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Coronavirus: FKF call for Caf to postpone Kenya qualifier laudable – Kisaghi

22:04 GMT+3 13/03/2020
FKF President Nick Mwendwa and ODi Bet.
The ex-international praises Kenya FA for taking a bold step to ask the African body to call off their tie against the Islanders

Mike Kisaghi has lauded the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for taking a bold stand and request Caf to postpone their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying match against Comoros owing to the coronavirus.

Kenya’s Harambee Stars were lined up to play a two-legged qualifier against the Islanders, the first meeting in Nairobi on March 25 with the second leg originally scheduled for March 29.

But with the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping across the world, FKF under the leadership of Nick Mwendwa, wrote to the African body seeking to have the two matches called off until normalcy is restored.

Mwendwa further went on to threaten that Kenya will give away a walkover to Comoros if Caf did not move to call off the qualifier.

The former Harambee Stars and Gor Mahia keeper has now praised the stance taken by Mwendwa on the two matches.

“It was a brave and wise decision from [Mwendwa] and FKF because playing in such a condition is to risk the lives of the players,” Kisaghi told Goal.

“The situation is currently getting out of hand, it was good for FKF to stick the ground and ask for a postponement.

“As you can see, the pandemic is sweeping across the world and to get our players from Europe to play here was going to be a tough call. Also, most of the players in the Comoros squad play in France, and it is among the countries most affected by the virus.

“For example, Kenya could have likely missed striker Michael [Olunga] because in Japan, they have postponed all the leagues, and also Kenya have banned flights from the country to land at JKIA.”

On Friday, Caf postponed the qualifying matches indefinitely in order to protect the health and safety of stakeholders including players, sponsors, match officials, and broadcasters.

The games were initially fixed to take place between March 25 and March 31 across various countries on the continent.

Several football competitions including major European leagues and the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying fixtures in Asia and South America have also been suspended due to the spread of the pandemic.