Gor commence title defence against local rivals Tusker

Thursday, October 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Titus Achesa of Sofapaka FC (right) vies for the ball against Martin Ongori of Mathare United during a past Premier Leaugu match at Kasarani Stadium. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Defending champions Gor Mahia face a relatively tricky 2020/21 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) away match against title rivals Tusker upon resumption of the season on November 20.

KPL has proposed November 20 for the league action’s kick off  to enable them operate within the Fifa and Confederation of African Football calendar and are optimistic that the Ministry of Sports would soon give them the green light especially after teams began pre-season training in anticipation for the resumption to action.

After taking on Tusker on November 21, Gor will face another tough-looking fixture against Ulinzi Stars at home on November 28.

Next in line for K’Ogalo will be meeting against Mathare United away on December 5 before taking on Sofapaka away.

This will be one of the toughest ever tests for Gor as they will also be representing Kenya in the Africa Champions League having prematurely been declared the KPL 2020 champions when the season was halted by the government in March due to Covid-19 pandemic.

In contrast, Gor’s arch rivals AFC will be up against what appears modest opposition in five of their fixtures beginning with the November 20 date at home against Western Stima.

Ingwe will then test newly promoted Bidco United away on November 28 before welcoming Zoo Kericho at home on December 4.

Five days later, the big cats will take on Nzoia Sugar away followed by the December 14 clash away to Kisumu All Stars.

The draft fixtures were released by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Governing Council after convening a meeting on October 9.

In a communiqué, the council said: “The general council remains cognizant of the Covid-19 situation in the country and has put in measures that will ensure the league will be conducted within the existing health guidelines in the country to ensure the safety and well being of all involved.”

But while the resumption of the league is good news for Kenyan fans, they certainly will be disappointed to learn that they will not have a chance to watch their favourite teams in action as matches will be played in empty stadia.

The embargo was enforced to curb the spread of the Covid-19 with the sports ministry relaying the directive to football authorities insisting that it should be followed to the letter.

According to FKF president Nick Mwendwa, players will have to be tested before action resumes to ensure their safety in adherence to the government’s directive.

“We will have to test players before the season resumes. We will also enforce strict Covid-19 protocols at all match venues to ensure safety of players and staff.

Fans will only be allowed back once the pandemic evolves positively to guarantee their safety,” said Mwendwa.

Apparently, the return of the top league was precipitated by the success of FKF hosting the international friendly last week in Nairobi in which Harambee Stars beat Zambia 2-1.

KPL and other leagues were suspended indefinitely last March with Gor heading the standings with 54 points after 23 matches and were by then seven points ahead of second placed Kakamega Homeboyz. 

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