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The refurbished look at the Nyayo National Stadium football arena, as at May 25, 2020. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

You will be jailed, Sports PS warns hooligans as Nyayo takes shape

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Rowdy fans have been warned that they will be jailed for vandalizing stadium property, with the Nyayo National Stadium nearing completion and opening set for May 31.

Plastic seats have finally been installed all-round the stadium.

The Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani has been a victim of frequent vandalism, with the plastic seats especially in the lower tier of the sitting area often being plucked off and thrown all over the pitch.

With Nyayo getting a similar seating facelift and the VIP area being glassed all round, there has been fear that the facility will fall victim to easy target during highly volatile matches like the Mashemeji Derby.

“This is a public facility built with public funds and anyone vandalizing is as good as someone stealing money from the public. We will not let that happen,” Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo told Capital Sport on Monday afternoon while making an impromptu visit of the stadium.

He added; “We have given a stern warning that we will not put up such kind of an investment and leave it just like that. We will have police presence permanently, not only in Nyayo but also all the others we are putting up and they will be constantly under surveillance.”

Ministry of Works Chief Architect SK Muli has also revealed to Capital Sport that there will be CCTV cameras mounted all round the stadium to ensure perpetrators of vandalism will be nabbed in real time.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo tries out one of the newly laid out seats at the Nyayo National Stadium VIP area during an impromptu inspection visit on May 25, 2020. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, the country’s top two most supported clubs have always been fined by Sports Kenya for cases on vandalized seats and other infrastructure, while national team matches have not been spared either.

But Sports Kenya Director General Pius Metto while speaking to Capital Sports says he hopes there won’t be more cases especially after the last derby which witnessed a peaceful atmosphere and was even attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.

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“I have had meetings with officials of various clubs and directed them to sensitize their fans through all means possible not to damage our facilities. We have to protect them and any clubs which mess up will be given serious penalties including banning them,” Metto stated.

He added; “This is a national heritage and we cannot allow people to tamper with it. We have put funds into making it of high standards and we need to respect them. I don’t want to single out Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, but we have talked with all clubs.

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