NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – The Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani will be closed on March 16 for renovations ahead of the World Athletics Continental Tour and Under-20 Championship which are set for May and July respectively after the government approved a Sh332mn budget.
Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto says works at the
stadium will begin immediately with contractors already tendered and everything
will be finalized by the end of April, in time for the Continental Tour.
“We have the budget already approved. There was only one
condition which we were asked to meet, of opening an independent bank account
which we have already done. We wrote to treasury for approval of the account
and it has been approved. We will get back to the Sports Fund and they will
release the monies,” Metto told Capital Sport.
Metto says both the stadium and the warm up track will be
closed with the only accessible facilities over that duration being the hotel,
aquatic arena and the indoor arena.
He also asserts that the Police Post constructed next to the
warm up track in the build up to the World Under-18 Championship will be moved to
a new location, with the structure set to be reverted to an ablution block and
The expected closure of the facility now all but confirms
that Kenya’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Comoros which had
been scheduled for March 25 will consequently be off.
“That match will not go on. As at now, that is the position
we know of,” Sports Kenya chairman Fred Muteti further told Capital Sport.
With Kasarani set to be closed, booth Muteti and Metto have confirmed
that the Nyayo National Stadium is set to be opened in the next two weeks to
offer an alternative training and match venue.
The stadium has been closed for the last three years for
never ending renovations but Muteti states that at the moment it is ‘95pc ready’.
“Nyayo is 95pc complete and in the next one week, we will be
able to make an announcement on when it will be opened. We are doing some small
final touches on the swimming pool and gymnasium and soon we will be able to
move to Nyayo,” Muteti noted.
With Nyayo closed for the longest time and Kasarani limited
in its use, sports, especially football has been forced to scramble for
facilities outside Nairobi with Machakos, Narok and Kericho being the ‘saviors’.
But Nyayo’s opening will be a welcome relief for sportspeople
especially Nairobi based football clubs which will set to earn a boost in
revenue due to Nyayo’s centrality.
Meanwhile, Muteti says all will be ready in time for the Continental
Tour. A team from Mondo will be in Nairobi to inspect the tartan track which
was laid before the World Under-18 and they will recommend what to be done to
The seating areas, media tribune, medical areas and
technical official areas are also set to undergo facelifts.
At the same time Britain has confirmed it will be sending
athletes for the Under-20 Championship after missing out on the World Under-18 in
2017 due to unfounded terror fears.
Officials from British Athletics on Wednesday visited the
Kasarani Stadium and the athletes’ village at the Kenyatta University and have
expressed satisfaction with the facilities.
“Kenya is very ready for this. If you walk through the
facility as coach or an athlete and you know every box has been ticked then you
are happy. Everything is so easy from going through warm up to the call room
and the track to compete. Everything is thought out well and it is perfect,” said
Trevor Painter, the British Athletics Junior Team Leader.
He added; “We will bring our strongest possible team and as
long as coronavirus does not stop us we will be 100pc here and we will come to
He was accompanied in the tour by Team Manager Lorna Dwyer.
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