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Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa adressing a past press conference. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Football

FKF to cater for COVID-19 testing ahead of eagerly anticipated football return

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has said the Federation will cater for the costs of the initial COVID-19 tests that will allow teams to resume training following a five month shutdown occasioned by the pandemic.

Mwendwa says the Federation has already submitted its proposals for the return to football and are only waiting for a go-ahead to allow the teams resume training on September 15.

“As far as testing is concerned, we are negotiating with several providers to see if and how we can provide testing for our players, officials and referees. We want to make sure that it’s done for all teams together so that it can be cheaper for us,” Mwendwa told Capital Sport.

The Ministry of Sports last week unveiled a raft of measures that will be adhered to, to ensure a safe return of sporting action as the country also grapples to contain the coronavirus.

Among the mandatory requirements set out by the committee led by Chief Administrative Secretary Noor Hassan is testing of all players and officials.

The issue of the cost of testing proved to be a huge concern for Federations. But now, FKF have taken the partnership approach to see how they will make the burden lighter for clubs.

The Federation says it will ensure its protocols are followed to the latter, with an October 23 date set for a possible return to competitive action in the Kenyan Premier League.

“After testing we will fumigate all facilities and we will also have protocol officers in every stadium to supervise clubs and ensure they have the right procedures in place. This is a big job for FKF to get done and ensure a safe and healthy return to sports with all CAF, FIFA and Ministry of Health regulations adhered to,” Mwendwa added.

Meanwhile, the Federation boss says the return to competitive action will be devoid of fans and approximates that this can go on for the next six months.

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“We will not have fans maybe until April so that we can ensure the safety standards are up to scratch and achieved to the fullest. From there hopefully fans can be back in the stadium and we can begin seeing the return of football in its fullness,” says the Federation boss.

At the same time, he remains optimistic that once teams resume training, the remaining games of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield matches will be completed to allow Kenya to front a team for the CAF Confederations Cup.

CAF has set an October 20 deadline for all Member Associations (MAs) to forward teams which will play in continental football next season. Already, after the Federation declared an end to all domestic leagues, Gor Mahia’s name was forwarded to play in the Champions League.

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