FKF to fund teams implement football resumption protocols

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has revealed part of the COVID-19 relief fund from the world football governing body FIFA will be spent in implementing some of the protocols for the resumption of the sport in the country.

According to Mwendwa, FIFA has given an initial Sh. 50 million, with another tranche set to be released later in 2021.

From the preliminary protocols announced by the Ministry of Sports for sports activities resumption a fortnight ago, it clear an unprecedented financial burden will be on clubs and teams participating in various events.

“We are hoping that by mid September our players can be back to training, which must be preceded by a round of testing. If all goes well another round of testing will be done before they get into proper football competitions as we hope to kickoff the season around October 20. In the view of this, a lot of money is needed for the tests, fumigation of stadia among other protocols involved,” said Mwendwa.

The Kenyan Premier League, the National Super League and the Kenyan Women Premier League will be given priority in the process of resumption, according to the FKF boss.

“We will not have fans in the stadium for at least initial four months, as we monitor the situation of course with the guidance of the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health,” Mwendwa said adding a detailed report of their proposals to the Ministry will be submitted this week.

Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed invited stakeholders to give their views on the report by a taskforce she had appointed to develop the general guidelines to return to sports, put on hold since March 2020 after the first case of COVID-19 in the country.

On the same note, Mwendwa emphasised on the need to have players back to training soonest possible with national team Harambee Stars calendar in mind.

“The new dates for the African Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON) are out and Harambee Stars will be in action in November. Our local players have not been playing for such a long time and our coaches will need to see them playing ahead of the qualifiers. We want to ensure we qualify for the AFCCON and build from where we reached in the 2019 Egypt finals,” he noted.

The qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations are set to resume in November while those of the next stage for the 2022 World Cup will begin in May 2021, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Wednesday.

In March, CAF postponed upcoming AFCON qualifying matches that were slated for March 25-31.

Only foreign based players in Asia, Europe, America and few African countries have played competitive football since March, and at least a month in action for their local counterparts would be important for the technical bench in selection.

Kenya has two points following draws against Egypt and Togo, in a group led by their next opponents Comoros who beat Togo away to Lome before drawing Egypt at home.