How coronavirus is killing grassroots football in Kiambu


How coronavirus is killing grassroots football in Kiambu
Ken Gachuma (middle) poses for a photo with Mysa FC Players. (PHOTO/Moses Ngige)

In Summary

  • Up and down the country, amateur football is struggling to survive the shutdown of sport that was enforced by the Government and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) because of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Joseph Chege, a father of one and a Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) Football Club player says he is facing the most difficult time in his career as he tries to finds other avenues to feed his family away from football

Up and down the country, amateur football is struggling to survive the shutdown of sport that was enforced by the Government and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joseph Chege, a father of one and a Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) Football Club player says he is facing the most difficult time in his career as he tries to finds other avenues to feed his family away from football.

“I used to depend on allowances that we always received after weekend matches, they are no more, and it’s really tough because we can’t play and we can’t meet,” Chege told Citizen Digital.

“At this time, you cannot even be hired as a casual labourer anywhere, these quarries you see around here have laid off a number of workers, we hope everything will return to normalcy,” he added.

MYSA FC was taking part in the Juja sub-county league under the larger Aberdare FKF Zone, and the league was abruptly cancelled and just as they were about to be promoted to County league.

During this time of restricted movement and public meetings, most of the players have opted to work on their training individually through a guided programme sent by their coaches via a messaging App.

Individual training have been highly criticized by players especially at the grass root level due to network challenges down at the villages and that most of the players cannot access the same internet.

“We have been barred from meeting, the coach and the technical team have been communicating to us through Whatsapp groups but it is not as effective as training as a team on the ground,” Martin Njoroge affirmed.

The players were speaking at Mashinani grounds in Gachororo Village of Juja Sub-county in Kiambu, after a team of 15 players received foodstuffs from a well-wisher.

Each player walked home with four kilograms of maize flour as an appreciation from Mr. Ken Gachuma, a football fan who have been sponsoring some teams and organizing tournaments at different intervals within Juja constituency.

“I have been working with these boys for a long time and I thought it’s the right time to lend them my hand and do the little I can to support them and their families during this time of a pandemic,” Mr Gachuma said.

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Story By Moses Ngige
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