The national football team Harambee Stars hosted Zambia’s Chipolopolo in a friendly match at the newly reopened Nyayo National Stadium. This was the first major competitive match in the country after sports activities were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, which was spreading fast across the world.
The match coming after nearly seven months of inactivity was good news to the football fans who have been watching action only on TV, while their own footballers were forced to do other things to make ends meet as contact sport is still suspended.
Hosting the match successfully yesterday was therefore not just about how Stars would play after months of inactivity, but it was more about how the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) could host a match and observe required health protocols. Sports men and women have suffered due to inactivity, and yesterday was an opportunity to show world football governing body Fifa and the Ministry of Health that a match of that magnitude can be organised without breaking Covid-19 protocols.
It was good to see that fans were not allowed into the stadium, since it can be difficult to control them like when the athletics Continental Tour went down at the same venue.
After yesterday’s match we hope FKF will convince the Health ministry that football is ready for a return. It was a good start, but we should do more under the current circumstances ahead of other international matches like the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, coming up next month.