Safety first, KPL players told

As the world continues to come to reality with the COVID-19 pandemic , sports activities are among the worst hit owing to their nature of bringing large numbers of people together. All the European domestic leagues have been suspended, UEFA Champions League and the Europa League not being exceptions, the NBA, and the uncertainty  of Tokyo Olympics happening is so real. In Kenya all the sporting events were suspended including School Games, the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), Kenya Cup, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup, the European Tour Kenya Open just to mention a few. Citizen Digital explores how some of the KPL teams are faring on in isolation, speaking to some coaches, players and Team Managers. Leopards Fresh after earning a hard fought win in the FKF Cup, AFC Leopards are not taking any chance vis-a-vis the team’s safety as explained by the head coach Antony Kimani. “The instructions where very simple we had to self-isolate ourselves immediately after the Ushuru game.  We told our players to take the necessary precautions. “We gave them tips on how to keep fit, so that when he season resumes we won’t be badly off in terms of fitness,” said the youthful coach. He continued: We are keeping constant communication with the players in our different communication platforms just to  make sure that we monitor their health and training routine when isolated, but the most important thing at the moment is to adhere to the Governments’s instructions to ensure social distances,” Kimani further told. Sofapaka It’s the same situation with the 2009 champions Sofapaka as confirmed by the club captain George Maelo. “The club is not taking any risks with this disease it’s a worldwide pandemic and being a contact game we have to take good care of our health. I’m having personal training in isolation but we all agreed  that we should try as much as possible  to remain fit even in isolation,” said Maelo. Ulinzi Stars  Things are slightly different with Ulinzi Stars as they are required to be at work. “The team is still intact, no one has left for their respective Units. Being soldiers they are always required to be fit and that’s what we are trying to do as a team. It’s a sad state of affair because the momentum of the team has been affected but we can’t take any risk with this deadly virus,” said head coach Benjamin Nyagweso. Ulinzi Stars FC coach Benjamin Nyangweso talk to players during morning training session at Safaricom stadium Kasarani on February 17, 2017. Ulinzi are preparing ahead of their return leg match of the preliminary CAF Confederation Cup against Libyan side Al Hilal in Nairobi on February 18, 2017. Photo/Stafford Ondego/ Bandari Bandari FC were hopeful of returning to training on Monday until the situation got difficult as explained by the Team Manager Wilson Obungu. “We were expecting to return to training on Monday if all went well, but with the situation as it is we have been forced to postpone until March 30 hoping the situation will be under control by then. We have come up with a training program that we share with the players in our respective communication channels that they are required to practice in isolation,” noted Obungu. Homeboyz Second on the log seven points behind champions Gor Mahia is Kakamega Homeboyz and the head coach Nicholas Muyoti is still hopeful of winning their first ever title. “It’s a sad state for sports around the world. We were fighting for the title and the momentum has been affected by the pandemic. We have instructed our players to try as much as they can to keep fit in isolation. We are in constant communication with them as they train in isolation according to the program that we have shared with the team,” a hopeful Muyoti said. Zoo Kericho  Zoo Kericho’s Ndimonde Selenge said revealed his team is also operating on safety first rule, with players required to keep fit albeit the mandatory break. “The entire team has taken a break, we don’t want to take risks especially with the weather around this place (Kericho). We are encouraging the team to try and keep fit but most important is safety ,” Selenge told.

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