NAIROBI– The announcement by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage that entry into Kasarani on Sunday will be free has elicited mixed reactions among Kenyans. Kenya national football team Harambee Stars will host Ethiopia on Sunday in a return leg that is a must-win for Kenya.
Inspired by the mammoth crowd seen at the Bahir Dar stadium in Addis Ababa, the Kenyan government on Thursday declared that the entrance to the stadium will be free for all.
In a letter sent to newsrooms, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa said the decision to quash entry fees is to motivate supporters from all walks of life to attend the match and cheer the national team which is on the brink of something special- a place at the African Cup of Nations finals that has evaded Kenya for 14 years.
However, the decision seems to have raised more eyebrows as now not all Kenyans are happy with it. A section of football enthusiasts argue that it will deny the football governing body FKF the revenue for that day. Others now question the ability of Kasarani to host 60,000 people and more.
There is also a section that is concerned with their own safety while attending a potentially crowded match.
Harambee Stars drew 0-0 with Ethiopia on Wednesday and are now top of the table with four points. They must win the return leg in order to improve their stakes for a place in Afcon 2019.