What you need to know:
- This remarkable achievement brings immense pride to the region
- We will mobilise every resource, every person and every sector to make sure we deliver a great event, says President
President William Ruto has said that the decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to award Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania the hosting rights for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations is the first of many steps to improve the standards of football in the country.
Tanzania President Samia Suluhu reacted to the successful East African ‘Pamoja’ bid by instructing her Sports ministry to commence the construction of state-of-the-art stadia in Dodoma and Arusha.
Caf on Wednesday awarded East Africa a historic opportunity to stage the biannual continental extravaganza, dubbed the ‘African World Cup’, to the excitement of citizens in the three countries.
“Many people never believed we had a chance of hosting this tournament in 2027 because of the state of our football and the state of our sports in general,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State and Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba have been at the forefront of championing this bid.
“We will mobilise every resource, every person, and every sector to make sure we deliver a world-class football event in 2027,” the President added.
In Dar es Salaam, President Suluhu said: “I instruct the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports to ensure we make good preparations, including the completion on time and with high quality, of two new modern stadia in Arusha and Dodoma.”
Other stakeholders who lauded the bid and called for thorough focus and preparations include Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa, his Ugandan counterpart Moses Magogo, former Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) secretary-general Nicholas Musonye, Extreme Sports Chief Executive Hussein Mohammed, former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya, and Bandari FC boss Twaha Mbarak.
“Everybody has to pull together so that we don’t lose it like we have done before. Let's bring Pamoja home,” said Mwendwa.
Mohammed, who’s been instrumental in the development of grassroots football in the country over the last decade, observed: “This remarkable achievement not only brings immense pride to the region but also presents a golden opportunity to showcase the rich footballing talent, cultural diversity, and natural beauty that East Africa has to offer.”
And Nyamweya, who succeeded in convincing Caf to award Kenya the hosting rights for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan) before that decision was reversed over poor preparations, noted: “Given it is a joint bid, the three countries must set up joint working committees and walk together to the end. It will be a shame if we again fail to host the tournament.”
Musonye urged the three governments to stick to the preparation timelines. “We have the capacity to stage these games but have to work very hard to ensure everything goes on smoothly. Caf are very strict with this tournament and we cannot let ourselves down.”