Nyayo Stadium selected as CHAN 2024 venue, to close for major upgrade

The government has announced that Nyayo National Stadium will be closed after the ABSA Kip Keino Classic which will take place on Sunday April 20, 2024.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy, and Sports on Tuesday said that the stadium has been chosen as Kenya’s official Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) 2024 host venue after consultations with the Confederations of African Football.

The announcement comes despite ongoing renovations at the stadium, which will also host the 2024 Kip Keino Classic.

“The contractor appointed to upgrade the Nyayo National Stadium for CHAN 24′ and as a support facility for AFCON’ 27 will commence accelerated works immediately after the conclusion of the Kip Keino Classic on 22 April 2024,” the statement read in part.

Kenya, alongside Uganda and Tanzania, will co-host the CHAN tournament in September this year.

Further, the ministry is in discussions with CAF and FIFA to determine the venue for the upcoming World Cup qualifier matches of the Harambee Stars.

The matches, scheduled for June 3 and 11, 2024, against Burundi and Cote d’Ivoire respectively, are pivotal in Kenya’s quest to secure qualification for the prestigious global tournament.

“We assure all sports enthusiasts and the people of Kenya that this transformative trajectory will be sustained, growing our country’s creative and sporting industries and feeding our sports tourism agenda,” the statement added.

Last month, Members of Parliament gave the government until June 30 to submit to the National Assembly, the budget for development of all venues earmarked for the 2024 African Nations Championship (Chan) and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

This is according to the report on the Budget Policy Statement (BPS) for financial year 2024/25, which has since been approved by the National Assembly.

In the same document, the legislators also directed Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, to present to it by the same date, a clear roadmap of the Talanta Hela Programme.

While the Confederation of African Football (Caf) are not so strict when it comes to hosting Chan, the continental football governing body demands that training and match venues for Afcon be of world-class standards.

Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu, Nyayo National Stadium, Ulinzi Sports Complex and Moi International Sports Centre (MISC) Kasarani Annex in Nairobi are the venues Kenya is considering for Chan. They were inspected by Caf last week.

For Afcon, Kenya has earmarked the 60,000-seater Talanta Sports City (yet to be constructed) and 60,000-seater MISC, as the competition stadiums.

The proposed training venues include; Kasarani Annex, Kenya Academy of Sports, Nyayo National Stadium, Ulinzi Sports Complex, Mbaraki Sports Ground, Shanzu Teachers Training College, Mombasa Municipal Grounds, Eldoret University, Eldoret Polytechnic, Dani ASK Grounds and Eldoret ASK Grounds.

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