Coronavirus: FKF announce KPL suspension

Tusker FC v AFC Leopards.
Tusker FC.
The federation has taken the move as a measure to help curb the spread of Covid-19 after one case was reported in the country

The Kenyan Premier League will be suspended indefinitely from Monday as a response to the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Kenya, the Football Kenya Federation confirmed on Friday.

The weekend's fixtures will take place as planned, behind closed doors, but future games will not take place until further notice.

The Shield Cup and National Super League matches scheduled for this weekend will go ahead as planned despite coronavirus fears, while lower league football has been suspended and pre-match handshakes have been banned.

“Following the confirmation of the first coronavirus [Covid -19] case in Kenya, Football Kenya Federation has suspended indefinitely, FKF grass-root football competitions and women leagues that include the Kenya Women Premier League, Women Division One League, all FKF Branch Leagues, National Division One League, National Division Two League, FKF grassroot sanctioned tournaments and Academies competitions,” the FKF statement began.

“However, all Kenyan Premier League, National Super League, and the FKF Cup fixtures scheduled for this weekend will kick off as planned, behind closed doors but will remain suspended indefinitely from Monday, March 16, 2020.

“As a precautionary measure, there will be no pre and post-match handshakes in the said fixtures and fans will not be allowed in and around the stadium.”

The federation has also urged local clubs to take great care with certain activities.

“Further, FKF advises all clubs, both at the national and grassroot level to cancel and/or suspend non-essential activities that include but are not limited to open training sessions, unplanned fan engagements and unnecessary team travels,” FKF added.

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With Kenya's African Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Comoros late in March hanging in the balance, the FKF have offered assurances they will work closely with the relevant authorities and will publish further information in the near future.

“The federation is actively monitoring the development of the coronavirus in Kenya and beyond, and continues to liaise with the Kenyan government, Caf and Fifa in the execution of both the domestic and international football matches, and will continue to give a timely update of the same,” the statement concluded. “The aforementioned decision has been reached to safeguard the safety of all football players, technical staff, fans, and the general Kenyan public.”

The government confirmed one case has already been reported in Kenya on Friday and gave orders to stop all sporting activities.