- Ministry of Sports, with the support of Athletics Kenya (AK), have started lobbying the European Union (EU) after the nation was omitted from countries and regions whose citizens were allowed to travel into Schengen member states
The authorities have engaged EU embassies in Kenya to have the country’s athletes allowed to compete at international events on the continent when the athletics season resumes in August.
Kenya was omitted from the list of countries and regions whose citizens are allowed to travel into Schengen states when the EU opened its borders last week even as Covid-19 restrictions around the world continue to ease.
Ministry of Sports, with the support of Athletics Kenya (AK), on Monday confirmed that they were engaging EU embassies in Nairobi to allow Kenyan athletes to compete in Europe.
“Our athletes have suffered a lot since the lockdown was instituted and we don’t want them to suffer further if they can get a chance to go and compete in Europe,” AK President Jackson Tuwei said.
Tuwei affirmed that a team from AK and the Ministry of Sport had already approached some envoys of the countries in question to establish the process of having Kenyans cleared to run in Europe.
This comes on the day when Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the partial lifting of restrictions in place to combat Covid-19 though, the resumption of sporting activity that has been suspended since March was not on the list.
AK executive member Barnabas Korir has revealed that Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed promised to take up the matter on Schengen state visas.
“As a federation, we approached the Sports CS who promised to get in touch with European Union countries. This is a matter that is government to government. So, we are still waiting for her responses. We are hopeful that all will be well,” he said.
Also, Kenyan stars were missing from the roster for the August 14 Monaco Diamond League season-opening meeting, where athletes such as Uganda’s world champion Joshua Cheptengei were announced in the field.