NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The Football Kenya Federation is planning to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine passport that will be used by coaches, players and officials to access match venues as a new measure towards ensuring the virus is kept out of sports.
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa says they are in discussion about the idea, even as all Nairobi-based BetKing Premier League clubs received the first dose of their vaccines on Saturday at the Kasarani Gymnasium.
“Every vaccination comes with a unique number. We will issue COVID-19 passports from FKF. You will not be able to access any football venue without the COVID passport. This way then, everyone will be vaccinated and chances of spreading the virus within football will be low,” Mwendwa said.
With all Nairobi based clubs vaccinated as well as Ulinzi Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz, the rest of the clubs will receive their vaccines by Tuesday next week while Mwendwa says the rest of the levels of the game will be vaccinated by end of week.
He also hopes that with the exercise underway, then the Government can allow them to continue with the leagues.
“We want to ask the ministry to allow us back to play by the 24th of this month. It’s a critical time for football, but we also understand that COVID is real and of concern concern and that’s why as football we have taken it seriously. We are spending lots of money to ensure that all COVID protocols are implemented,” Mwendwa says.
He adds; “Our plea to the government is that in two weeks, we will be ready to play. We want to be given any other condition that we can do and we will show that we can be responsible to ensure there are no infections.”
Players and coaches have also asked the government to allow football to return, saying their sources of livelihood stand at a risk of being wiped out if the stoppage continues.
“We have been vaccinated now and I believe this is a first step to show that we can go back responsibly. Football is our job, football is our source of livelihood and without it we are really struggling,” Tusker FC head coach, also the Kenya National Football Coaches (KENFOCA) chairman stated.
Gor Mahia midfielder Kenneth Muguna noted; “We want to plead with the government to allow us back because we have been observing all the protocols that have been put in place and now that we have been vaccinated, it is a good step for us to show that we are ready to return.”
Meanwhile, Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia says the Ministry is continually updating the National Emergency Response Committee (NERC) on the steps sports is taking and he is hopeful their recommendations will be considered.
“For us we cannot do much. It is the President who closed down everything and suspended sports so we have to wait for him to make his address and tell us whether it is okay to open up again,” Kinuthia said.