Government imposes a one-month international travel ban on Kenyan athletes

Hamilton C3 ventilator machines at one of the rooms at the upgraded wing of Mbagathi hospital, Nairobi in preparedness for handling any cases of the deadly coronavirus, that was launched by the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, March 6th,2020 [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

The Ministry of Sports has banned Kenyan athletes from traveling to any international Sports events for the next 30 days following the global outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus).

In a letter sent to all sporting organizations, local sportsmen and sportswomen will not be permitted to travel to international competitions for the “safeguard of the public and the country at large.”

"Following the global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the government has put in place measures to deal with the situation to safeguard the public and the country at large," a statement from Ministry of Sports, Culture, and Heritage said.

"In this regard, the Ministry wishes to inform you that there will be no more travel for international events until further notice and notably for the next one (1) month.

"Additionally, note that the earlier communication by the Cabinet Secretary for Health on local events of international nature applies."

The ban now means Harambee Stars' next away match against Comoros on March 29 has been called off.

Football Kenya Federation had earlier written to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) seeking postponement of Harambee Stars’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Comoros.

This owing to the Ministry of Health’s directive against all meetings, conferences, and events of international nature in Kenya.

Harambee Stars’ match was slated for Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The team had kicked off preparations on Monday this week.

Harambee Stars were already facing a challenge over the availability of stars’ strikers Michael Olunga and Masoud Juma.

H.E. Raila Odinga met International footballer Michael Olunga who he briefed me on the upcoming tournament that he is hosting which is slated to take place in Nairobi and Homabay Counties

Olunga, who plays in Japan and Algerian-based Juma are in countries that have confirmed cases of coronavirus.

 "I can confirm that we have a number of top players who will not make it for the Comoros game because of the coronavirus outbreak," Mwendwa said on Monday.

FILE: Kenyan duo Kipchoge and Kosgei win London Marathon

In the next month, Kenyans athletes are expected to participate in a number of international sporting events and now if the ban is stretched past these dates, athletes like Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei could miss the chance of defending their London Marathon crowns slated for 26 April.