What you need to know:
- In quest to successfully bring the prestigious, continental showpiece to the region for the first time in history, the three countries had on May 23 submitted to Caf the East Africa “Pamoja Bid”
- On Wednesday, when Caf President Patrice Motsepe announced in Cairo that the East Africa “Pamoja Bid” was successful, he said that they were impressed by the commitment that the three Heads of State had made
- Kenya was awarded, and later stripped of the hosting rights for the 1996 Afcon and 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan)
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) Wednesday awarded Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania the rights to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
In quest to successfully bring the prestigious, continental showpiece to the region for the first time in history, the three countries had on May 23 submitted to Caf the East Africa “Pamoja Bid”.
It was competing with single bids by Algeria, Senegal, Botswana and Morocco. But on Tuesday, the East Africa “Pamoja Bid” to host the 36th edition of the 24-nation football tournament got a major boost after Algeria withdrew from the bidding process.
In a statement sent to Caf, Algerian Football Federation (Faf) said it pulled out from the race to host either the 2025 or 2027 Afcon due to “a new approach from the Faf related to its strategy for developing football in Algeria”.
On Wednesday, when Caf President Patrice Motsepe announced in Cairo that the East Africa “Pamoja Bid” was successful, he said that they were impressed by the commitment that the three Heads of State had made. “If you look at the presentation made, all the Head of States have expressed deep commitment, so we are very excited,” said Motsepe.
He spoke at Caf’s headquarter in Cairo, Egypt, where he chaired a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Caf boss also said it was about time the tournament was staged in East Africa. The last time the African finals were held in this part of the continent was in 1976 in Ethiopia.
Motsepe also announced that Morocco had been awarded the rights to the 2025 Afcon finals.
A Cabinet meeting chaired by President William Ruto had on December 6 approved the joint proposal. In a statement, the Cabinet said that co-hosting Afcon would help the national men’s football team, Harambee Stars, achieve its ambitious target of qualifying for the 2030 World Cup Finals.
“As a stepping stone towards the target of Harambee Stars qualifying for the Fifa World Cup in 2030, the Cabinet approved the proposal to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2027, alongside EAC partner states. The Cabinet noted that the joint bid would deploy the power of sports in furthering regional integration,” said the Cabinet.
Before the “Pamoja Bid” was submitted, it was presented to President Ruto at State House by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwmba and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa.
“The work of prosecuting our joint bid now begins in earnest and Kenya intends to make a full contribution to it,” said Dr Ruto then. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu also promised to ensure the bid was successful.
Kenya was awarded, and later stripped of the hosting rights for the 1996 Afcon and 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan).
Nation Sport established that Kenya was stripped of the rights to host the 1996 Afcon after then-President Daniel arap Moi wrote to the then-Caf President Issa Hayatou to inform him that he had changed his mind with regards to hosting the continental premier football showpiece.
Understandably, perhaps, Moi is said to have been informed that constructing new football stadiums in the opposition strongholds of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Kakamega would empower his direct political rivals at a time his influence among other leaders and locals in those regions was fast fading.
Kenya’s bid to host the 2018 Chan flopped due to lack of adequate preparations. Yesterday, Motsepe urged Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to work hard and stage a successful tournament.
“We will be very strict on these countries in terms of freedom of movement of people and supporting infrastructure. We must maintain the highest standard of African football,” he said.
Namwamba had on July 26 said that Kenya should be ready to host the event by 2025. “We expect that by 2025, we should be in a place where most of the targets we have set will be complete,” said Namwamba after meeting Caf inspectors in Nairobi.
Caf demands that its matches be held in world-class stadia. They should also be near an airport, Level IV or V hospital and a four or five-star hotel.
Kenya presented the iconic, 60,000-seater Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani, the 30,000-seater Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi and Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret. The training grounds included Kasarani Annex, Police Sacco Stadium, Kenya Utalii College Sport Club, Ulinzi Sports Complex and Jamhuri Sports Complex, 64 Stadium and University of Eldoret.
Namwamba had on Wednesday last week said that Kenya will put-up a multimillion-shilling 50,000-seater Talanta Stadium at the Jamhuri Sports Complex. He said that Kasarani, Nyayo and Kipchoge Keino stadia will also undergo major renovations.
The Kenya Defence Forces have been tasked with overseeing the projects.
The three countries will be required to deposit to Caf $90 million (about Sh13.3 billion).
In an earlier interview with NTV, Mwendwa revealed that the three nations had agreed to contribute $30 million (Sh4.4 billion) each towards the same.