Sports Cabinet Minister Amina Mohamed has warned that Kenya risks a ban from continental football showpiece should fans force their way into the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.
Kenya is hosting Egypt in the crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Thursday evening.
Ms Amina appealed to politicians and other fans to stay away from the 7pm match or the country will banned for a period for breaking the FIFA Covid-19 regulations.
“I have information that some politicians are planning to go to Kasarani to watch the match. I’m appealing to them, for the sake of our country, to stay away,” said Amina.
She added: “Politicians usually attract large crowds and for the sake of our national team, and also in respect for the Covid-19 protocols in place, they should stay away.”
In the Harambee Stars’ last home game against Comoros which ended in a 1-1 draw last year, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) was fined Sh1 million after dignitaries, led by Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga accessed the playing arena at Kasarani.
In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) released strict protocols barring fans from attending all qualification matches as a way of curbing the spread of the virus.
CAF said the leaders defied stewards to access the players with Ruto handing over a Sh1 million donation to the team.
“The dignitaries had heavy security attached to them. They barged through the stewards arranged by CAF security officer,” Caf’s ruling at the time said.
“According to CAF Disciplinary Code (Art. 8.2) the host association or club is responsible for order and security both inside and around the stadium before, during and after the match. It is liable for incidents of any kind, and can be rendered subject to disciplinary measures.”
Egypt’s national team, the “Pharaohs” arrived in Nairobi on Tuesday night and held a training session under floodlights on Wednesday.
The Egyptian starred team includes English Premier League icons, striker Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), midfielder Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal) and Aston Villa forward Mahmoud Ahmed who could captain the ‘Pharaohs’ tonight.
Comoros host bottom-placed Togo in the other Group ‘G’ qualifier from 4pm EAT.