Ingwe have welcomed the re-opening of the 45,000-capacity venue ahead of the new campaign
The 45,000-capacity stadium, which was closed in 2017 for renovations to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championships (Chan), which was later moved to Morocco over Kenya‘s unpreparedness, was officially re-opened on Friday by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Shikanda has now thanked the government for moving with speed to finish the renovation work at the venue, saying it will help them to cut costs in their budget for the new campaign.
“It is very exciting we are now going to use Nyayo Stadium for our home matches during the new season,” Shikanda told Goal.
“We had suffered a lot of travelling every weekend to Machakos for our home matches, the expenses were on the higher side.
“But during our recent visit to State House when President Kenyatta was handing over the new team bus to us, we pleaded with him to have the venue ready for the new season, and I am happy he listened to our pleas and made sure it is ready before the new season kicks off.
“Nyayo has always remained the home of AFC Leopards and we want to thank Kenyatta and the government for the work they have done in the venue, by using it as our home ground, it will help cut on costs as we used to spend a lot of money travelling to Machakos.”
On his part, Ingwe captain Robinson Kamura was also elated to have Nyayo ready to host league matches.
“It is good news for AFC Leopards because we will avoid the long travels to play our home matches, sometimes we used Machakos and even Narok, which was a bit far from the city,” Kamura told Goal.
“Playing at Nyayo will give the players humble time to prepare well for matches, and also will help us to rest well before and after the matches.”
The stadium was briefly opened to host a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards in August 2017 then closed again for renovation.
It was then partially reopened on February 11 for former President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi’s state funeral, and the Beyond Zero Half Marathon on March 8.