Concern over state of Kip Keino Stadium for Chan
An assessment done by the Local Organizing Committee found the Kipchoge Keino Stadium’s state as poorest among four venues listed to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan).
LOC made the declaration on Friday as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection tour reached Uasin Gishu County where the team unilaterally agreed a lot more needs to be done in order for the facility to reach the required threshold.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa acknowledged the stadium is lagging behind but expressed confidence in the commitment shown by on-site contractors to ensure it is ready by December 1.
“It is true Kinoru, Nyayo and Kasarani are a bit ahead in terms of construction. It therefore means we have the two contractors working here have to stretch themselves harder to have this job done before December,” Mwendwa said.
In the presence of the CAF inspectors, Mwendwa ordered the contractors and the engineers involved to review their work plan to avoid delaying the job beyond December.
According to the work plan available at the time of the visit, the construction was set to go beyond mid December, a timeline beyond the dates set by CAF.
“You must have it in mind CAF will be coming here to test the venues in December, so we cannot be talking about construction in the time. Everything should be over before they return because by January 11 we will be playing here,” the FKF boss charged.
Quizzed about the implications of failing to meet the deadline would mean, Mwendwa who is the LOC chairman was coy.
“I’m working with Kinoru, Kasarani, Nyayo and this venue for now. I don’t want to think in that direction, and that’s why we are looking at how we adjust our timelines to have it done in time,” he said.
His CEO in the LOC Herbert Mwachiro was equally positive despite the enormous task the contractors are faced with in the venue; the will showcased is an indicator of success.
“The last time the CAF inspectors came here, they had nothing to look at. They did not last here for five minutes, but today you saw they have taken over an hour because we are seriously working towards hosting matches here come January.
“I insist to those doubting Kenya’s chances of hosting CHAN that w will do it,” he averred.
There were over 200 workers at the stadium during the visit, with foundations for parking, changing rooms, VIP centre among others being laid down.
-Sporting region –
Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno later hosted the delegation at the county headquarters, asserting his governments’ commitment to have CHAN in Eldoret.
Representing his boss Governor Jackson Mandago, Chemno underscored his pride to have the second biggest CAF football tournament in his county.
“Our county engineers will be inspecting the progress of the work being done at the stadium twice a day, to curb any element of complacency.
“We are ready to do everything possible in collaboration with the LOC to beat the set deadlines, and have the tournament in this sporting region,” Chemnoo assured.
Kenyatta Stadium of Machakos County which was in the initial plan of inspection was removed from the list of venues, although Sports Kenya is speeding up the face-lifting process that started earlier in the month.
This, could be the fall back plan for Kipchoge Keino, in an event it fails the CAF test.
The Constant Omari (CAF 2nd Vice President) led team has been in the country since Monday, and will conclude their assignment on Saturday in Nairobi where a comprehensive report on their inspection is expected to be delivered.
CAF will on September 23 announce the final verdict as far as Chan hosting rights are concerned at an Executive Committee meeting in Accra, Ghana.
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