WAFCON Qualifier: Venue for Harambee Starlets-Cameroon showdown revealed
Football Kenya Federation Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Barry Otieno has revealed that Harambee Starlets will host Cameroon for the second leg of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) qualifier at Nyayo Stadium.
Fears arose when the stadium, along with the Moi International Sports Complex in Kasarani and Kipchoge Keino in Eldoret, were put under renovation plans.
The Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, recently handed the stadiums to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to upgrade them to international standards, thus making them potentially unavailable for use.
Nyayo Stadium available
However, Otieno has confirmed that the city centre facility will be available for the national women's side.
"We can't change the venue for the second leg match due to ongoing renovations at the closed stadiums. Nyayo is the only approved stadium for Tier 2 matches, which Harambee Starlets fall under.
"I want to confirm that the government, through the Ministry of Sport, has assured us of the availability of the Nyayo Stadium ahead of the match. After the matches, then I think the renovations will go on as earlier planned," Otieno said, as quoted by a local publication.
Harambee Starlets' chances
Harambee Starlets face the daunting task of beating the Indomitable Lionesses and progressing to the second round, given that they suffered a 1-0 loss in the first leg in Douala.
Otieno is confident in Starlets' chance for a win.
"We really pray for Starlets to win this match. They have trained well, and as the federation, we have given them the deserved support," he added.
Although Namwamba affirmed that no matches will be played abroad, Otieno said that option remains on the table even though Nyayo Stadium remains the designated venue for future use by the national team.
"Should they (Harambee Starlets) emerge as the aggregate winners of the two-legged match, they will maintain the same Nyayo Stadium or play outside the country as per the government directives in alignment with FIFA and CAF regulations," he concluded.