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Kariobangi Sharks defender clears the ball during their BetKing Premier League match against Mathare United at the Kasarani Annex on March 11, 2021. PHOTO| Timothy Olobulu

Football

FKF considering vaccinating players, officials for leagues to resume

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa says they are considering the possibility of vaccinating all top flight players and officials for the BetKing Premier League to resume.

Mwendwa has confirmed he has started the conversation with Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the quickest return of football.

President Uhuru Kenyatta last Friday announced the stoppage of all sporting activities in a raft of measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

But, Mwendwa believes that sports can be allowed back, with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) also engaging the government to allow Team Kenya athletes for the Tokyo Olympics to resume training at their Kasarani and Kenyatta University residential camps.

“I have spoken with the CS and she says if we can implement some things then we can see whether we can go back. We have been playing without fans and she says we can continue same way. She is also keen that we come back quickly. She is keen that we vaccinate all our players and officials and she is planning on that then we can resume as we continue with the Covid protocols,” Mwendwa said.

All the leagues were being played behind closed doors with stringent COVID protocols including sanitization of dressing rooms and an extremely limited number of fans, restricted to 40 per team.

Mwendwa says that the national team’s performance in June during the World Cup qualifiers will be heavily dependent on whether the leagues will be allowed back.

“We saw how sharp the players were against Egypt and Togo and it is because of having a competitive league. We must have the league back soonest possible and hopefully we can do it,” Mwendwa offered.

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Harambee Stars head coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee was also of the same opinion and has asked the government to see ways in which they can allow football back.

“I was a bit worried when it was announced that the league will be halted but I have some hope because of the talks between the FKF president and the CS. If we have no league then it will be a huge blow for us because players will not have a place to show themselves and keep their fitness,” the coach noted.

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