Footballers oppose Johnnie Walker #RugerInMeru event

Mafuko Bombers FC

Meru Bombers players celebrate after scoring a goal against Mavoko Youth FC at Kaaga MCK grounds on June 5, 2022. The team has threatened to sue for Kinoru stadium to be handed over to county government.

Photo credit: Charles Wanyoro I Nation Media Group

The Meru Bombers football club has threatened to take Sports Kenya to court for failing to release Kinoru Stadium to the county government for use by locals.

The footballers have also threatened to block a Johnnie Walker-themed music event this Saturday, to be highlighted by Nigerian Afrobeat singer Ruger.

They claimed that the event to promote Johnnie Walker Whisky amounted to encouragement and inducement to consume alcohol in direct contravention of people’s choice and the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.

They are angry that they were last weekend denied the facility on the grounds that it is incomplete, yet Sports Kenya was hiring it out for political and musical events.  

The national division two outfit was to play Kitengela Sportiff but were barred from entering the stadium, which was closed for renovation in 2016.

Sports Kenya had indicated that the Sh900 million facility was completed in June but it was yet to hand it over to the county government.

Through lawyer Calvine Otieno, Meru Bombers accuse Sports Kenya of discriminating against sportsmen, demanding that Kinoru stadium be handed over to the county government.

“Sports Kenya officials stopped and prohibited our client from using the stadium on the grounds that it is incomplete and therefore posed a health and safety risk to players and fans,” the letter says.

“While this happened, Sports Kenya had at the same time hired out the stadium to East African Breweries Ltd … discriminatory handling of users for the stadium is apparent.”

In the letter copied to Sports Kenya and EABL, the footballers want the music event cancelled until the stadium is open for use to all.

“It is to take place in an environment where intoxicated youth are assembled in darkness, the risk to their health and safety is multiplied by orders of magnitude,” Mr Otieno said.

“Besides, our client was denied the use of the facility on account that it is still under construction and has no running water therefore posing a health and safety risk to them.”

He also demanded that Sports Kenya surrender the alleged EABL fee of Sh5 million to the Meru County government as the lawful owner for the facility.

The lawyer said he had express orders from his clients to move to court if the demands were not met by Thursday.

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