Kenya faced with the possibility of hosting the World Cup Qualifiers outside the country

With significant renovations currently underway at Kasarani Stadium, Kenya faces a critical decision regarding the hosting of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Burundi and the reigning African champions, Ivory Coast, set for June 3rd and 10th, 2024.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports disclosed on Tuesday that Nyayo Stadium, the sole FIFA-approved venue for hosting the qualifiers, will be shut down starting April 22nd for an undisclosed duration. This closure is to facilitate renovations ahead of the 2024 African Championship CHAN scheduled for September.

This situation leaves Kenya with a pressing need to identify alternative venues if the renovation work at Nyayo Stadium isn’t completed by June.

Kenya, alongside two other East African nations, has been tasked with hosting two consecutive continental tournaments: the 2024 CHAN and the 2027 African Cup Of Nations (AFCON).

Initially, Nyayo Stadium’s closure was planned after Saturday’s Kip Keino Classic, coinciding with the Mashemeji Derby. However, due to safety concerns, the derby was rescheduled to Sunday and moved to Nyayo Stadium.

Compounded by the current rainy season, the country is grappling with challenges regarding match venues, with coaches expressing worries about the strain on Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Should Nyayo Stadium remain unavailable by mid-May, Kenya might need to explore options in neighboring countries like Uganda or Tanzania to host the qualifiers.

Acknowledging this predicament, the Sports Ministry, in tandem with the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), is in discussions with CAF and FIFA regarding the venue for Harambee Stars’ next World Cup qualifier matches (match days 3 and 4) scheduled for June 3rd and 11th.