NAIROBI, Kenya- Excitement hit fever pitch on the eve of the historic match between local giants, Gor Mahia FC and visiting English side Hull City FC when the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani was formally handed over on Saturday.
The anticipation and anxiety that has built up among local football enthusiasts and beyond throughout the week ahead of the encounter came to ahead as the final preparation programme rolled out in earnest.
The Tigers arrived in the country on Friday night and were welcomed by officials from the Ministry of Sports and match organisers, leading bookmakers SportPesa staff.
On Saturday morning the team led by head coach Nigel Adkins were hosted to a sumptous breakfast at a Nairobi hotel to accord them an official welcome to the country on their maiden visit to Kenya.
In attendance was Nairobi Senator, Johnstone Sakaja alongside the Global Chief Operating Officer, Jakob Kristensen and Chief Marketing Officer, Kelvin Twissafrom SportPesa among other dignitaries.
“We are very happy to have Hull City here in Kenya for the very first time. On behalf of the entire local community we welcome you and we are all looking forward to the game on Sunday,” Sakaja stated.
Sakaja was presented with the official Hull home jersey by Adkins and veteran forward Frazier Campbell who is one of the Tigers stars that are out to teach K’Ogalo a football lesson.
The Tigers are scheduled to hold a training session at Kasarani this afternoon at 3pm local time (+3GMT) to get a feel of the brand new turf at the iconic stadium.
Thereafter, both teams will hold their pre-match press conference starting at 4pm where the coaches and captains from Gor and Hull will draw their battle lines for Sunday.
“This Hull City visit is a tremendous achievement for both teams and for football in the country. We are pleased to host Hull City on this landmark visit that will take our partnership to a whole new level,” Kristensen underlined.
“We leave no stone unturned in the development of football in Kenya with this being the beginning of many great things to come.
“The game on Sunday should be a great one and we all look forward to watching the different array of talent on display,” the SportPesa boss added.
The contractors tasked with the face-lift of the stadium, Grigori International, officially handed over the stadium to Twissa in another ceremony as the final touches to the landmark football match set off.
“All the hard work that has been put into the match and the revamping of the stadium has all gone well and I’m very pleased to inform that the stage is set and we are looking forward to the game tomorrow (Saturday),” Twissa remarked at Kasarani.
Grigori were engaged by the gaming firm to lay out the new pitch after the playing surface was torn up to revert its use for football following last year’s IAAF World Under 18 Championships in Athletics.
This is after the State funded process to restore the pitch that was due to be ready at the start of April delayed, prompting the intervention of SportPesa to give the Gor versus Hull game a venue of the stature it deserves.
After the game, work on the pitch will continue to ensure it maintains standards set by world governing body FIFA ahead of forthcoming local and international matches in a partnership between the Government, the gaming firm and Football Kenya Federation.