In Summary
  • Sports Kenya Chairman Fred Muteti was not available for comment and thus we could not establish how much money has been used and when Nyayo Stadium will be ready.
  • Nyayo Stadium was built in 1983 as a multi-purpose stadium, at the time the country had established itself as a continental sporting powerhouse.

Kenyan Premier League clubs have continued to lose millions of shillings in revenue since the government closed Nyayo National Stadium two years ago for renovation.

At the time, it appeared the government was struggling to build world-class stadiums to host international competitions as promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto in 2013.

The cheaper alternative was, thus, to upgrade the existing sports infrastructure. And as Sports Cabinet Secretary at the time, Hassan Wario explained in 2017, Nyayo Stadium was closed for 'a few months' for a spruce up in time to stage the 2017 IAAF World Under-18 Championships and 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan).

It never happened. Consistent delays in completing the work which have continued to date forced organisers of the athletics meet to take it to Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Confederation of African Football (Caf) stripped Kenya of the hosting rights for 2018 Chan, and Morocco hosted the tournament instead.

Meanwhile, local football clubs such as AFC Leopards, Mathare United, Posta Rangers, KCB and Sofapaka, which had been using Nyayo National Stadium for home matches, are feeling the pinch.

AFC Leopards have had to travel to venues in Machakos, Kakamega, Mumias and Nakuru to play league matches.

"We use an extra Sh200,000 each week to travel out of town for these matches. But most of our fans cannot afford to follow us all the way to these locations to watch the team play. So the gate collections have dwindled," explained Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda.

But the clubs will have to wait longer to access the facility. A spot check by Nation Sport confirmed the renovation work at the stadium is nowhere near completion. For instance, the stadium’s parking lot appears to have been abandoned years ago and grass has started growing through the cement.

Offices which have been under construction within the stadium remain unfinished, but armed guards remain on the site.

Inside the stadium, the coat of paint that had been applied to the walls is falling off. Seats numbering 25,000 were to be fitted in the stadium but that is only 30 to 50 percent complete.

The remaining seats can not be fitted as the supplier is still demanding payment from the government. There are no goalposts on the pitch, neither is there a perimeter fence keeping fans away from the pitch.

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