Mwendwa: FKF will continue to engage government over league resumption

FKF President Nick Mwendwa.
Ken Okaka.
The local federation boss remains confident they will reach an agreement with the government soon to resume football in the country

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has promised to continue with their push to have the government lift the ban on football and have the 2020-21 FKF Premier League campaign kick off.

The Kenyan government, through the Cabinet Secretary of Sports Amina Mohamed, confirmed a month ago contact sports, including football, will remain suspended until further notice owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though the government later allowed the FKF to stage a friendly between Kenya and Zambia, and despite several pleas from stakeholders to have the ban lifted, the same government has remained mum on the matter.

But speaking on Saturday after clinching a second term to run football in the country, FKF president Nick Mwendwa has told Goal that they will continue to engage the government to allow them to resume action but in an organised manner.

“We are still talking to the government and I want to request them to help us open football but under protocols set by the Ministry of Health and start the league matches,” Mwendwa told Goal at Safari Park Hotel.

“We want to make sure our league starts in November 20, because it is the only date that can allow us to finish the season well on time, we don’t have much time left, we want to have a cautious approach towards resuming football and that is why we are pleading with the government to guide us, we will continue to talk to them.”

Elsewhere in East Africa, the Tanzanian league is already going on while the government of Uganda also lifted the ban on sporting activities and social gatherings, a move which allowed the Federation of Uganda of Football Association (Fufa) to set November 20 as the date to resume the 2020-21 season.

The FKF has already issued draft fixtures for the new campaign with the highlight being the Mashemeji derby, which will see AFC Leopards hosting rivals Gor Mahia in the first round battle on March 6, 2021, at Nyayo Stadium, before the second round duel set for the same venue on May 23, 2021.

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On Saturday, the 41-year-old clinched another term to run Kenyan football for another four years after he managed 77 votes out of the 85 cast to trounce his four opponents in what turned out to be a one-sided exercise held at a Nairobi Hotel.

Former Gor Mahia CEO Omondi Aduda with his running mate Athanas Obango came second with just five votes. Herbert Mwachiro, who once served as the FKF deputy CEO alongside Harold Ndege, who is a former Kenya international, walked home with three votes.

Journalist Boniface Osano and his running mate had nothing to smile about since they walked home empty-handed, same as Dan Mule, who had presented Peter Lichungu as his running mate.