Camp Toyoyo: Uproar over sorry state of Nairobi’s famous football ground

Camp Toyoyo ground which is bad condition after years of neglect.

Camp Toyoyo: Uproar over sorry state of Nairobi’s famous football ground

Joel Omotto 09:00 - 22.05.2024

Camp Toyoyo grounds in Nairobi’s Jericho estate is now a shell of its former self and concerned fans and players are up in arms over its neglect.

Camp Toyoyo in Jericho estate, Nairobi is one of the oldest grounds in the city that has been used to nurture football talent.

Previously a dusty playing surface, the ground received a completely new face in 2015 following the laying of an artificial turf.

The upgrade, which came under the commissioning of FIFA, plus the assistance of the local community, saw the dusty playing surface replaced with an elegant artificial turf, changing rooms and floodlights with field markings and rubber spreading.

The ground was installed with floodlights and changing rooms courtesy of the Constituency Development Funds [CDF] through then area Member of Parliament Benson Mutura.

Following its opening on July 29, 2015, the grounds started hosting Kenyan Premier League matches while a number of teams, including Gor Mahia, used it as their training base.

With the limited match venues and training grounds in Nairobi, Camp Toyoyo hosted several tournaments and teams but as it has become the norm in Kenya, the ground was used and then dumped when it was no longer useful.

A spot check by Pulse Sports revealed a sorry state for the ground which badly needs another such upgrade.

The artificial turf is now in tatters and even though some action is still being played there, the ball can hardly move with ease on its current surface with the risk of injuries real.

The floodlights are in a poor condition, the changing rooms are not well maintained, the field markings are disappearing while the rubber spreading has worn off.

It is a condition that has left fans and players in the area disappointed given authorities seem to have forgotten the ground that have nurtured many talents.

“This place was used and dumped. No one cares. A ground that used to host Premier League matches now can only attract desperate county league teams and cooperate sides. Even the charges have dropped from Ksh15,000 to Ksh2,500 to use it,” lamented a fan, who has been a regular at the grounds to watch matches over the years.

The refurbishment of the ground is said to have cost nearly Ksh90 million nine years ago but it will now need much more to give it a new face yet again.

‘Jeri uwanjo Soo’ seems to have suffered the same fate that befell others that similarly got a new face before it, such as City Stadium, and now there are fears that Dandora Stadium, which also has an artificial turf, will go the same route a few years down the line, given it can hardly get a breather since its opening in March.

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