

The outspoken official pleaded with President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on the football issue in his next address to the nation.

Tusker chairman Dan Aduda also said it was unfair for the government to continue halting football activities.

He added that his players will continue training individually as they wait for resumption.

"We thought we would go back to football matches and new league season, but it turned otherwise. How will the national team players, who many of them play in the local leagues, be fit before their Afcon qualifiers tie against Comoros Island in November?"

As Tusker we have no option but have urged our players to train individually until the government communicates another directive," said Aduda.

Kenya is primed to play a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiction game away to Comoros in November when the continental qualifiers resume.

Sofapaka chairman Elly Kalekwa, however, clarified that his team will respect the government's directive, but said it would have been fair for the clubs to be allowed to start preparing for the new season even if a date for its commencement has not been set.

"As Sofapaka we don't oppose government decisions, but atleast we should have been allowed to start training for the new season. For now we will have to wait until such a time the government will declare that football resumes. Our players continues to train individually, " he said.

Record champions Gor Mahia have said they will seek for clearance from the Ministry of Health so that they can start training in earnest for the Caf Champions League.

"We are participating in a tough continental assignment against teams which have already hit the ground running and that is why we have to seek for clearance from the two ministries," club Secretary Sam Ochola told Nation Sport.

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