NAIROBI, Kenya, October 26- Football Kenya Limited (FKL) has banned Nyayo National and City Stadiums from holding Kenya Premier League (KPL) matches.FKL director Titus Kasuve announced the decision on Tuesday stating that the venues will remain closed to league business until Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards submit detailed reports regarding what happened during their match last Saturday where eight people lost their lives in a stampede.
“We are implementing FIFA decisions. We have been trying to improve safety in that stadium since 2005,” said Kasuve.
“There are several conditions those stadiums have to meet before we lift the ban. We don’t want Kenyans to continue losing their lives,” he added.
The decision has been taken with three weeks remaining in the league calendar.
Asked if he had consulted the league about the decision, Kasuve responded that they don’t have to seek support from any other stakeholder while carrying out their mandate.
“We have been informing KPL for a very long time about safety at these stadiums,” said Kasuve.
He went on to state some of the requirements that the venues should adhere to including having a perimeter that is not shorter than two and a half metres, strong gates at the entry points of the stadium, different entries for the players and spectators and several emergency lanes at stadium parking lots.
KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport that FKL should have provided the clubs with an alternative.
“It’s is now up to the clubs to decide where they are going to play their fixtures because our job is to organize the fixtures,” said Oguda.
“There are other venues like Thika, Hope Centre, Afraha and Karuturi Stadium so there are other opportunities for them to explore, he added.
Oguda’s sentiments were shared by both AFC chairman Julius Ochiel and Gor supremo Ambrose Rachier.
“Banning those two fields is well within their mandate but what they should be telling us is their proposal for alternatives. But that will be best tackled by KPL as an organ and FKL,” said Ochiel.
“The suitability of stadia is not really our responsibility. There is a schedule which is released which in turn tells us where to play by stating which is the home and away team. We want safe stadia and that is not our responsibility as clubs,” said Rachier.
Rachier also announced that his club has formed a committee to liaise with the bereaved families to help them with both ‘emotional and material support.’
At the same time a KCB account called ‘Gor Mahia and AFC October 23rd Victims Solidarity Fund’ is in the process of being opened where funds will be deposited to assist the families of the bereaved.
Gor continued to absolve themselves from any blame stating that the security and crowd control on Saturday was the preserve of the police and the Sports Stadia Management Board.