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Jaro Soja urges Ngatia to renovate City Stadium

Prominent football fan Jared Otieno, commonly known as Jaro Soja, has urged Richard Ngatia to cater to the needs of footballers in the county if elected the next Nairobi governor.

While expressing his support for Ngatia ahead of the August 9 polls, Jaro Soja, an ardent Gor Mahia, and Harambee Stars fan did, however, note that footballers faced several challenges in the line of duty which hampered their performances.

“Ngatia has invited fans to help him with a roadmap to develop sports in Nairobi and that is a good sign. I’m calling on fans to support him,” explained Jaro Soja, at an event where Ngatia launched his campaign song.

“I’m also calling on him to renovate the city stadium so our players can use it. The facility has not been in use for more than a decade. Our players also need training grounds that are in good shape. We do not have enough in the county.”

Considered the home ground for Gor Mahia back in the day ever since football’s world governing body Fifa renovated it in 2009, City Stadium’s state has detororiated in recent times, leading to authorities banning it from hosting Kenyan Premier League and second-tier matches.

Despite the ban, successive county governments, led by Evans Kidero and Mike Sonko did little to uplift the sports facility which lies in the heart of the Eastlands region, known for producing among the greatest football talents in Kenya.

Jaro Soja also noted that Ngatia had a track record of supporting grassroots football.

“He’s been sponsoring the biggest and most prominent grassroots football tournaments such as the Chairman’s Cup and Kothbiro. These tournaments have nurtured talents and attracted scouts.”

While noting Jaro Soja’s concerns, Ngatia promised to grace a meeting with football fans to discuss how fans will be motivated to watch their teams in action in stadiums.

Incumbent Ann Kananu, exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna, Westlands lawmaker Tim Wanyonyi, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, and former MP Margaret Wanjiru are among other aspirants interested in the gubernatorial seat.