December 6, 2021

Mwendwa: FKF president reveals why Zambia friendly will be key for KPL return

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Kenyan top-flight football has not been played since March owing to the Covid-19 pandemic

Football Kenya Federation president (FKF) Nick Mwendwa has revealed the friendly match against Zambia on Friday, October 9 will be used to convince respective authorities to give the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) the green light to start.

Harambee Stars will host Chipolopolo in a Fifa international friendly, in preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier double-header against Comoros. With football in the country still suspended, the vocal administrator hopes the restrictions will be lifted after the October 9 game.

“The Kenya-Zambia game is a good opportunity for us to show the Government and the Ministry of Sports and Health that we are capable of following the Covid-19 guidelines to the letter,” Mwendwa told Goal .

“If we handle the game well and as advised by relevant authorities, I am confident the Government will give us permission for the league to start. We are very optimistic about that.”

Top-flight football was halted in March owing to the global pandemic and it led to the nullification of the 2019/20 season.

“For taking extra precautions we decided not to have fans for this game, we know that athletics had 2,000 fans but you know with football when the goal goes in, the celebration is mad and we don’t know how we are going to control that,” Mwendwa told  Goal .

“We are going to start slow [in regards to the fans] and then we raise it because we have Comoros in November so let us have this game under tight control, let us test how ready are we for the protocol, let us improve on that, let’s keep the fans away for now.”

Mwendwa continued: “However, the game will be on TV, please grab your StarTimes decoder and watch the game and then we can make a decision on whether to have fans during the Comoros game as we move forward.

“Even in the league for the new season, we have recommended to the Sports Ministry that we will start without the fans and maybe in a couple of months we can have the fans back, we don’t want to be the sport that brought Covid-19 numbers up in Kenya and I think that is reasonable for us and everyone.”