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Kenya’s football playing surfaces in horrendous state

Monday September 9 2019

Birds rest on the grass inside Nyayo National Stadium when the Parliamentary Sports, Tourism and Culture Committee visited the facility on March 28, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Birds rest on the grass of Nyayo National Stadium when the Parliamentary Sports, Tourism and Culture Committee visited the facility on March 28, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

PHILIP ONYANGO
By PHILIP ONYANGO
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The Kenyan Premier League took a break last weekend to give way to international matches which saw Kenya’s Harambee Stars take on Uganda Cranes in a friendly match at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday.

The levels of competition in the Kenyan League has gone up if the performances of the first round of matches last weekend but one are anything to go by, though Gor Mahia whose other name is Chuor Timbe, still rules the roost,

My own Bandari, Sofapaka, Homeboyz, Western Stima and even AFC Leopards exhibited high levels of competitiveness in the opening round of the league, a clear indication that we are headed for an action packed season.

I must however bemoan the state of our stadiums, which, if not properly looked at might water down the championship and reduce it to some kick about play by our village kids.

A case in point is Bandari’s opening match against Mathare United at Ruaraka ground in Nairobi. That venue, in my opinion, is in a pathetic state and should not be used even for a practice match.

I don’t think that the state of the ground is ideal to host a league match of that magnitude and would want to know who inspected that facility and passed it fit to host such a high profile league match.

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It is also sad to note that Ruaraka ground, apparently home of Tusker, is currently the only ground within Nairobi that can host a league match, an unacceptable state of affairs especially for a capital city.

It is therefore prudent that the FKF puts pressure on the ministry of sports to fast track the renovation works at Nyayo and City stadiums so that they can be available for use.

Clubs have been inconvenienced shuttling between Nairobi and Machakos to honour league matches not forgetting the cost implications especially now that our league lacks a sponsor.

Let’s not expose our players to the dangers associated with playing on a bumpy pitch, especially Bandari and Gor Mahia who are currently engaged in continental assignments and whose players should be kept from harms way.

Bandari are currently using MISC as their home venue while playing continental matches and I think it would only makes sense that they play their league matches at the Kasarani venue for now.

It is high time the league governors accepted that ground condition is a risk factor in sports.

They should note that poor playing fields does very little to improve the general standards of the sport nationally.

Meanwhile, lets come out in large numbers and cheer Bandari when they take on Ben Guerdane of Tunisia in the second round of the Caf Confederation cup match in Nairobi this weekend.

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