Korir: Nairobi City Stars ready for FKF PL fixtures, kick-off date
The promoted Simba wa Nairobi are happy about the new date to resume the top-flight, saying it was long overdue
Nairobi City Stars have supported the move by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to set a new date for the resumption of the 2020-21 FKF Premier League.
On Tuesday, the FKF through a statement obtained by Goal, confirmed the new season will kick off on November 20 with draft fixtures set to be released on Wednesday.
City Stars, who earned promotion to the top-flight when the FKF moved to end the National Super League (NSL) in mid-March owing to the effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic, have now welcomed the move, saying the period given before resumption is sufficient enough for clubs to prepare well.
“We are very okay with the league kick-off date,” City Stars CEO Patrick Korir told Goal on Wednesday.
“This was discussed at the FKF PL meeting held last Friday and clubs felt it was ripe for the league to resume.
“Remember, games were last played in mid-March and it’s impractical to delay the league any further and ass City Stars we support November 20 kick-off as, by calculation, that gives a six-week pre-season window for clubs which is sufficient for good preparations.
“We resumed training in the ended week and should there be no interruptions we shall be ready for the top league by the time it kicks-off on the mentioned dates.”
On Tuesday, several clubs welcomed the new date for kick-off, with Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula delighted by the move.
“It is the greatest news ever for any football lover,” Shimanyula told Goal on Tuesday. “We are all itching to have action back, seven months in the cold is not an easy thing, the players have really suffered but to have the league back is the best news ever.”
Asked whether they are ready to play their first match, Shimanyua said: “We are always ready to play, we started training in groups a week ago and this week we have increased the intensity of training, we have been gearing up well, we are ready, let the action begin.”
Meanwhile, Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa told Goal: “We have really waited for the day FKF will give us direction on when the season will start and now that they have confirmed, everyone is very happy at the club.
“It is the best news ever for us, we have been training for the last two weeks, we have also finished our transfer business, and are good to go.”
According to the FKF governing council, the decision to resume the league on November 20, was informed by the need to ensure the completion of the 2020-21 season in good time and in line with the global football calendar.
“The progress of the pre-season training sessions by the league clubs that are currently ongoing and with the successful international friendly between Kenya and Zambia while observing the Ministry of Health protocols has laid a positive ground for the safe resumption of the league,” read a statement from FKF obtained by Goal.
“The general council remains cognizant of the Covid-19 situation in the country and has put in measures that will ensure the league will be conducted within the existing health regulations in the country to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all those involved.”
Whether the league will kick off as per the new date remains to be seen as football is among contact sports which are banned until further notice in the country.