NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is set to send an inspection team to Nairobi to check on the progress and readiness of the Nyayo National Stadium to stage international matches.
The CAF inspectors will travel to the country immediately the airport is re-opened after their initial inspection tour in March was halted by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, the Federation’s International Match Organizing Committee (IMOC) toured the Stadium to check on the progress to help them prepare a report which will be used by CAF as a guide.
“We are here to check on the facilities and whether they meet CAF and FIFA standards. Things like changing rooms, medical room, media facilities as well as stadium security are very integral and we need to have a look at them,” IMOC chair Michael Ouma told Capital Sports.
He added; “When normalcy returns, CAF will come maybe in July or August and look at the work which has been done. They were to come in March but with the issues of travel restrictions we had to cancel. We intend to host our next international matches here.”
The completion of the Nyayo Stadium will come as a welcome relief to the Federation as they will have a second alternative to Kasarani. The Stadium is also looked at as an easily accessible venue which means more fans will attend games and offer the much-needed full home ground advantage.
Kenya’s representatives in the CAF Inter-Club tournaments will also breathe a sigh of relief as a return to Nyayo will be more than welcome.
The Stadium’s renovation started in 2017 as Kenya prepared to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN) but the slow progress of the works meant Kenya missed out on the opportunity which was passed on to Morocco.
“We are happy with what the government is doing and we hope that they will speed up works in other facilities like Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret to give us more options for international matches,” Ouma further stated.
Works at the stadium is at the finishing stage with the changing rooms, referee and anti-doping areas now complete. The sitting areas have been finished with all seats laid while the VIP rooms have also been completed.
Capital Sports has learnt that the playing surface is set for a final round of layering and it should be complete in the next one month with a new set of grass brought in to patch up the dry areas.