15 May 2018

Kenya: Gor Mahia Barred From Kasarani

Gor Mahia have been denied access to the refurbished Kasarani Stadium for the mandatory pre-match briefing ahead of Wednesday's Caf Confederation Cup match against Algeria's USM Alger.

The government announced on Monday that the stadium had been shut down due to vandalism.

The Kenyan champions and Football Kenya Federation thus, risk sanctions from the Confederation of African Football (Caf), if this continental game doesn't ultimately take place at the 60,000 seater venue, as pre-agreed between the two parties.

On Tuesday, FKF press officer Barry Otieno sent out a communique to the media confirming the pre-mandatory press match briefing between these two clubs had been switched to the Kandanda House secretariat, about 500m from Kasarani.

Acting Sports Kenya Director General Salma Ondimu stated in her statement on Monday that decision was arrived at following "unfortunate scenes witnessed during the game between Gor Mahia and Hull City on Sunday May 13, where fans destroyed seats and other properties in the stadium."

Ondimu also warned that Gor will be forced to foot the bill to repair the damage.

Nation Sport however understands there exist several other factors forcing Ondimu's hand, including the availability of dominant branded banners belonging to a corporate entity within the facility, which Caf inspectors are uncomfortable with, and have asked they be removed or covered up before Wednesday's game.

Caf intends to brand the match venue with their own banners and that of its sponsor on Wednesday.

Besides, there also exist competing interests between government officials over contracts worth hundreds of millions of shillings to refurbish this facility awarded by the government last year, an assignment that was however done by SportPesa.

USM coach Miloud Hamdi speaking at the pre-match briefing said he was not amused at his team's lack of a training ground adding that Gor would not receive the same treatment had it been in Algeria.

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