10 December 2018

Kenya: Overload Looms as KPL Bans Five Stadia

Tusker FC striker Timothy Otieno wheels away from Zoo Kericho defenders during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on Sunday, August 19, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10- The Moi Sports Centre Kasarani and the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos are set to suffer massive overload after the Kenyan Premier League Stadium Safety and Security Committee banned two grounds in Nairobi.

The Ruaraka Complex in Nairobi's Ngumba area and the Camp Toyoyo ground in Jericho have both been banned from hosting top tier games while the Thika Sub-County Stadium also suffers the same fate.

This will mean that Nairobi based clubs will have to squeeze into the minimal facilities available with the Nyayo Stadium yet to be opened for football. The second biggest stadium in Kenya has only been worked on to host Wednesday's Jamhuri Day.

Tusker FC uses the Ruaraka Complex for their home games with Sofapaka, Mount Kenya United, KCB and Posta Rangers also once in a while using the facility while the Camp Toyoyo turf acts as an alternate to all Nairobi based clubs.

The brewers have already said they will be moving to the Kinoru Stadium in Meru but that will only happen in February next year.

"We were to move at the start of this season but the grass contractor (Gregori International) said that the work on the playing surfacewill only be ready after two months so we have to wait for February. In themeantime, we just have to work with either Kasarani or Machakos," Tusker FC CEOCharles Obiny said.

With the rains continuing to pound the city and its environs, Kasarani and Machakos will see its surface degenerated due to overuse.

AFC Leopards midfielder Said Tsuma vies for the ball with Kariobangi Sharks' Duke Abuya during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 9, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Just Sunday, heavy rains that rocked Machakos on Saturday soaked the Kenyatta playing surface and with a double header on Sunday, the four teams that play there found it tough.

Sofapaka have alternatively used Narok as their home stadium though the technical bench prefers Machakos or Kasarani due to its flat nature.

Also banned is the Chemelil and Mumias Complexes used by Chemelil Sugar and Vihiga United respectively. Chemelil might move its matches to the Moi Stadium in Kisumu while Vihiga have already settled on the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.

Kenya has continually suffered from the lack of proper stadia with the government's promise of five stadia delivered in 2013 still a mirage.

Kenya failed to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN)in January this year due to lack of the same while Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid were also set for a tour of Nairobi to play against a top Kenyan side, but the same could not happen due to lack of a proper pitch.

Kenyan Premier League available stadia

-Moi Sports Centre Kasarani

-Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos

-Afraha Stadium, Nakuru

-Green Stadium, Kericho

-Awendo Stadium, Awendo

-Bukhungu Complex, Kakamega.

-Sudi Stadium, Bungoma

-Moi Stadium, Kisumu


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