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Refurbish stadiums ahead of Africa tourney

By The Standard | Published Sat, February 25th 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 24th 2017 at 20:01 GMT +3
Aerial view of Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. (Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard)

We should be greatly concerned that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is unhappy with the quality and poor state of stadiums in Kenya.

Kenya secured the rights to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) on the understanding that many of its stadiums would be refurbished. There is a pressing need to improve the quality of local stadiums because in less than a year, teams from the continent will be coming to Kenya to take part in the CHAN Championship which will be hosted by many stadiums in the country.

The hosting of this tournament will be critical for Kenya as it will serve as a window to showcase the country’s ability to host top level competitions such as the African Cup of Nations.

As it is now, Kenya’s ability to successfully host the Africa Nations Championship could be in doubt. And if CAF is not convinced that Kenya is up to the task, it may ask Morocco, which is standing by, to step in and host this competition.

Therefore, in the next few months the country must up its game and refurbish its stadiums. During this time, their perimeter walls must be reinforced, changing rooms refurbished, and playing surfaced improved to bring them up to standard. It is quite telling that little has been done five years after Jubilee made a pre-election pledge to construct five stadiums in its first term.

But that is a discussion for another day. In the short term, however, the refurbishment of already existing stadiums must be prioritied. Kenya must prove to CAF that the country is ready to host the CHAN championship.

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