What you need to know:
- This will be known Wednesday when the Cairo-based football body names hosts of both the 2025 and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations
- Morocco is rumuored to be the favourite to land the hosting rights for the competition in 2025 despite competition from Algeria, Zambia plus a co-hosting bid from Nigeria and Benin
- This past week, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba announced the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have been tasked to upgrade the two stadiums in Nairobi with an eye on Kenya hosting the games
Will the Confederation of African Football (Caf) hand Kenya a third chance in her latest bid to stage a continental football tournament?
This will be known Wednesday when the Cairo-based football body names hosts of both the 2025 and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Africa Cup of Nations, dubbed the African World Cup, is the continent’s biggest sporting event.
The month-long extravaganza brings together 24 of the continent’s national teams, plus tens of thousands of fans and officials from across the globe, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and his Caf counterpart Patrice Motsepe included.
Morocco is rumuored to be the favourite to land the hosting rights for the competition in 2025 despite competition from Algeria, Zambia plus a co-hosting bid from Nigeria and Benin.
In 2027, Kenya, which was handed, and then snatched the hosting rights for both the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 Africa Nations Championship owing to a lack of seriousness by the government of the day, has now joined hands with neighbours Tanzania and Uganda to try for a third time.
This bid was championed by the respective Heads of State namely William Ruto (Kenya), Samia Suluhu (Tanzania) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda).
“Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania should explain to Africa through action how they will be ready to host the games. This is crucial because as we speak the infrastructure is wanting,” said former Council for East and Central Africa Football Association (Cecafa) chairman Nicholas Musonye.
Even though the East Africa bid document has been tightly guarded by both the Ministry of Sports and Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Nation Sport understands the Nyayo and Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi, alongside the Kipchoge Keino facility in Eldoret are primed to stage the games in Kenya should the bid go through.
Uganda has lined up the Nelson Mandela and Nakivubo Stadia in the capital Kampala, the Akii Bua venue in Lira, and the Hoima stadium in the oil-rich town to stage the matches.
Tanzania’s Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, Jamuhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha, and Amani Stadium in Zanzibar are also listed as venues for the games.
Only the Benjamin Mkapa stadium is ready should the tournament be staged today while the two venues in Kampala are undergoing a revamp.
This past week, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba announced the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have been tasked to upgrade the two stadiums in Nairobi with an eye on Kenya hosting the games.
“We are focused on harnessing the full potential of each sector for prosperity,” said President William Ruto while championing the bid.
“This sector is a giant wellspring of opportunities. We will ensure we place Kenya in its rightful position as a sporting superpower. This will stimulate local sports, promote tourism, create employment, and enhance our national sporting and athletic brand.”
An East African bid could be instrumental in raising awareness and improving not only the infrastructure but also the standards of football in a region considered the least developed, talent wise, on the continent. That said, Algeria are thought to have the inside lane on the home straight of this bidding war.