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Clubs relieved as KPL postpones midweek ties

Bandari FC players celebrate at the Thika Stadium after eliminating Gor Mahia from the GOtv Shield on July 9, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14- Kenyan Premier League clubs are relieved after the league management postponed midweek fixtures that had been slated for Wednesday, with most of them ill-prepared owing to last week’s uncertainty over the General Elections.

KPL said in a statement on Sunday that after consultation, the games will be shelved and new dates announced, just less than four days after the weekend matches were also shelved.

“This discussion has been taken in light of the political situation of the country at the moment which has made it difficult for players and technical staff to report back to their Clubs for the purpose of engaging in meaning training and preparation to honor those matches,” the statement from the league top brass noted.

Clubs had quietly hoped the matches would be pushed forward with most failing to raise enough numbers in training. However with normalcy returning to most parts if the country, matches are expected to resume this coming weekend.

Posta Rangers head coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo Sammy watching his team during training. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

“It has been tough getting players to training because you can’t really risk with the security situation in the country. We will see how things pan out and hopefully we can get back to training this week,” Posta Rangers head coach Sammy Omollo said.

Gor Mahia’s Dylan Kerr who looks to lead K’Ogalo back to the title was also disappointed that his side has missed out on a whole week of training.

“It is quite strange because we have been told no training for the whole week. It really kills the momentum of the team that we had picked and we now have to work harder to get where we were. In football one week without training is so much. But I hope the players have been keeping fit on their own,” the Englishman added.

The postponement of the two match-days now gives the league managers logistical headache with a whole month having been lost earlier in the season due to court cases while an increase in the number of teams means a lengthened calendar.

Clubs will now be forced to fit into a tight schedule with international match weekends and GOtv Shield matches also scrambling for the little space available.

“It is a challenge but clubs will have to bear with it. There’s so much time lost and we have to recover,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda said.

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A few matches have been slotted for this weekend which had been initially preserved for the GOtv Shield quarter finals.

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