Coronavirus: Tanzania league resumption plan should not pressurize Kenya, Uganda – Situma

Football activities in the three countries have been almost equally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic

Former Harambee Stars defender James Situma has explained why Tanzania’s move to resume their sporting activities should not put pressure their neighbours.

Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli, on Sunday, hinted that he could allow sporting activities to be carried out again as early as this week, given the decreasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Although Football Kenya Federation (FKF) moved to cancel the leagues, the decision was referred to the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT). If the SDT would move to annul FKF’s move, Kenya might see a return of action.

In Uganda, where the Premier League was suspended with five matches remaining to end the season, it is not clear when the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) will allow the resumption given the current state of lockdown.

Situma, the Kenya Football Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa) president, says Kenya and Uganda should not feel pressurized by the Tanzanian move at all.

“I would want them to resume but one has to see the effects the pandemic has had on the different countries. Some were hit most by the coronavirus more than others. If some countries feel they are not ready to let action resume, well it is okay,” Situma told Goal.

“We need those players healthy for football to resume and if they are affected then we may not want to see football for obvious reasons.

“These plans to resume the league are done based on individual assessment and we [Kenyans] are informed numbers of the coronavirus infections are going up and in other countries, it is going down. 

“It depends on how countries are prepared to deal with the situation and I do not see why one should be under pressure that others are about to resume their leagues and we are not. 

“It all depends on how comfortable one is.”

Situma also spoke about the contract negotiations by players and clubs whose timing has also been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 issue.

“If one wants to move, is comfortable and the club he is joining meets their demands then why not leave. If a player is not comfortable moving then they should hold on,” said the two-time KPL title-winning captain with Sofapaka and Tusker.

“The same goes back to the two parties; the player and the club and what they want from each other. But We have hopes the coronavirus will be over.”

With the Bundesliga’s return during the weekend of May 16 and 17, the former Mathare United and Kakamega Homeboyz star says it is all a good sign for everyone.

“Football’s return is a good thing because you know players have been starving to play because this is their job and it is where they earn from,” he concluded.

“This is also a good sign that things are getting back to normal and we hope all will go on well and also see other big leagues resuming so that it can bring the entertainment back.”

The Premier League, Serie A and La Liga have all put plans in place to have their matches resume.