Mwendwa: Gor will play in Champions League if league is cancelled
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has for the first time conceded there is a possibility the 2020/2021 Premier League season may be cancelled.
Were this to happen, Mwendwa told Nairobi News Gor Mahia will remain champions and earn the right to represent the country both in the Caf Africa Champions League next season, plus the Cecafa Kagame Cup in August.
“The law says the former champions will represent the country in the case of Kagame Cup and continental competitions, so the slot will go to Gor Mahia,” said Mwendwa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta indefinitely cancelled all sports activities on March 26, in a move he says will help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
And last week Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government was in no hurry to allow sports activities to resume and will only do so if it is convinced the rate of infections has drastically gone down.
Kagwe further explained the government was forced to half sports activities owing to the indiscipline exhibited by athletes, administrators, and fans.
But Mwendwa remains optimistic the government will soon reverse that decision and the league, which was halted before the halfway stage, resume and held to its finality.
“If it will be possible then we have to complete the league and continue to align our calendar with Fifa and Europe. Our plea to the government is to allow sports to resume in earnest to alleviate our Sportspersons from suffering,” he added.
The football boss also urged clubs to brace themselves for resumption at any point in time.
He explained clubs could play up to three matches a week if the league returns in June while stressing that will occasion budgetary constraints in terms of travel and logistics.
The current campaign was initially scheduled to end in May and Mwendwa adds title sponsors BetKing and broadcast right holders StarTimes will resume financial support once the government gives the green light for a return.
The annual Cecafa Kagame cup kicks off in from August 1- August 15.
Besides Kenyan teams could struggle to compete in other regional tournaments such as the Cecafa U23 Men’s Challenge Cup in Ethiopia from July 3-18, CAF Women’s Champions League Club Qualifiers in Nairobi between July 17-August 1, the CECAFA U20 Women’s Tournament in Uganda between August 14-28 and the CECAFA Senior Women’s challenge Tournament set for Djibouti in December, in the event the respective leagues don’t resume.
A majority of athletes have received the first of two Covid-19 vaccinations, thus bringing optimism the government could be convinced to announce the resumption of sports when the process is completed.