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GMT differs with Gor coach on state of Nyayo Stadium

Kenya Premier League’s head of technical services, safety and security, GMT Ottieno, has asked Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr to focus on his coaching duties and to ‘stop lecturing the league managers’ on Kenyan football.

Ottieno on Tuesday told Kerr to admit that his team performed poorly against AFC Leopards on Sunday instead of blaming the 1-1 draw on poor state of facilities in Kenya.

The referees’ boss was responding to Kerr’s remarks on Sunday following his team’s 1-1 draw with Ingwe. Kerr had asked KPL to get a grip on poor playing surface at Nyayo Stadium ‘to give fans the right to watch professional football.’

POOR PLAYNG SURFACE

In his post-match interview, Kerr had expressed disappointment with the playing surface at Nyayo as well as the quality of balls which he believed had been in use for more than two years.

But Ottieno on Tuesday said Kerr is barking up the wrong tree by asking KPL to fix the facilities at Nyayo, saying the Briton was misinformed in saying that balls used in league games are of poor quality.

“I agree that the terrain at Nyayo is not as good as that of Camp Toyoyo where his team trains, but KPL doesn’t own any stadiums. There are many stadiums in this country and it is his club that chose to play at Nyayo that day. The balls he is complaining about are Puma balls approved by Fifa,” Ottieno said.

“He has been here for only one month so how does he know the balls have been use for more than two years? Kerr should just admit that his players performed poorly instead of diverting attention. Next time his team is hosting matches, let them take it anywhere they want, provided they can assure us of the security of the players, match officials and fans,” he said.

Ottieno however failed to take cognisance of the fact that it is KPL that approves match venues to host top-flight matches through the league’s Stadiums Committee. Nyayo, which is closed for renovation, had been opened to host some matches.

While Kerr’s comments may have done little to placate his team’s vocal supporters, they meant a lot for Kenya which is struggling to convince Africa football chiefs of its capability to host the African Nations Championship in January next year.

Thankfully, the Nyayo Stadium facility, which is one of those earmarked to host the Chan competition, has now been shut down for renovations.

Kerr said the state of Kenyan pitches has a direct impact on the quality of football.

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