Lack of stadia facilities that meet international standards has dealt a blow to Kenya’s representatives in CAF assignments in August.
The 2022/23 FKF Premier League champions Gor Mahia and the League Cup (Mozzart Bet Cup) champions Kakamega Homeboyz will represent Kenya in the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup respectively amid unavailability of the country’s two major stadiums, Kasarani and Nyayo due to their sub-standard state to host international competitions.
The two national sports venues were barred from staging international events in 2021. However, little has been done to uplift the status of Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums to meet the required standards as demanded by FIFA and CAF since then.
The sickening situation may force both Gor Mahia and Kakamega Homeboyz explore alternative venues as their CAF duties are slated to commence between August 18 to August 27 2023.
Tanzania’s Benjamin Mkapa Stadium is the only facility fit to host CAF competitions regionally as Uganda also grapples with stadia challenges, meaning both Gor Mahia and Homeboyz may utilise the stadium for their continental matches next month.
Meanwhile, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa had earlier revealed major reasons as to why the country’s two biggest stadiums, Kasarani and Nyayo, are not fit to host international football matches.
Mwendwa pointed out the areas that need to be improved at Nyayo and Kasarani in order to pass the CAF criteria amid the joint East African bid to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
“Nyayo needs a roof so that you are not rained on. It needs lighting and the biggest thing that it needs is a ticketing system. A software where you can print your tickets but also where you can tap your tickets on a turnstile, open it and go to your seat.
“We also need some perimeter form to make sure people cannot access the ground. The one there is not how it is supposed to be. You can also not announce something to the whole stadium at Nyayo Stadium so a public address system needs to be installed,” Mwendwa said in an interview on a national television.
Despite Kasarani having a roof, the stadium’s dressing rooms need to be upgraded;
“Kasarani has a roof which is fantastic, has enough space in terms of boxes but the changing rooms need some work. It only has two toilets instead of six, a small issue which can be worked on. The benches also need to be fixed.
“On both stadiums, the grass is an issue. At Kasarani, the drainage does not take away water completely when it rains. They also need the software for a public address system, for ticketing and for entry into the stadium,” the FKF President added.
The lack of an approved stadiums in the country means Kenya, who managed to get their FIFA suspension lifted, cannot host any international match within the country.
Harambee Stars are pooled in Group F of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers alongside Ivory Coast, Gambia, Seychelles and Gabon.