Gor, Tusker in venue blow as CAF ban Nyayo, Kasarani
Kenya’s representatives in CAF interclub matches Tusker FC and Gor Mahia FC will have to look for alternative home venues for their respective CAF Confederation Cup matches next month after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) banned the Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia.
The Moi Sports Centre Kasarani had already been banned by CAF and was not approved to host international matches. Nyayo was the only facility that had ticked the boxes to host international games but now, they have found more gremlins.
In a statement after the CAF inspecting team visited the country, Kenya has been approved to only host next month’s World Cup qualifier against Rwanda and after that, no other match will be allowed on the venue.
“Upon conclusion of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 matchday 5 and 6, the stadium will only be approved for any subsequent CAF international senior national teams matches and other CAF men’s interclubs competitions subject to the implementation of all the CAF remarks,” CAF, in a letter to the Football Kenya Federation said.
Tusker are set to host CS Sfaxien in Nairobi on November 28 while Gor Mahia tackle AS Otoho at the same venue on December 5. If the stadium is not improved, then the two teams will have to seek alternative home grounds.
Among the things that CAF want improved include the playing surface, dressing rooms and hospitality facilities in the general stands.
“We have already written to the government through the Ministry of Sports and informed them of the letter from CAF. However, they have not responded. We will host Rwanda there fortunately but after that, we will have problems with our home matches,” a source at the Federation said.
“Unfortunately the stadia belong to the government and there is nothing we can do about it. We will just have to wait for them to act,” said the source.
After the Tusker and Gor matches, the next other international assignment for Kenya is the African Women’s Cup of Nations against Uganda which is scheduled for February 2022. The national men’s team is not in action anytime soon after the World Cup qualifiers.
South Sudan also uses the Nyayo National Stadium as its home ground as none of their facilities in Juba have been approved.
Interestingly, both the Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia have been recently renovated.
Kasarani hosted the World Under-20 Athletics Championships and the Kip Keino Classic. However, the renovations only centred on those two events and didn’t consider football related specifications.
Among the issues that the CAF inspection team raised about Kasarani include the floodlight capacity which they said is not bright enough, the state of the referees and general team changing rooms, lack of a proper first aid and medical room.
They also mentioned that seats for spectators must be individual, fixed, separated from one another, shaped, numbered, made of an unbreakable and non-flammable material, and have a backrest of a minimum height of 30cm when measured from the seat.
The team also mentioned that there are no refreshment areas for the general sitting areas and the stadium also lacks a well equipped media centre.
CAF has said that for both bans to be lifted, the renovations must be undertaken as specified before they visit again and approve the stadia, lack of which, Kenya will have to play its home matches away from home.