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Mashemeji derby set for new Kisumu stadium

Gor Mahia will host rivals AFC Leopards in a league clash at the newly built Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu city.

Gor secretary general Sam Ochola confirmed the news to Nairobi News.

He also urged K’Ogalo fans from across the country to throng the 30,000-capacity facility for the 94th edition of the Mashemeji derby on May 8.

“The decision to take the game to Kisumu was reached at by the management. The team will start camping Kisumu after our game against Kariobangi Sharks on May 1,” said Ochola.

Gor were banned from hosting its matches in Nairobi due to crowd trouble which occurred during their league clash against newbies Vihiga Bullets on February 13 at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani.

Three fans were injured during the chaos which saw the game fail to resume in the second half. On March 10 the FKF Caretaker Committee awarded Bullets the maximum points only for K’Ogalo to appeal the decision at the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) which is yet to give its verdict.

“The club is currently serving a ban on hosting its matches in Nairobi and since this is the biggest game of the season, we have brought it to Kisumu where the club enjoys fanatical support so that they can also feel part of the team. We also hope to cash in on a huge turnout and call on all our fans from the republic to come in numbers.”

With a significant reduction in the number of fans turning up for their matches in Nairobi, Gor is expecting to reap big by taking the game to Kisumu where AFC Leopards from the adjacent Western Kenya counties can also attend in their numbers.

The building of the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium which cost Sh498 million is already complete and it has been hosting social events like concerts in the region. It also hosted last year’s Madaraka Day which was led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Apart from the main playing surface, it also has an eight-lane running track, terraces around the stadium, a lounge and the biggest Pavillion in Western Kenya.

Other additional facilities include a basketball court, a tennis court, a police station, an anti-doping room, a restaurant, a conference area and a total of 59 washrooms for the convenience of the spectators.

Gor are currently fourth on the league standings, with 42 points from 25 matches, while Ingwe who have bagged the league 13 times are 10th on 35 points.