Kenya allows conditional return of spectators into stadiums

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Uganda's Enock Walusimbi (2nd R) makes an attempt at goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying round Group E football match between Kenya and Uganda at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on September 2, 2021. Fans were barred from attending the match in accordance with COVID-19 containment measures (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP via CFP)
Uganda’s Enock Walusimbi (2nd R) makes an attempt at goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifying round Group E football match between Kenya and Uganda at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on September 2, 2021. Fans were barred from attending the match in accordance with COVID-19 containment measures (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP via CFP)

The Kenyan government on Saturday officially announced the return of spectators into stadiums after the lifting of the nationwide curfew by President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier this week.

This follows discussions between the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage Amina Mohammed and her Ministry of Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe.

The return of fans is, however, subject to conditions set out in the statement issued from the Sports Ministry. It said that event organizers are expected to ensure they utilize up to two-thirds of the capacity of each facility.

“However, each event organizer must comply with requirements of the host (local) and international federations regarding spectators,” the ministry said in a joint statement.

Organizers of local events will be required to provide prior written approvals of the number of spectators allowable for the event by the federation registered in Kenya.

Similar approval will be required from the local and world governing bodies for international events.

With the government stressing resumption of sports protocols outlined last year remain in force, event organizers will also need to demonstrate to the Sports Ministry their capacity to “secure and manage their spectators and property during such events.”

The ministry on Friday allowed local football club Gor Mahia to welcome 10,000 fans to their CAF Confederations Cup clash against Al Ahly Merowe of Sudan that will be played on Sunday in Nairobi.

Sporting activity and fans were banned from stadiums in March 2020 following the onset of the global pandemic in Kenya before the government lifted its suspension of activity but without supporters in November last year.

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