NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Kenyan Premier League side Ulinzi Stars will make a decision on whether or not to get back to training on Monday after the players started reporting back to their 81 Tank Batalion base in Lanet, Nakuru on Sunday evening.
Football in the country has been put to a standstill following government directives on efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The players, most of who are part of the military had been given the week off after last week’s Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup round of 16 match against Migori Youth which ended in a 1-0 victory.
“We have started reporting back today, but the decision on whether we resume training or not will be made tomorrow when we meet with the bosses. At this point, we cannot be certain whether we will be in training or not of course because of the restrictions the government has placed,” Ulinzi head coach Benjamin Nyangweso told Capital Sport.
Being a military side, the team’s motto has always been ‘Soldiers First’ and the nature of their job will definitely require them to be around their stations of work.
A source close to the team says all players and staff members will be put through tests before accessing the facilities at the barracks and anyone found to be exhibiting any symptoms will be immediately sent out to the doctors.
“Everyone entering the camp is screened by medical personnel and if your temperature is found to be abnormal, you are immediately taken for more tests. There are also sanitizing spots all over the camp so definitely issues of health have been well taken care of,” stated the source.
Most Kenyan Premier League clubs have suspended training after a government directive on minimizing groupings and practicing social distancing and the military side might decide to curate programs that limit contact.
Meanwhile, clubs have asked their players to ensure they keep training on their own, with road work and personalized indoor training being some of the ideas being put through.
“We just need to trust the players and hope they do what we have agreed. We have asked them to do a lot of morning and evening runs and now that most gyms are closed, they can work out using their own body mass at home,” Homeboyz coach Nicholas Muyoti stated.
Meanwhile, for more financially endowed clubs like Wazito FC, the training programs are more monitored.
“We have given each player a GPS tracker and we are able to monitor the progress of each player. So anyone who does not follow the stated programs will be found out. We have also asked the players to weigh in everyday and send their weight to the technical team,” Wazito boss Stewart Hall said.
Football will remain at standstill until more directives are issued by the government.