NAIROBI, Kenya, May 3 – The Kenyan Premier League has announced that the Mashemeji Derby will go on this Sunday as scheduled with the Nyayo National Stadium management agreeing to exceptionally open its gates, just for that one match.
The match had initially been set for the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru but later called off over security concerns surrounding the capacity of the stadium.
“Following a successful meeting between the Kenyan Premier League management and the management of the Nyayo National Stadium, Kenyan Premier League would like to confirm that the facility owners have agreed to exceptionally allow the AFC Leopards SC-Gor Mahia FC match to be played at the venue on Sunday,” KPL said in a brief statement.
Earlier, AFC Leopards head coach Stewart Hall had asked for the government to consider opening up either Nyayo or kasarani for the duel as Afraha which has a maximum capacity of about 9,000 fans wouldn’t be ideal.
Both teams have welcomed the decision to have the game played at Nyayo.
Gor Mahia deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala says that should have been the ideal situation from the word go especially for a game he termed as the ‘signature’ of the league.
“I think it is high time we manage this game properly especially for the league managers. Most of the times, there is usually so much uncertainty about the venue and date which keeps changing time and again. In other countries, derbies are usually planned months ahead and hyped well,” Ngala lamented.
“But we welcome the decision to have the game at Nyayo. That is the ideal situation,” he added.
Meanwhile, both the Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia will only be ready after July, according to KPL CEO Jack Oguda. Kasarani will be hosting the IAAF World Under-18 Championships between July 12-16 and the facility will only be available after that.
Nyayo meanwhile is undergoing a major facelift with an eye for the 2018 African nations Championship.
“We have a meeting with the management on Thursday morning to plan for the match. There are certain conditions they will give us to be able to host the game,” Oguda further said.
Meanwhile, The Ruaraka Complex has been re-opened and will be hosting low risk matches for the home team, Tusker FC. The first game will be this weekend where the hosts will face Kakamega Homeboyz.