Pressure growing on the Kenyan government to allow the resumption of sports activities

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu

Kenya Sevens head coach Innocent Simiyu has joined the list of growing individuals calling for the return of sporting activities in the country.

Simiyu pleaded with the government to heed to their requests promising to practice the Covid-19 protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health.

He narrated the players’ woos, saying they are struggling to meet their daily needs citing sports as their full-time job.

“Currently most of the players earn their living through sports and many more at the rugby grassroots depend on rugby to earn their living.”

“There are a lot of players who’re not in the national team, so our prayer to the government is to find a solution so that the players can resume and earn a living out of the game,” noted Simiyu.

The same was echoed by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Women Premier League clubs.

“Football is a source of livelihood for us, it’s a way of life and our identity. Therefore, we would like to plead with the government to allow the safe resumption of football,” said Fauzia Kaunjeri, who plies her trade Mathare United.

FKF boss Nick Mwendwa also revealed to Goal that the federation had written to the government seeking to have the league resumed under the tight Covid-19 rules.

“I am sure it will not take time, the league will return soon, all they want us to do is what we have been doing before, we are ready to improve where we failed and our intentions are to have action back,” the Goal quoted Mwendwa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, on March 26, banned all sporting activities until further notice to avert the third wave of the Covid-19 in the country.

The directive recently forced the FKF to call off a friendly match between Kenyan queens Harambee Starlets Zambia’s Copper Queens. The game was scheduled to take place on April 24 in Lusaka.

Starlets were set to use the match for preparation ahead of the upcoming AWCON 2022 and FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, whereas Zambia is now preparing for Tokyo Olympics.

“Regrettably, sir, we wish to inform you that we are yet to receive the greenlight from the government/Ministry of Sports to resume training in preparation for the friendly match and in view of the aforementioned and coupled with the travel restrictions outside the country placed on the national teams by the Ministry of Sports, we wish to request for the cancellation of the planned friendly match,” FKF said in its letter to the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ).

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