Kenya: Native soccer video games disordered because of suspension
Uncertainty has rocked the local football calendar after the government suspended sporting activities in the western Kenya region for 30 days to contain the escalating Covid-19 cases.
In a statement published to media houses on Thursday, positive coronavirus cases have risen in 13 counties in the past 14 days, so containment measures must be taken.
The affected counties are Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Bungoma and Kericho. Others are Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, and Migori.
Teams from these areas will be forced to look for alternative playgrounds to honor games. Affected are Kakamega Homeboyz and Vihiga United, who host their home games at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
Nzoia Sugar has also been affected since they played their home games at Sudi Stadium in Bungoma, which is located in a hotspot county.
Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are from the region, but host their games in Nairobi.
Eight National Super League teams are affected, including Shabana FC, Kisumu All Stars, Kisumu Hot Stars, Soy United, Gusii FC, Silibwet FC, Vihiga Bullets and Migori Youth.
“All public gatherings and face-to-face meetings of any kind are prohibited in the hotspot zone, including house parties and sporting activities,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in a statement.
This has left football in limbo as the leagues are played nationwide and games cannot be played only in certain areas. The FKF now has to go back to the drawing board to ensure that the games are rescheduled.
This is the third time sporting activities have been halted after a similar order was issued in March and the first cases of the pandemic were recorded in the country last year.
The men’s soccer leagues, the Kenyan women’s premier league, and lower division games had all started and were at different stadiums. The minister’s announcement means school games will be suspended.
The Kenyan Secondary School Sports Association’s championships were abruptly suspended in March last year due to the virus.