Machakos awakes from slumber as big boys arrive
19 November 2013, 12:50
Nairobi - The sleepy town of Machakos, is expected to come to life
when it hosts its first international sporting event in the form of the
upcoming Council of East and Central African (CECAFA) Senior Challenge.
The tournament, which will feature ten countries, will be
held from November 27 to December 12.
The Kenyatta Sports Ground has undergone thorough
renovation and according to county engineer Maurice Alwanga, the final touches
are being done on the playing surface, the terraces, the VIP section, the
toilets and the changing rooms.
Work has been going on for the last month since Football
Kenya Federation President Sam Nyamweya and CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas
Musonye earmarked Machakos as one of the host venues.
The stadium which, once hosted a top league game when
Mathare United used it as their home venue in 2000, has been in a dilapidated
shape and was majorly used for political functions.
Machakos governor, Alfred Mutua, has worked round the
clock, pumping in close to Sh20 million to upgrade it to the required standards
for the forthcoming regional championships.
According to Alwanga, the surface, which was freshly dug
and had a new natural turf laid, will be ready by the weekend.
“I think by the end of the week, we will be good to go.
Everything is in place,” said Alwanga.
On Thursday, Musonye said he was impressed with the speed
of work at Kenyatta Stadium and challenged Kisumu County to follow suit and
complete ongoing work at Moi Stadium to get a chance of hosting some matches.
“Machakos will be hosting the preliminary matches
alongside Nairobi while Mumias, Kisumu and Mombasa will be given a chance to
host matches from the knockout stages,” said Musonye.
Established in 1887, ten years before Nairobi, Machakos
was the first administrative centre for the British colony but the capital was
moved to Nairobi in 1899 since Machakos by-passed the Uganda Railway that was
Hosting the regional championships will give the town a
lift especially in the development of football.
“Machakos does not have a strong football team. My hope
is that with the stadium now in good shape we will have a team coming up from
here,” said the county governor Alfred Mutua.
– CAJ News