About time Gor owned their very own stadium

Monday June 11 2018

Gor Mahia players celebrate after winning the SportPesa Super Cup at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru County on June 10, 2018. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Gor Mahia players celebrate after winning the SportPesa Super Cup at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru County on June 10, 2018. PHOTO | AYUB MUIYURO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Events of the last few weeks must have hopefully been an eye opener to many Gor Mahia followers, it is time we had our own stadium.

If the government cannot live up to its promise of building at least five international standard stadiums, then it is important that the country’s most successful club builds its own stadium where it can host its local and international matches.

It had to take so much of pleading for Gor Mahia to play Hull City at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, then, the stadium management tried to blackmail the club by claiming K’Ogalo fans had vandalized seats at the stadium yet it is evident this was far from the truth.

Then, it took another round of pleading for Gor Mahia to host USM Alger in a continental match.

The message the government was sending is, Gor needs its own stadium where they will host their own matches without having to beg anyone for access.

One of the promises Gor Mahia president Ambrose Rachier made in his campaigns when seeking re election was to ensure the club had a stadium and a club house. Rachier knows very well he is yet to meet this promise he made in 2013 but it is my hope that was not just a campaign stunt.

Gor Mahia has no excuse not having its own stadium.

Why do I say this? There are several opportunities for the club to have its own home.

Years back, former president Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, himself an ardent Gor Mahia fan, handed the club land that was enough to build a small stadium if not a training ground.

We are yet to be told what has become of this land adjacent to the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Several times we have heard the title deed is available, but we do not know who is the custodian. Ambrose Rachier, where is the title deed.

I am also informed the club was also given another piece of land in Embakasi which according to those in the know, has since become home of squatters.

It is upon the club to use all its resources to get ownership of these pieces of land and make use of them and put up buildings that will create some income for the club if not building a stadium.

But if the club cannot seize the opportunity to build its own stadium, it can partner with the county government and corporate partners to rebuild the City Stadium and co-own it with the county.

Gor Mahia, SportPesa, the Nairobi County government and a cement producing company like East African Portland Cement can come into a joint partnership and rebuild City Stadium in a way the county will remain the sole owners, Gor Mahia makes the stadium its own and the corporate share naming rights.

In such a partnership, SportPesa will provide the finances, East African Portland Cement the raw material while the county government will provide the work force to rebuild the stadium to international standards.

Should that happen, SportPesa will have saved itself the agony of hosting a classic tournament like the SportPesa Super Cup at a scruffy stadium like Afraha which has failed to meet any international standards.