Football fans could be allowed in the stadium for the first time in a year in Sunday’s ‘Mashemeji’ Derby pitting Gor Mahia against AFC Leopards Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
Nairobi News understands officials from the Ministries of Sports and Health are in talks to ensure this much-hyped derby is not played behind closed doors as has been the case with other Football Kenya Federation Premier League matches since the new season commenced on November 28.
The government allowed the resumption of some sports late last year, but fans are still barred from attending in measures put in place to tame the spread of Covid-19.
If these talks are successful, fans will be allowed back to the stadiums in phases.
“It is a big match and with football administrators including representatives from these clubs to allow a given number of fans with an assurance of health protocols being followed. The problem has always been fans congregating in one section of the stadium and not maintaining social distance,” said the official.
“We are also working to ensure fans are allowed in other league matches depending on the capacity of the stadium hosting the match. For this to succeed they have to show discipline and follow the required protocols,” he added.
The match was rescheduled from January 3 to February 7 because of K’Ogalo’s involvement in the Caf Champions League.
The move comes days after opposition leader and AFC Leopards patron Musalia Mudavadi called for the government to allow for return of fans to the stadia.
AFC Leopards currently lie fourth on the 18-team league standings on 18 points from eight matches, three above Gor Mahia, who are slowly finding their rhythm under Portuguese coach Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto.