Kenya bans Nyayo Stadium to stage soccer matches

18:33, October 27, 2010      

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Kenyan soccer authorities have moved fast in what is expected to be a series of measures to address the death of fans during a local league match by banning the venue, Nyayo National Stadium, in Nairobi from staging any soccer match.

Football Kenya Limited has indefinitely vetoed two stadiums in Nairobi - Nyayo stadium and another one City Stadium - from hosting all soccer activities. This is after the death of eight fans during a league match last Saturday.

Football Kenya Chairman Mohammed Hatimy said the two stadiums are forbidden to stage any soccer until they meet specific safety conditions in accordance with FIFA Safety Regulations.

Some of these conditions include access to the stadium being facilitated by an efficient network of routes, a wall of at least 2.5 metres high enclosing the stadium, gates must be designed to withstand pressure from large crowds of people, approach roads and entry/exit points for teams and officials must be separate from those of spectators.

These requirements are clearly wanting from both facilities which will require a complete overhaul to comply.

But the move was immediately dismissed with many accusing Football Kenya of making publicity stunts because they have initially hosted international matches at Nyayo National Stadium without adhering to the conditions they have imposed.

A case in point was three weeks ago when they hosted an African Nations Cup qualifier match pitting Kenya against Uganda. The attendance was beyond the stadium's carrying capacity, a gate was broken down while fans managed to jump over the perimeter fence inside the stadium after the match.

The FKL ban comes as a result of the tragic events on Saturday during a Kenyan Premier League match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards when eight fans were trampled to death following a stampede.

The match easily recorded the highest attendance in a local club encounter this decade but will be remembered for the inadequate handling that led to the charge by impatient fans seeking to gain entry to the stadium.

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