Sports stakeholders on Monday urged the government to improve sports facilities in the country, saying the current state of stadiums is affecting the growth and development of football.
Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) president Chris Mbaisi said it was heartbreaking to see players and clubs endure financial challenges while also contending with lack of suitable playing grounds, and urged the government to do something to alleviate the players’ suffering.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda was more direct in his request to Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia, whom he asked to fast track the completion of the four major stadiums that have been shut down for renovations.
“We have endured difficulties as league organisers, because we had to do with the few available stadiums, and with a league season that spanned just seven months. We managed in the end, but I appeal to the PS, through the ministry of sports, to complete renovation works at venues like Nyayo Stadium so that we can have good quality football in the coming season. With quality pitches, the quality of live transmission will also be good for our viewers, which will in turn spur growth of the league and football in general,” he said.
Kaberia said the venues would be reopened as soon as possible. “The strategy to refurnish the stadiums is still on course, and very soon you will see some of them being opened for use,” he said.
They were speaking in an event organised by SJAK at the National Museum to award top flight football players who have been outstanding in their performances in the 2018/19 season.
Gor Mahia star Joash Onyango won the Defender of the Year award and the Most Valuable Player award that came with a cash prize of Sh1 million.