Kenya’s Sports Minister, Ababu Namwamba, has blamed previous governments for failing to improve the country’s stadiums, which has led to the national football team, Harambee Stars, having to play their home matches in another country.

Namwamba, who had previously promised Kenyans that Nyayo Stadium would be ready to host games by June, has directed criticism towards past administrations. Despite efforts by the current Kenya Kwanza government to upgrade Nyayo and Kasarani stadiums, Harambee Stars will still play their home matches in Malawi as these venues do not meet international standards.

Namwamba expressed his disappointment with the state of sports infrastructure in Kenya, claiming it has been neglected for the past 40 years. He mentioned that stadiums like those in Kisumu and Kericho are only considered national stadiums by name and do not meet FIFA standards.

“Our sports infrastructure currently does not meet the required standards,” Namwamba said during his visit to Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi, Bungoma.

Discussing the substandard conditions of Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Kisumu and Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kericho, among others, Namwamba said these venues are considered international stadiums in name only and do not fulfill FIFA requirements. This raises concerns about the government’s commitment to improving sports infrastructure in the country, he added.

During his visit to Masinde Muliro Stadium in Kanduyi, Bungoma, Namwamba emphasized the importance of having sports infrastructure that meets both international and FIFA standards. He assured Bungoma residents that the contractors working on the stadium would not abandon the project until it is completed and ready to host CHAN (African Nations Championship) games.

Namwamba stressed the need for quality sports infrastructure to enhance sports activities in the country. “We need better sports infrastructure to improve our sports activities. I promise to improve sports infrastructure nationwide through the Kenya Kwanza government,” he said.

He highlighted the progress of the construction of Masinde Muliro Stadium, stating that it is on track to be completed in time for the Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2024.

Despite the challenges facing sports infrastructure in Kenya, Namwamba is determined to ensure that projects like Masinde Muliro Stadium are completed to high standards. He emphasized the importance of accountability in the construction process and urged contractors to focus on quality and timely completion.