The Kenyan government has confirmed national teams including Harambee Stars will now be forced to play their matches at Kirigi Stadium in Kiambu County and Ulinzi Complex in Nairobi.
Sports CS Ababu Namwamba revealed the decision was necessitated by the fact Moi Kasarani and Nyayo Stadium will officially be closed in three weeks’ time for thorough renovation work ahead of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals. Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were granted the rights to host the tournament by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) through their joint bid dubbed ‘Pamoja’.
“We are soon going to hand over Kasarani, Nyayo, and Kipchoge Keino stadia to the Kenyan military for renovation work and this means national teams including Harambee Stars will have to play any of their upcoming matches or train at either Kirigi or Ulinzi Complex stadia,” said Namwamba.
Namwamba confirmed the move to renovate the stadia had the backing of the Kenyan cabinet and further said they have already redesigned their look in readiness for renovation work. “We cannot hide the fact that our facilities are in total tatters, we have not made any serious investment in our stadia for many years now, the last time we made a serious investment in our stadia was 40 years ago, Nyayo Stadium 1983, Kasarani Stadium in 1987, that is 40 years ago, to be honest,” said Namwamba, adding: “It is about time we made some serious investment and we are ready to do that and we have already redesigned Kasarani, we have redesigned Nyayo and we have redesigned Kipchoge.”
Namwamba took his time to wade into the issue of which nation will host the opening ceremony and the final of the 2027 AFCON insisting CAF will make the final call over the matter. “I have heard people asking, who will host the opening ceremony, who will host the draw, who will host the final but I can assure you we will agree on who will host the opening ceremony, who will host the draw, who will host the first match, who will host the final match,” said Namwamba, adding: “I can assure you the way we agreed to put together a winning joint bid, we will agree to share those responsibilities.”
He continued: “We believe we will always sit down, we will access the capability of every capital city, and at the end of the day remember this is a CAF event so CAF makes the final call on the basis of many metrics, so we believe based on the metrics that will make objective decisions on who is capable of doing what works best where.”
On Monday, the Kenyan government confirmed they have been handed the rights to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament in 2024, the CECAFA U18 championships, and the AFCON U15 tournament.