Kenya: Football Resumes Amid Strict Covid-19 Protocols

(file photo).

The Football Kenya Federation Premier League returns on Friday under strict sports resumption protocols released by the Ministry of Sports on Thursday.

The match between Kariobangi Sharks and Kakamega Homeboyz at Utalii Grounds will go ahead as planned at 3pm.

However, it will be a tall order for FKF to meet all the laid down procedures in the subsequent matches because the federation says it lacks the financial capacity to test teams every weekend as stated in the guidelines.

"The revised guidelines place more emphasis on athletes' safety, containment measures, vaccination and travel guidelines. We commit to ensure our athletes' health is prioritised," said Sports CS Amina Mohamed in the fresh guidelines for the resumption of sports.

All sports activities were halted on March 26 owing to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases but during Labour Day celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta allowed the resumption of sports on condition that the Health and Sports ministries issue safety guidelines to be adhered to.

Football Kenya Federation CEO Barry Otieno said that they welcome the guidelines but will give their official statement after meeting with the ministry officials.

"We welcome the guidelines from the ministry of sports and the matches scheduled for Friday and weekend will continue as planned. It is good football has resumed and our players can now also start preparations for continental and international competitions," said Otieno.

"We are going to follow all the laid down protocols to ensure safety of players, coaches and as is put in the guidelines," added Otieno.

With over one-and-a-half months without football, Homeboyz tactician Nicholas Muyoti is still assured of his charges fitness and has showed confidence that he will turn tables on their host.

"My team has prepared for the game and my players are happy that football is resuming. The players are fit and this is evident from the past few training sessions we have had. I have no doubt that we will manage a good result," said Muyoti.

While Kariobangi Sharks are fourth on 28 points and Homeboyz are eighth on 21 points, both teams had played 16 rounds of matches before the league was halted in March due to Covid-19.

Other measures in the guidelines include fumigation of the pitch at intervals before, during and after a match, and all games will still be played behind closed doors.

Fixtures

Friday

Kariobangi Sharks v Kakamega Homeboyz (Utalii grounds, 3 pm)

Saturday

Western Stima v Posta Rangers (Moi Stadium, Kisumu, 3pm)

Tusker v KCB (Ruaraka grounds, 1pm)

Bandari v Bidco United (Mbaraki grounds, 3pm)

AFC Leopards v Nzoia Sugar (Ruaraka grounds 3:15 pm)

Sunday

Mathare United v Vihiga United

Gor Mahia v Nairobi City Stars

Sofapaka v Wazito

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