The Kenyan government has pledged that stalled renovation work at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium will be completed by March, with domestic Premier League football matches to resume at the venue before then.

Nyayo Stadium is Kenya’s second-largest stadium but was closed last year, along with other facilities, for redevelopment work ahead of the country’s planned staging of the 2018 African Nations Championship.

However, due to concern over the progress of preparations the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped the event from Kenya, moving it to Morocco. Renovation work at the 30,000-capacity Nyayo Stadium was then halted due to funding issues, but has resumed this week.

The stadium is now scheduled to host events during Jamhuri Day, a national holiday, on December 12 before football returns to the venue. Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia said, according to Kenyan newspaper the Star: “We will have Premier League matches played once the celebrations are over.

“Although the works are set to be completed in March next year, the work remaining after the holiday will not prevent matches from being played. We admit we have taken long to deliver the stadium due to financial challenges but the government has committed itself to meet the deadlines. The stadium will meet all international standards once its completed. I am confident the first phase of the work will be ready by November 20.”

The contractor leading the renovation works, Chandresh Babariya, confirmed that the government had released funding for the remaining work. Once complete, Nyayo Stadium will have a roof and new seating.

Kaberia explained that the government had given priority to the renovation works at the Kinoru Stadium in Meru and Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.

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