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Kenfoca interim chairman Robert Matano. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

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Kenfoca chief Matano pleads with Sports Ministry to allow football back

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 20 – Kenya Football Coaches Association (Kenfoca) interim chairman Robert Matano ‘The Lion’ is an angry man.

The Kenfonca boss is calling on the Ministry of Sports to review the final COVID-19 sports resumption protocols which locked out all contact sports including football in the country.

Matano wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene ostensibly to salvage the plight of hundreds of coaches and players who have gone jobless since the pandemic restrictions were effected earlier in the year.

All has not been well in football circles following the recent directive of the Ministry of Sports to further to close football in the country until further notice.

Matano said the decision will only cause more harm to players and coaches who have remained jobless since April when football in the country was stopped in efforts to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

On Friday, the football fraternity had waiting with bated breath for the beautiful game to resume, but their hearts were broken when Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced that all contact sports, football included remain suspended over pandemic issues.

“As sports people our lives belong to football, and we are paid for what we do. I don’t see the sense in barring football from returning under containment measures laid out by the Ministry of Health yet we are seeing politicians breaking the same rules and attracting huge crowds countrywide, this is double speaking,” Matano lamented.

He added; “Football tournaments are being organised all over the country by politicians, the same players playing are the ones in the Kenyan Premier League , so I appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to allow us back considering the fact many other things are moving on. At the moment, our fate as football players and coaches hangs in the balance and we’ve been left to continue cooling our heals after all the difficult times we have had to contend with.”

“COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay, so we should just manage our lives by ensuring nothing stops us from our daily grind,” Matano told Capital Sport.

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Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed speaks during a function at the Nyayo National Stadium. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The announcement by CS Amina means that plans by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) commence the new season of Kenyan Premier League in October remain uncertain same as the conclusion of the Shield fixtures.

Its also creates a dent for Harambee Stars head coach Francis Kimanzi who is yet to assemble a team that is scheduled to face Comoros in a back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Qualifiers.

In other countries including neighbouring Tanzania football resumed and concluded the season while in countries like South Africa the same is played under stringent COVID-19 health protocols.

On September 26, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to give directions on the set containment measures after the expiry of 30 days.

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