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FIFA World Cup 2010 Kenya is gearing up as a stop over attraction

FIFA World Cup 2010 Kenya is gearing up as a stop over attraction

There is no event like the soccer world cup. All the others, the Olympics, the World Athletics Championships, continental football derbies may come close, but no one ever gets there. The World Cup is in a class of its own.

For the first time, the 32-nation football finals will be held in Africa. South Africa will be the host nation and new football facilities and improvements to existing ones are being put in place to ensure the country is ready to host the World Cup.

The other countries in the region do not miss that the World Cup is too big an event for one country to handle alone. Teams will need to acclimatize to the event before going to the actual venue. Countries that share the same conditions as the venue, have good sports facilities, established infrastructure, media and accommodation will be helpful.

Of all the nations in Africa, none fits this category better than Kenya. Apart from the 60,000 seater Moi International Sports Complex, the country also boasts of two other stadiums in the city, Nyayo and City Stadiums which are of international standard. The city’s stadium, which has a long history as the dream home of footballers and fans, is set for a major overhaul before 2010.

Kenya is known as a vibrant tourist destination. There are excellent accommodations in Kenya that over the years have been used by the millions of tourists who visit the country’s many tourist attractions. The media here is vibrant. Indeed, apart from South Africa, Kenya is the only other country in sub-Saharan Africa where internet and mobile phone can be found even in the most remote shopping centres.

Football stars will have it easy here. In fact, the top African football teams prefer Nairobi as their first training ground. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Flying Eagles of Nigeria have set up camp here for the past two years in Kenya.

Apart from the main stadiums, there are institutions that could offer excellent training grounds for teams looking for privacy. Owned by the central bank, the Kenyan School of Monetary Studies has everything any team participating in the World Cup would want. Their grounds are world class, their accommodation is excellent, security is provided by the paramilitary general service and it is only a twenty five minute drive from the international airport.

With a bit of an upgrade, the Karen-based KC B Institute can also provide excellent training grounds. Teams who don’t mind using facilities outside of Nairobi will find Naivasha an attractive destination. Flower-based companies have put out good gear that will only need to be polished for use.

Tanzania recently opened sixty thousand places in Dar es Salaam. It will also be available as a training ground for World Cup-bound teams, and its marketing has already been initiated by the Tanzanian government. Uganda and Rwanda will surely try to sell their seats as well.

The World Cup may be heading to South Africa, but Kenya and the East African region are already gearing up to catch the biggest event to ever come to Africa.

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