Big blow as Uhuru suspends all sports action indefinitely
President Uhuru Kenyatta interacts with Kenya national women’s volleyball team, Malkia Strikers, during a training session at Mama Ngina Water Front, Mombasa County. [File, Standard]

It is back to partial lockdown in Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru counties with all sporting activities in the country suspended indefinitely as one of the measures to curb spread of coronavirus, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Friday.

The directive came alongside stringent measures curbing movement, suspension of all on-going physical learning in all institutions and indefinite extension of nighttime curfew.

This new order has not only affected this weekend’s Kenya Cup and Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Premier League matches but also next weekend’s FKF Premier League matches and all other Football Kenya Federation related leagues.

Kenya Volleyball Federation’s national league which served off in January will also put its activities on hold as well as the Kenya Hockey Union whose leagues were set to start next month.

Olympic-bound Kenyan athletes will also be affected by this announcement.

The sporting industry was first shut in March last year when the first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Kenya before sports gradually returned to action after the cases started dropping.

But with a recent surge in infections, the president has been forced to reintroduce the measures.

“That all sporting activities are hereby suspended, similarly operations of sporting and recreational facilities including Members Clubs are suspended until it is otherwise directed,” said Uhuru in Friday’s state of the nation address.

When contacted, FKF president Nick Mwendwa said his federation will abide by the government’s directive.

“We will stop the FKF Premier League and all our other leagues. Life is more important,” Mwendwa told The Standard Sport.

Big blow as Uhuru suspends all sports action indefinitely
FKF President Nick Mwendwa (left) and Kenneth Muguna during the unveiling of Odi bets as a Motivation partner for the Harambee Stars on March 8, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

In a statement, Kenya Rugby Union responded to the announcement by saying: “Following the president directive putting a halt to all sporting activity as part of a wider Covid-19 mitigation strategy, the Kenya Rugby Union hereby suspends the Kenya Cup League until further notice.

“We regret any inconvenience caused to all our stakeholders, notably clubs, players, fans and our broadcast partner.

“We thank the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Health, all our supporters and the Kenya Rugby fraternity at large for the support they have shown us during this trying period and our safe return to rugby.”

In football, joint National Super League leaders Talanta were supposed to clash with Murang’a Seal in Murang’a today as Mwatate United were to host Kisumu Hot Stars in Wundanyi.

Eight matches had been lined up tomorrow with the highlight being the match between third-placed MCF and Shabana in Migori.

In rugby, Kenya Cup leaders Kabras Sugar were to welcome Kenyatta University’s Blak Blad at the Kakamega Showground in one of the matches today while defending champions KCB were to tackle Nakuru at KCB Sports Club.

In basketball, Ulinzi Warriors were expected to face off with Kenya ports Authority at Nyayo.

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