Star Sports

FKF yet to secure venue for July 4 Betway Cup finals

The Betway FKF Cup finals between arch-rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards risk being played on a substandard pitch.

Football Kenya Federation on Friday revealed that efforts to gain access to either Nyayo Stadium or Moi, Stadium Kasarani had hit a snag despite numerous pleas.

FKF have sent a passionate plea to relevant government authorities to intervene and resolve the hitch in good time.

In a letter dated June 4 and signed by FKF CEO Barry Otieno, the federation wrote to Sports Kenya director-general Pius Metto, requesting to hire Moi Stadium, Kasarani for the Betway FKF Cup finals between arch-rivals AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia slated for July 4.

The letter read in part: “Dear Sir, FKF wishes to inform your good office that the federation in partnership with Betway (Kenya), is planning to stage the FKF Betway Cup t 2020/2021 season finals on Sunday, July 4, 2021.”

“Therefore, in consideration that the Nyayo National Stadium is unavailable on the aforesaid date, we wish to request your esteemed office to kindly allow the federation to access the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Main Stadium, to host the final match of the tournament, which will take place on the aforementioned date from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.”

“Nonetheless, we wish to reassure your office that FKF will strictly adhere to  the Covid-19 Protocols provided by the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Health.”

Speaking to the Star on Friday evening, Metto reiterated that Moi Stadium, Kasarani had long been set aside specifically for the Kenyan Tokyo Olympics-bound contingent and any attempts to interfere with the bubble camp would only cause inconvenience.

“We’ve put our Olympic teams in a bubble camp at Moi Stadium, Kasarani, and asking them to surrender the facility for use will only cause a lot of inconveniences,” said Metto.

About Nyayo Stadium, Metto lashed out at FKF for being cagey with facts.

“I told them clearly we have already allocated the facility to the Olympics-bound Kenya Rugby team. They approached us first and we booked them in and so, we can’t just ask them to vacate the place to accommodate someone else.

Metto insists his formal request to hold a meeting with the federation had fallen on deaf ears, adding the federation had instead resorted to making unreasonable demands via SMS.

“We are, however, open to talks. Let FKF send a delegation to my office so that they can seat with my team and discuss how the finals can be accommodated in the facility’s busy schedule.

”I’d actually asked them to come for talks after they sent correspondence requesting to be given the field for the FKF Cup finals. However, they chose to communicate through messages and that’s not the right way to go about the whole issue,” said Metto.

Contacted for comment, a highly placed source at the Ministry of Sports said Sports Kenya was most suited to deliberate on the issue.

FKF have expressed fear that if efforts to access the two stadiums prove futile, they may consider hosting the match at Ruaraka grounds.


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