Players’ Association Urges Gov’t To Lift Ban On Sports As Kenya Risks Exclusion From International Football

Harambee Stars [Photo/Courtesy]

Kenya faces a possible ban by the continental bodies if Kenya’s national football team Harambee Stars does not honour their 2021 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers due in November because of the current suspension on sporting activities.

The Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA), expressed their fears of Kenya getting banned and asked the government to reconsider the decision.

KEFWA chairman James Situma called on the government to lift the suspension soon so that the leagues can resume allowing the national team coach to be able to select a squad and prepare adequately for the qualifiers.

A statement from CAF said the 2021 AFCON qualifiers will be held between November 2020 and March 2021.

In March, CAF postponed upcoming AFCON qualifying matches due to the coronavirus after the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic. The qualifiers were scheduled to kick off from March 25-31.

Read: New Dates For Harambee Stars International Assignments Released

“For Cameroon 2021, the qualifiers resume on 9-17 November 2020 with the Day 3 and 4 matches whilst the penultimate and ultimate matches take place on 22-30 March 2021.”

The 2021-22 CAF Africa Champions League kick-off on November 20th, where Kenya will be represented by 19 times Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia whose preparations may be affected by failure to resume training and preparations due to the suspension of contact sports.

In March this year, the government banned gatherings, including sports as one of the moves aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

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Situma said footballers have suffered for several months without pay due to the suspension of sports activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic because their source of livelihood that is football had been affected by non-activities.

“Am calling on the government to act fast in lifting the suspension so that footballers can continue earning. Without the resumption of football even sponsors will shy away from funding the sport,” he said.

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Last Friday, the CS said only non-contact sports will be allowed to resume after months of suspension, but in a phased manner.

“Other countries in the world have already started their leagues, and in the East Africa region Tanzania league is currently on (in fact it was played to the end and now has resumed), Uganda has set kick-off dates same as Rwanda, why is Kenya an exception, why can’t we play football?” questioned Situma.

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Written by Bonface Osano

Communication And Media Student. Sports Writer.


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