Kenya: Sports Unlikely to Resume Soon, Says Health CS

The government has no immediate plans to okay the resumption of sports activities.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, speaking Wednesday, announced that the blanket ban of sports events will be enforced until the Covid-19 infection rates reduce in the country.

The country has been registering about 1000 new infections and 10 deaths daily for the past month.

Kagwe further explained the government was forced to half sports activities owing to the indiscipline exhibited by athletes, administrators, and fans.

"There is a lot of pressure on the government to open up the sports industry but such a decision must be led by facts and science, but not feelings," he stressed.

"We know ourselves better. (In the event we allow sports to restart) You will see some people instead of isolating themselves, you spot them in the sports areas contacting themselves. As much as we sympathise with our athletes, we have no choice other than to keep the containment measures at least until we come down to a level that is understandable."

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the suspension of all sports activities on March 26, a move that left thousands of athletes including footballers, volleyballers, rugby, hockey players, and athletes without a source of income.

This is the second time that the Head of State is indefinitely suspending sports.

But unlike during the first shutdown last year when the government offered athletes a Sh30,000 stipend for three months, the sportsmen and women have been left on their own this time round.

The recent vaccination exercise conducted by the Ministries of Sports and Health which targeted most, if not all, sports stakeholders had offered hope to athletes that the government could okay the resumption of sports.

But Kagwe's sentiments, plus the recent suspension of the international friendly between Kenya and Zambia's national women teams in Lusaka paints a different picture.

Besides, administrators say continuous suspension of sports could affect team Kenya's preps for the forthcoming international events including Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

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