Kenya National Football Coaches’ Association and the Kenya Footballer’s Welfare Association have moved to ask the government to allow return of football in the country.- By Enock Mukoma
KEFWA chairman James Situma called on the government to lift the suspension soon so that the leagues can resume. This, he added, will allow the national team coach to select a squad and prepare adequately for the qualifiers.
Situma statement follows the government return to sports protocol that extended suspension of contact sports
“All contact sports [including football] will remain banned until further notice,” Mohamed said on Friday while issuing the final guidelines to sport’s resumption. “However, all non-contact sports will reopen in a phased manner.”
Situma argues by resuming the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), it will give Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi an easy time to pick the team for the Afcon qualifiers.
“Footballers have suffered for several months without pay due to the suspension of sporting activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic because their source of livelihood that is football had been affected by non-activities,” Situma told mediaon Monday.
“I am humbly calling on the government to act fast in lifting the suspension so footballers can continue earning. Without the resumption of football even sponsors will shy away from funding the sport, please allow football to resume.
“Other countries in the world have already started their leagues, and in the East Africa region, the Tanzania league is currently on [in fact it was played to the end and now has resumed], Uganda has set kick-off dates, same as Rwanda, why is Kenya an exception, why can’t we play football?” questioned Situma.
Elsewhere the coaches body KENFOCA, has also weighed in asking government to reconsider the suspension
Through their interim chairman coach Matano, charged that“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.
“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