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British coach Kerr decries poor state
of Kenyan pitches ahead of 2018 CHAN  

By Kimathi Kamau NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- British coach Dylan Kerr on Monday challenged Kenyan authorities to improve playing facilities if the country hopes to host a successful 2018 Africa Home Nations Championships (CHAN) early next year.

Kerr, a former English professional footballer, criticized the standard of pitches in the country saying they were stunting the growth of football as the country prepares to stage the second-tier continental football tournament next Jan.

“We train at Camp Toyoyo which is a 3G surface and then play on grass. I hope Kenyan football authorities sort it out for CHAN because the national stadium is a disgrace for top-flight football,” Kerr said.

“If you watch the Premier League and all other European competitions, every field is immaculate. Now you have the chance to do it, so do it before it’s too late and the tournament is taken elsewhere,” he added.

Kerr, who is in charge of record domestic league winners and current log leaders, Gor Mahia FC, was speaking after the end of a tense derby against arch rivals AFC Leopards SC that ended 1-1 at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday.

Nyayo is one of the five venues earmarked for CHAN games and Kerr complained its current state was shortchanging fans who come to see teams play good football.

“Give the fans a chance to watch enjoyable football on Premier League worthy pitches and sort the footballs out too. We are playing with balls that have probably been used for two years,” said Kerr.

“If you are in the Premier League, every time you come out you get a brand-new ball not second hand balls. The league officials need to sort that out,” the ex-Sheffield Wednesday FC, Leeds United FC and Reading FC defender added in attacking the Kenyan top-flight authorities.

His team that is seeking to extend their record to a 16th domestic title sits at the summit on 44 points, six clear of second placed Sofapaka FC with Posta Rangers FC (35) rounding the top three.

The Kenyan topflight season has been hit by a lack of proper playing facilities owing to the part closures of Nyayo and the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.

Kinoru (Meru), Kenyatta (Machakos) and Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret) are other stadia earmarked to host the CHAN with inspectors from the Confederation of Africa Football expected in early Sept. for final inspection.

Kenyatta was closed to the public on Monday and handed over to contractors who are supposed to start final preparations to get the venue ready with other facilities set to follow suit in the coming days according to local authorities.

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