The newly refurbished Kinoru Stadium is not fit to stage international games due to poor playing surface, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) inspection team has ruled.
The facility, which was amongst those that were earmarked to host the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN), was renovated at a cost of Kshs 900 million.
Following the inspection, FKF Technical Committee chairman Murithi Nabea, who hails from the region shot that the pitch is “not fit for even division one matches.”
“The playing field requires correction so that it can be used. I want to be very clear – since I come from here, for now, the way the stadium is, it cannot host division one match, which is our third-tier league, let alone the international matches. The surface is unplayable, that is the status,” Nabea told Daily Nation.
He said they were keen on ensuring the 25,000-seat stadium attained international standards so that some of the premier league and international matches can be played there.
Meru Sports executive Koome Miriti said they had received requests from five top teams seeking to use the stadium as their home field.
Tusker FC had been using the stadium before it was closed for renovation in 2016, and have been monitoring the progress.
FKF international matches organizing committee chairman Michael Majua said the earliest the stadium could host an international match was in March when the turf can be replaced.
“Apart from the playing turf, we are pleased with what is going on. If the changes are rectified, we will be able to host FKF and international matches here,” said Majua.
The installation of the artificial turf and tartan track was to be handled by Gregori International Company, but the contractor has not started work following a dispute.
Toddy Civil Engineering Company won the overall bid to build the stadium.
Koome said the county government was anxious to receive the stadium so that local talents and big clubs can use it.
“Since July last year when CS Amina came here, the national government has been giving ultimatums but every time, we are forced to extend the deadlines because the work is always not ready. I hope we are in the home stretch,” he said.