Kenyan Footballers Welfare Association warns national team of suspended

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Harambee Stars players during their 2021 Afcon qualifier match against Togo at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi last year. Photo/PD/David Ndolo

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Kenya faces a possible ban by the continental football body if the national team Harambee Stars does not honour their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers due in November, Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) has warned.

The association is therefore asking the government to reconsider the decision to continue suspending football activities.

 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 Confederation of African Football (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.

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

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

 Situma said footballers have suffered for several months without pay due to the suspension of sports activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “I 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.

 Last Friday, the Sports Cabinet Secretary 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,?” asked Situma.

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