Nyayo National Stadium has finally been opened for league matches and AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks are set to face each other in a Kenyan Premier League match at the facility on Sunday, September 15.
Kenya’s second-largest stadium has been undergoing renovations since January 2017 when it was officially closed. The repairs are yet to be completed due to financial challenges but the stadia management has decided to reopen it for use on Sunday.
It’s not yet clear as to whether the facility has been opened permanently or it will be re-closed after the Sunday game that was initially set to be played at Moi International Sports Center Kasarani but had to be moved due to unavailability of the venue.
This comes in the wake of an expose that revealed the poor state of Kasarani Stadium. The facility has been left unattended with the terrace filled with filth. The video that went viral has seen senior figures at the sports stadia management board put to task to explain why the stadium has been neglected.
Nyayo has been Leopards’ home-ground for decades and match attendance at the facility is likely to improve. The number of fans turning out for Ingwe matches have been dwindling owing to the long distance that fans have to cover to watch the team in Machakos.
Leopards began its 2019/20 campaign with a 1-0 defeat in the hands of Kakamega Homeboyz at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. Sharks, on the other hand, played to a two-all draw against Western Stima at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Heading into the game, Leopards has never defeated Kariobangi Sharks in a league match, the only win they have registered was a 2-0 win in the Sportpesa Shield final in 2017. The two teams have met six times in the league, Sharks have won two of the games while the rest have ended even.