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KPL needs strict health measures if league is to resume, says Polack

Wednesday May 20 2020

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack poses for photos with the trophy after he was named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for November on January 9, 2020 at Camp Toyoyo. PHOTO | SJAK |

Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack poses for photos with the trophy after he was named the Fidelity Insurance Coach of the Month for November on January 9, 2020 at Camp Toyoyo. PHOTO | SJAK |  

CECIL ODONGO
By CECIL ODONGO
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Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has said the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) should have prepared a fall-back plan on how to handle the current season amid coronavirus pandemic.

Polack, who made it clear that his team will only play the remaining 10 league matches on condition that his health and that of the players was safeguarded, has called on KPL to rise to the occasion and make a decision so that the matter is put to rest once and for all.

He insisted that it will take great effort to safeguard players’ health if the remaining KPL matches were to be played.

"KPL organisers should have met and given us the way forward to put the matter to rest after the government extended the 21-day curfew recently. I am mindful of my health and I will not be coaching should the league resume without proper safety measures being put in place," Polack told Nation Sport.

"I don't think we have the capacity to test twice a week, fumigate the field before every match and to sanitise the buses. Most of our players use public transport and will be hard to manage the situation," he added. He also observed that resuming the league will come at a huge financial cost.

Polack’s sentiments came as nine clubs petitioned the Sports Dispute Tribunal to forestall any planned resumption of the league due to financial constraints.

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The tribunal is handling the case pitting KPL and Chemelil Sugar on one side, and FKF on the other. Chemelil Sugar and the league body moved to SDT to oppose FKF President Nick Mwendwa's April 30 declaration of Gor Mahia as champions. Mwendwa also announced that the league would end prematurely, with 10 matches to go.

"We should not just follow decision taken by other countries who have the financial muscle to complete their matches amidst this pandemic. Financial challenges are still with us but I can confirm Gor Mahia is not among the clubs which wrote to FKF," he added.

While insisting that he will respect KPL's decision on the league, the Briton reiterated that K'Ogalo should be handed the title instead of declaring the current season null and void.

"Nullification (of the season) is not an option for me because of the expenses incurred by clubs in the 23 matches.”

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