For the past decades since Kenya attained independence, the Nyanza region has been at the front foot of producing some of the best football players who went on to dominate both for their local clubs and the national team, Harambee Stars.
From the likes of Allan Thigo and Peter Dawo to Dennis Oliech and now Kenneth Muguna and Benson Omala, the region has been constantly supplying the national team with quality players.
However, the storyline in Nyanza is different. Despite the talent wealth, Nyanza region does not have standardized sports facilities to support the talents.
Since sports became a devolved function, there has been a rise in the number of stadia and sports infrastructure.
Nyanza has experienced a steady development of sports infrastructure but their construction has been going on at a snail’s pace.
However, Kisumu County Director of Sports Infrastructure Kenneth Otieno said Kisumu will be boosted by the completion of the Sh415 million Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium.
He said the construction of the new stadium in Mamboleo is 85 per cent complete.
“We have good news for sports in Kisumu. The construction of the new stadium in Mamboleo is 85 per cent complete. This will save the entire Nyanza region which does not have a proper stadium. We expect that after this is done, we start following up on Moi Stadium,” said Otieno.
When complete, the stadium will have an athletics running track, football and rugby pitch, conference facilities, VIP pavilion and 10 stands that can hold up to 20,000 fans.
The new stadium is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
Currently, Kisumu Clubs taking part in the Premier League and Super League are using the Moi Stadium which is in a very deplorable state.
The stadium has been the home for traders who have been camping outside the stadium for the past year since the coronavirus pandemic struck, downgrading the stadium hygienically.
Western Stima and Kisumu All Starlets represent the region in their respective men and women’s premier leagues as Kisumu Hot Stars and Kisumu All Stars fight to return to the top flight in the super league.