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Sigh of relief as Kenyan government lifts stadium ban

11:20 BST 23/10/2021
Gor Mahia fans rally behind their team as they battled against AFC Leopards
The local supporters had been denied entry for over a year since the state took the move that was aimed at curbing the Covid-19 spread

Football supporters in Kenya can now breathe a sigh of relief after the government lifted their stadium ban.

Although the state has allowed two-thirds the capacity of the stadium, the fans are likely to rejoice over the move since they have been out of sporting facilities since last year when they were barred from watching games live at the venues, as the government took mitigation measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Green light

"Following the president's directive on Mashujaa Day revising some of the Covid-19 protocols and subsequent discussions between the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Amina Mohamed, and the CS for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, spectators will now be allowed into stadiums," a statement obtained by Goal read on Saturday.

"The event organizers are expected to ensure they utilize up to 2/3rds capacity of the stadia. However, each event organiser, must comply with the requirements of the local and international federations regarding spectators.

"We want to ensure that moving forward that is the case ]vaccination], but not just coming into the country, we also want to ensure that those participating in the country are also fully vaccinated.

"Those sitting in the stands are vaccinated or tested, and with those kinds of measures, we are sure we can continue fully opening up the country."

The Premier League, the National Super League and the lower tiers have already started their 2021/22 campaigns. The lifting of the ban comes a few days after Kenya's most popular club fixture; the Mashemeji Derby was played on Wednesday, where Gor Mahia emerged winners with a 1-0 margin after Boniface Omondi scored their 87th goal in the most contested Premier League fixture.

On Friday, Gor Mahia announced up to 10,000 fans will be allowed to watch their Caf Confederation Cup game on Sunday at Nyayo Stadium against Al-Ahly Merowe. K'Ogalo are enjoying a 3-1 first-leg advantage and the return of their fans should be a motivating factor going into the Sunday clash.