NAIROBI, Kenya, April 22- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has lifted night match ban that it had slapped on Kenya Premier League (KPL) clubs due to security concerns in the aftermath of last year’s Westgate Mall terror attacks in Nairobi.
The decision comes a week after giant clubs Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards lodged a complain with KPL petitioning to have the ban lifted to enable clubs generate more revenue through gate collection especially for midweek matches.
However, lifting of the ban comes with stringent conditions.
“The Federation is pleased to notify you that the earlier ban on hosting night matches involving premier league teams has been lifted. However, strict security measures and water tight security plans have to be put in place to ensure optimum safely during the matches,” FKF Secretary General Michael Esakwa said in a statement.
FKF announced a ban on night matches last year amid security concerns following the Westgate siege last September that left 67 dead and over 175 injured.
Before the ban, night matches that used to kick-off at 7pm under floodlit had become popular with local fans.
Meanwhile, former KPL champions Tusker FC has been given the go ahead to use Meru’s Kinoru Stadium for their home matches.
The Stadium was among venues blacklisted from hosting league matches by KPL owing to poor state of the facility that was under renovation by Meru County Government.
At the beginning of the season, Brewers had expressed interest of using the venue as their home ground with club director Charles Obiny, confirming to Capital Sport they will play their first match on May 11 against newcomers KRA.
“Our first match at Kinoru Stadium will be against KRA since both FKF and KPL inspected the field. The only thing we were waiting is for the grass to grow and since it’s a rainy season by the time we play there it will be in good condition,” Obiny told.
“FKF is pleased to inform you (Tusker) that Kinoru Stadium has been approved as suitable and appropriate to host premier league matches and your request to host home matches at the stadium is hereby granted.
“In lieu of this, your club is advised that they can now use the stadium for their home matches with immediate effect. As a Federation we congratulate your club for this noble move in taking the game of football to Meru County as this will give fans in the area an opportunity to watch high level matches,” a statement from FKF read.