Players’ fitness levels will come to test as the FKF Premier League is set to resume this weekend with eight matches on the card after almost a seven-week break.
Government suspended all sporting activities for the second time on March 26 due to the surge in Covid-19 infections.
The directive came just when the league was taking shape with each team having played at least 14 matches (three less than halfway mark).
The eagerly awaited resumption of the league is not only a sigh of relief to players who have been struggling financially due to pay cut and lack of allowances, but also to the federation who are racing against time to make sure the league ends on time and submit the winners’ name to CAF (Champions League) before the set deadline of June 30.
And yesterday, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed disclosed to Standard Sports that her ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health are working around the clock to issue guidelines ahead of the league’s resumption.
This follows President Uhuru Kenyattta’s directive on Labour Day on the return to action of sports in the country in compliance with the two ministries’ regulations.
“As directed by the President, we are still in consultation with the Ministry of Health on sports resumption guidelines. We are working on the protocols very urgently and if everything is ready, we will release the guidelines in the next few hours. And if we release them following those protocols, it will be possible for the league to resume tomorrow (today),” said Amina.
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“Everybody has been recalled to the office to ensure we complete the protocols on time. We want to see if it will be possible for the league to resume tomorrow.”
But having failed to secure Kasarani Stadium (Main and warm-up) for this weekend’s fixtures, the federation said Nairobi-based teams will play their matches in Narok, Ruaraka, World Hope Centre and Utalii Grounds.
“Although we have not yet received the permission to resume with league action from the Ministry of Sports, we are more than ready (for action). We have not received the clearance to host matches at Kasarani Stadium, but we are pleased to have secured Narok, World Hope, Utalii and Ruaraka grounds as venues for matches within Nairobi and its environs,” said the official who sought anonymity.
Title-chasing Kariobangi Sharks are expected to host Kakamega Homeboyz at Utalii today (3pm), just a day before league leaders Tusker face a test of character when they collide with second-placed KCB at Ruaraka Grounds.
Tusker coach Robert Matano said they’re ready.