What you need to know:
- Another popular Kenyan club AFC Leopards also resumed training on Monday at Kenya Technical Training college in Nairobi
- Gor Mahia had earlier intimated seeking a special license from the Ministry of Sport to allow them to resume full training but club chairman Ambrose Rachier revealed they had yet to do that
- The club chairman Dan Shikanda urged the government to speed up the full resumption of sports in the country
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia kicked off training this week in Ruaka, Nairobi but in groups of six players despite the Ministry of Sports continued suspension of resumption of contact sports such as football, rugby, netball and basketball.
Another popular Kenyan club AFC Leopards also resumed training on Monday at Kenya Technical Training college in Nairobi.
Gor Mahia had earlier intimated seeking a special license from the Ministry of Sport to allow them to resume full training but club chairman Ambrose Rachier revealed they had yet to do that.
"We (Gor Mahia) are supposed to represent the country in the Caf Champions League in a month's time and we, therefore, need to prepare. We have a programme that we are following and we are adhering to all the laid down protocols. We are only trying to keep the players fit and they only train in small groups," he told Nation Sport.
"The Caf calendar is around the corner and we shall be carrying the flag of the nation. We anticipate a full reopening of the country soon when the president addresses the nation next week as that will allow us to fully train but if that doesn't happen then we will officially request for a special exemption from the Ministry of Sport. We are ready to abide by the rules they have set for the resumption of training," he added.
AFC Leopards also resumed training but in small groups as well. The club chairman Dan Shikanda urged the government to speed up the full resumption of sports in the country.
"Sport is an integral ingredient in the social fabric of any society and we have seen resumption happening in other countries. My plea is for the government through the Ministry of Sport to place the same emphasis they are on education on sports as well. If schools are reopening then sports too should be given priority," he said.
“Like other football lovers in the country, Ingwe fans are eager to have their favourite sport back. It’s expensive to keep players without playing matches.
He urged the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Ministry of Sport to help the clubs cover the costs of adhering to some of the health guidelines when the league finally resumes.
"The cost of testing the players for instance should squarely lie with the federation and the government. They need to come up with a proper plan on how that will happen. Fifa released funds to all the federations to cover for the impact of Covid-19 and this should be put into good use," he said.
As opposed to previous seasons, Leopards have held on to their top stars including striker Elvis Rupia. The club has signed six new players for the upcoming season.
They will be officially unveiled next week clad in the club’s new kit.
Leopards have not confirmed signing any big name, but a former star of the club is expected to return home.