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Football clubs should build stadiums

By Editorial | Published Sat, January 13th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 12th 2018 at 20:04 GMT +3
Gor Mahia fans run for safety after police lobbied tear gas during a fracas in a past match against Sofapaka at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County. Gor has been banned from using the stadium [Boniface Okendo| Standard]

Kenya’s most popular football clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have complained against the unavailability of Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums. The two stadiums are undergoing renovation, seeing that Kenya was to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championships (Chan), but lost the rights. The clubs will have to find alternative venues for their CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup ties later this month. This should, however, be a wake-up call to the clubs to consider own stadiums. This will not only be convenient, but will also help generate revenue through gate collections and advertising. The two are among the oldest and it is embarrassing they don’t have a venue to call home.

Gor Mahia, for instance, are banned from using Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County after crowd trouble that involved their fans. They will therefore spend more money to take their CAF Champions League opponents to Moi Stadium, Kisumu, if that will be used for their home match. Leopards might also be forced to use Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County and that means more expenses. The clubs also recently lost their sole sponsor, SportPesa, and resources will be scarce. In the past, club officials have promised to build own stadiums, but always duck responsibility once elected. They must now be put to account. Why don’t they even make the first step by acquiring land?