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Contact sports to hold-up

Last updated 5 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi

Malkia Strikers setter Jane Wacu prepares to serve during a past match. [FIVB]

Football, rugby, volleyball, basketball and other contact sports will have to wait a little longer for action restart following Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed's latest directive on sports resumption protocols.

The sporting industry has been shut for over six months since the first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Kenya in March.

While all outdoor recreational, non-contact sporting activities, private fitness clubs and other sporting clubs will reopen immediately in a phased manner but in compliance with Ministry of Health guidelines, water sports and all under 18 sports remain suspended until further notice.

Athletics, golf, badminton, archery, motor-sports and cricket are among the non-contact sports that will reopen while keenly observing the containment measures.

But it wasn't a good day for football and volleyball enthusiasts whose federations were plotting to start the new season next month.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) had already lined up a two legged Kenyan Premier League (KPL) promotion and relegation playoffs match between Kisumu All Stars and Vihiga United on October 7 and 11 as first matches in the post-Covid-19 football return formula.

Next month's international friendly match between Harambee Stars and Chipolopolo of Zambia hangs in the balance.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohamed. (Collins Oduor, Standard)

Speaking during yesterday's virtual launch of the resumption to sports and recreational activities guidelines, Amina said the management of all sports federations, training camps, sports academies, sports facilities and other sports institutions shall ensure enforcement and compliance of the Covid-19 guidelines.

While reminding all federations to submit their respective revised international event calendars to the Principal Secretary for Sports on or before September 30, 2020, for planning purpose, Amina said national teams participating in international events in the water sports or contact sports categories will be required to seek special exemption from Government.

"The Commissioner of Sports will work with national teams and athletes representing Kenya in international events to advise and guide on national and international compliance of Covid-19 regulations before departure and re-entry into the country," said Amina.

"Support from government will prioritise Team Kenya events in a manner to be determined by the Ministry and federations.

She added: "Further, all sports events shall be planned and executed in accordance with the Ministry of Health Covid-19 directives. "Testing will not be mandatory but where required, the cost shall be met by federations, sports organisations."

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