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No fans for Harambee Stars match against Zambia

Last updated 5 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

Harambee Stars players Victor Wanyama and Michael Olunga when the team arrived from Egypt on November 16, 2019. [FKF Media]

The international friendly match between Harambee Stars and Zambia's Chipolopolo on Friday at Nyayo National Stadium will be played behind closed doors, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has confirmed.

And having vowed to fully adhere to coronavirus protocols, the federation has put plans in place for the 4pm match to be beamed live on StarTimes TV, their new broadcasting partners.

While Francis Kimanzi's men - who started residential camp on Sunday - will be using the match to prepare for next month's two-legged 2021 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers tie against Comoros, the federation will be testing their readiness for FKF Premier League kick off.

Football activities have been shut for more than six months since the first case of Covid-19 infection was reported in Kenya in March.

"We are back for the first time in many months. This is a big job because we need to get the players fit and ready. But generally, I'm happy football is back and Nyayo is also back after three years," said Mwendwa.

Harambee Stars player Kenneth Muguna at a past training session at Kasarani. [Jonah Onyango]

"For taking extra precautions, we decided not to have fans for this game. We know that athletics had 2,000 fans, but you know with football when a goal goes in, the celebration is mad and we don't know how we will behave with that.

"But we want to start slowly and then raise it because we have Comoros game in November. So, let's have this game under tight control; let's test how ready are we for the protocols and improve on it.

He added: "Even our recommendations on the FKF Premier League is that we will be starting without fans and maybe after a couple of months we will bring them back.

"We don't want to be the spot. I'm hoping that now the ministry of sports and health have allowed us to play this game, once we show that we can implement the protocol this Friday we can have authorization for the league to return." 

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