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Restore football activities, State told

Uriri MP; Nyamitta says it is double standards to allow political activities and ban sports

In Summary

• Uriri MP Mark Nyamitta said it is double standards to ban football games, which is an economic activity to many, while huge political gatherings are facilitated by the same government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to address the nation on reopening the economy on September 28.

Participants of 21 km race during 2017 Standard Chartered Marathon /OLIVER MORGAN
Participants of 21 km race during 2017 Standard Chartered Marathon /OLIVER MORGAN

A lawmaker is piling pressure on the government to restore football activities owing to the country’s plummeting Covid19 numbers.

Uriri MP Mark Nyamitta said it is double standards to ban football games, which is an economic activity to many, while huge political gatherings are facilitated by the same government.

“The ongoing political gatherings demonstrate the mood for normalization of activities,” the MP said in a statement on Tuesday.

 

The MP added that that the country is gearing for the restoration of all activities, especially following the announcements on schools' re-opening.

The MP further asked the Sports ministry to release the third tranche of sports stimulus package.

The monies were meant to cushion players from economic hardships and loss of income as a result of the pandemic.

On the restoration of sports activities, the MP said there is a risk of a number of youths resorting to drugs and illicit engagements as many are not occupied.

“Majority youths are employed through sports especially football. They have been jobless for the last six months. This is a wasted career duration particularly considering that sports depend on age,” the MP said.

“Anything short of getting them back on track is a waste we cannot afford.  We, therefore, must expedite the relevant preparations so as to have football activities in place — even on empty stadia — as soon as possible,” the lawmaker said.

Nyamitta said the country is lagging behind the FIFA schedule as most international leagues have resumed in earnest.

 

He cited the English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga; and closer home where premier leagues of South Africa, Burundi and Rwanda have resumed.

“Of particular note are Uganda and Ghana which went on covid-19-induced lockdown like us, at the same time, and have now resumed football games.”

The sports ministry recently issued a raft of guidelines for the resumption of sports activities.

In them, all organizers and venue operators will be required to appoint Covid-19 contact persons (preferably sports officers) and response teams.

Organisers will also have to ensure the availability of handwashing facilities, alcohol based sanitizers and gun thermometers at competition sites.

“Officials, media personnel and all staff working in sports venues during events will all have to take the Covid-19 tests.”

Handshakes or hugs - to celebrate achievements during and after events – have been prohibited; so is exchange and sharing of uniforms.

Team event organizers, should gather teams in one place prior to and until the end of the championship.

“Body temperature checks shall be conducted to all persons at the time of entry to the venue. Anyone with a body temperature reading above 37.5˚C will not be allowed into any sporting venue,” the regulations read in part.