Joy and excitement as Pamoja bid finally receives CAF nod


President William Ruto, Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa during the unveiling of the East African Community (EAC) Pamoja bid for the African Cup of Nations 2027 at State House, Nairobi. [PCS]

The wait appears headed to an end. The gods of Africa football have spoken and the ancestors are patiently waiting!

Excitement and pride swept across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda after East Africa Community nations’ Pamoja bid to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament received  confederation of Africa Football (Caf) green light.

Yesterday, Caf approved the bid presented by the three countries to jointly host the continent’s premier football showpiece in four years’ time.

The Executive Committee board of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) announced the decision in Cairo, Egypt.

Senegal, Botswana, and Egypt were vying to host the event. The committee also announced Morocco as the host of the 2025 AFCON.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe celebrated the news saying; the “future of African football looks brighter.”

He said an African nation will win the World Cup in the near future.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe said the East Africa nations’ Pamoja bid was a success.

“The future of Africa football looks bright. The continent will host the World Cup in the near future,” he said.

“The 2027 tournament will be beautiful. The commitment and drive made by the three presidents of these nations clearly shows how the region is anxious to host the event,” said Motsepe.

President William Ruto, while receiving the bid early this year, said: “The work of prosecuting our joint bid now begins in earnest and Kenya intends to make its full contribution to it. Namwamba (Cabinet Secretary) is duly seized of this assignment and is mobilising his team, liaising with his counterparts in Uganda and Tanzania to formulate a winning bid so that the people of our countries can look forward to participating in a successful 2027 tournament.”

“We hope that our joint bid will motivate all our sides not only to qualify for the 2027 tournament, but also to excel beyond previous achievements,” Ruto said then.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said yesterday: “As East Africans, we are one person. A single passport. We speak one language, that’s Kiswahili. We have a common agenda and hosting this tournament is such a big shot in the arm for integration.”

“It is an opportunity for us to send a strong message that we can do things together successfully. We can grow the game together. For the first time in the history of the tournament, we will Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda playing side by side,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa said: “The work begins now. Winning the bid is the first step. It is a simple step. It’s complicated. We fought through to win and come on top of the pile. But it’s not to be celebrated. The work has started now and we must pull together and get a lively tournament. Let’s not lose it like we have done before. Let’s bring our Pamoja bid home.”

On his part, Tanzania Football Association President Wallace Karia said: “The tournament is a big one in Africa. We have won because three Presidents and their sports ministers, as well as ambassadors, played very critical. It’s now our time to make it a reality through thorough preparations,” he said.

“We will stage a successful tournament. The best ever Afcon finals. Each of the three will each host three matches. We stand to derive many investment and economics gains from this competition.”

Kenya won the bid to host the 1996 Afcon but lost after failing to have venues ready for the showpiece within schedule and CAF awarded the hosting rights to South Africa.

In 2018, Kenya also won the bid to host the Africa Nations Championships, the second tier continental contest, but could host over delays in renovation of stadiums. The African football body took the tournament to Morocco.

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