Kenya will host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).
This was confirmed by Confederation of African Football (CAF) after an executive meeting held on Friday at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
It means Kenya’s bid was accepted by CAF and the hard part is now to put together a working Local Organising Committee (LOC) to seek funds and put in place other logistics starting immediately.
According to a statement on the CAF website (www.cafonline.com), Kenya’s bid was successful following receipt of the necessary Government guarantees.
“The CAF executive committee has designated Kenya as host of the 2018 Chan following receipt of necessary Government guarantees and complete dossier including the required infrastructure and security,” a statement on the CAF website said.
Kenya had missed out on the bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals after the Government failed to provide the necessary guarantees on time. But Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya convinced CAF to award the country the rights to stage the Chan competition, a second tier event to the premier Africa Cup of Nations.
Nyamweya has since thanked CAF’s top brass for accepting their bid.
Nyamweya also lauded the Government for supporting the bid whose success, he said, will mark a major milestone in local football development.
“This is a big milestone in the growth journey for Kenyan football and we are gratified and honoured to have successfully bid for this great showpiece that gives our people an opportunity to host the continent’s best teams,” said Nyamweya in a statement.
He said hosting the event will be a big platform in FKF’s bid to enhance local sports tourism through football. This comes shortly after the country successfully hosted the regional Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup.
“That we won the regional tournament at home gives us confidence that we can repeat the feat when we host Chan on home soil,” he predicted.
Nyamweya was aware of the big task to which he has committed the country and acknowledged that the real work begins now. He called on all stakeholders and corporate partners to join hands with FKF and the Government to make the event successful.
“As you are aware, this kind of tournament is normally staged in different venues in the true spirit of going down to the people. We therefore urge the county governments to start preparing facilities so that some of the matches can be hosted by them.
“We also want the transport system to be developed in the counties. A delegation from CAF will visit Kenya to begin setting up administrative and logistical structures and we look forward to unwavering support from everyone,” said Nyamweya.
Nairobi, Machakos, Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa counties are expected to host the tournament. Other counties might join the five if they upgrade their stadia.
Kenya last attempted to host a continental tournament in 1996,but pulled out citing lack of finances and Government support for the Africa Nations Cup. South Africa went on to host and win the tournament.
The federation will need close to Sh500 million to host a successful event in 2018. It will also be an opportunity for the national team to play in a continental event if they miss out on the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco and the 2016 Chan in Rwanda.
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