NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – Mathare United players and staff underwent a mandatory COVID-19 test before opening their Football Kenya Federation Premier League season away to Sofapaka in Wundanyi on Saturday.
The Triple5bet sponsored Mathare United and Zoo FC were reinstated back to the top-flight league by the Sports Dispute Tribunal after the federation had suspended them over broadcast rights contractual agreement.
Consequently, this saw Mathare United, the 2008 Kenyan champions lag behind by six matches and this means that the Slum Boys will have to try and catch up, as most of their fixtures have been congested into a two-week period.
On the sponsorship, Mathare will have the Triple5bet on their shirts and kits for five years.
“The club can comfortably pay the players and run their activities without a problem, and it is a plus for us, and as a club, we are going to give our best to ensure we challenge for the league title this season,” Mathare United chairman Bob Munro, said.
Four days after the Sofapaka game, Mathare will play host to Zoo FC on January 18 and after that, will welcome Bandari Football Club on the 22nd.
Two more matches will then follow before the month elapses, against Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru on the 27th and against Tusker FC on January 31st.
The Premier League was initially suspended on March 13 as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 after the country reported its first case of the disease.
Regular COVID-19 testing of all players and staff is one of the conditions set by Kenya’s ministries of health and sport before the resumption of the league.
Clubs welcomed the move by Football Kenya Federation to foot the costs of testing, as they pledged to observe the protocols in place to prevent the spread of the disease.