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President Uhuru Kenyatta: All sporting activities in Kenya are suspended

President Uhuru Kenyatta awards the Magical Kenya Open 2021 winner Justin Harding after the conclusion of the Tournament at the Karen Country Club in Nairobi on March 21, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The Kenyan Government suspended all sporting activities in the country due to the spread of COVID-19 infections, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on Friday.

In a televised address, Uhuru announced new lockdown measures, including curfew adjustment for high-risk counties (Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Nakuru and Kiambu), the suspension of in-person schooling and the closing of bars in the high-risk counties.

"Whereas the foregoing measures will have a negative impact on the economy, these measures are temporary ... the cost of not acting now will be far much greater," the President said from State House, flanked by masked officials.

“All sporting activities are hereby suspended similarly operation of sporting and recreational facilities including members club are suspended until it is otherwise directed.”

The Friday directive will now have a huge impact on Kenyan Premier League, the Kenya Cup, the Kenya Basketball League and the National Volleyball League which were all underway.

Considering that Kenya is now at the beginning of a new wave of the disease, Uhuru said the positive test rate hit 22% this week compared to January's 2%.

So far, the Kenyan health authorities have confirmed 2,092 coronavirus-related deaths, 1,443,701 infections and 91,289 recoveries.

Following the President’s directive, Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) suspended the Kenya Cup League until further notice.

The statement from KRU. [Photo: Courtesy]

In March 2020, the Ministry of Sports called for the cessation of sports competitions and in September 2020, released guidelines for resumption of sporting events in the country.

The Ministry of Sports gave football, volleyball and hockey the green light to resume their activities.

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Football, volleyball, hockey, basketball and all other low-risk contact sports resumed their Premier League’s training and competitions, strictly in compliance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

The FKF Premier League action took place behind closed doors and the fresh suspension leaves Tusker FC on top of the standings with KCB and AFC Leopards second and third respectively.

[Photo: Courtesy]

The low-risk contact sports joined non-contact sporting activities like athletics, golf, badminton, archery, motor-sports and cricket in the category of the disciplines that resumed their activities.

More to follow…

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