FKF confirms Kenya vs Comoros to be played behind closed doors

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Joash Onyango of Kenya and Harambee Stars.
Goal Kenya.
The local federation has confirmed the Afcon qualifier pitting the Harambee Stars against the islanders will be played without fans

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has confirmed the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match pitting Kenya's Harambee Stars against Comoros will be played without fans.

The local federation was yet to confirm whether fans will be allowed into the stadium owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, in a poster advertising the match, which will be played on November 11 at Kasarani Stadium, the federation has confirmed fans will not be allowed to attend but will have the chance to watch the game live on TV.

“New week, a new challenge,” read the banner from FKF on their social media pages. “Watch us from home as we take on Comoros, back-to-back. The game will kick off at 19:00 [East African time] and it will be live on TV.

“However, no fans will be allowed, it will be played behind closed doors.”

In an earlier interview, FKF President Nick Mwendwa revealed to Goal why they had decided to play the qualifier at Kasarani Stadium.

“We had planned to have the qualifier played at the refurbished Nyayo Stadium but it will not be the case because the lights at the venue are not in order, so we have been forced to push the match to Kasarani,” Mwendwa told Goal.

“The match will kick-off at 19:00 and it will be played under floodlights, we have already confirmed the Kasarani lights are working well, so the match will be played there but under strict Covid-19 rules.”

It will be Kenya’s first match under new coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee, who was appointed a month ago to take over the mantle after the FKF parted ways with former coach Francis Kimanzi on mutual agreement.

Two days ago, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) set guidelines ahead of the resumption of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Afcon qualifiers had been suspended since the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year which wreaked havoc across the world. The last qualifiers were played in November 2019, as the games scheduled for March this year were postponed due to Covid-19.

In the guidelines, Caf revealed that the qualifiers will be played without the fans but also gave an exception to the rule.

“According to Caf's Covid-19 protocol, all matches must be played behind closed doors, without spectators,” read the Caf statement seen by Goal.

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“However, if the government of the host Association wants spectators to be present, then the Association in question will need to obtain Caf's approval.

“In the event of exceptional situations other than those mentioned above, the Organizing Committee will be consulted for a final decision.”

Kenya are currently second in Group G after managing two draws from their first two matches, 1-1 against Egypt and the same scoreline against Togo.