Gor Mahia coach Dylan Kerr has slammed the quality of Nyayo Stadium playing surface that hosted the Mashemeji derby pitting K’Ogalo against arch-rivals AFC Leopards on Sunday.
Kerr has also taken issue with the quality of balls provided by Kenyan Premier League, and the state of football facilities in Kenya.
In his post-match interview on Sunday, a visibly-angry Kerr accused the KPL of providing substandard balls that “have been used for far too long.”
“Nyayo Stadium and so many other local pitches are a disgrace to the Kenyan league. We (Gor Mahia) train at Camp Toyoyo, which is an artificial pitch, then come and play here (Nyayo Stadium) on a bumpy surface. That is atrocious and does not support good professional football,” he said.
“Some of these balls are second-rate and have been in use for more than two years. They should sort that out. There is now a good chance of making things better now that Chan is coming here. Sort it out before it is too late and give Kenyans a chance to enjoy good football. Sort it out before Caf comes and takes the competition (Chan) away,” he said.
The Englishman said the state of Kenyan pitches has a direct impact on the quality of football, and challenged the league body to sort out the mess. Kerr was speaking moments after his team drew 1-1 draw with rivals AFC Leopards at Nyayo Stadium that saw K’Ogalo move six points clear at the top of the league standings.
Kerr’s comments come at a time Kenya is struggling to convince African football chiefs that it is ready to host the African Nations Championship in January.
It will however come as a relief to the Englishman that Nyayo Stadium, which is one of the venues earmarked to host 2017 African Nations Championship, has been closed for renovation.
At the same time, Kerr said his players did not live up to expectations in Sunday’s match.
“I think we were second best today. Our passing wasn’t good, our free kicks and headers were pathetic. I think it is criminal for a player who shows me every day that he is capable of crossing the ball, couldn’t do it today,” he said in reference to his midfielder Boniface Omondi.
But for a coach who has handled a number of African countries, including Tanzanian club Simba, Kerr’s comments may have exposed his inability to adjust to practical conditions.
Indeed Kerr can hardly claim that his inability to deliver victory in the Mashemeji derby was entirely attributable to the poor playing surface, as several of his key players appeared subdued in the match.
Meddie Kagere struck the equaliser.