Elections 2017

Kenya risks losing CHAN 2018 over stadium conditions

The Confederation of African Football has said four out of five Kenyan stadiums fall short of standards for hosting next year's African Nations Championship (CHAN) and has given Kenya until June to upgrade them.

An inspection team led by CAF vice-president Suketu Patel said a lot of work needs to be done, but insisted Kenya remained on track to host the international tournament, reserved for players featuring in their domestic league competitions.

"I want to state that the only country in CAF's mind to host CHAN next year is Kenya, and so it is up to Kenya to deliver," said Patel, adding his team had prepared a recommendation report to guide the Local Organising Committee on the required improvements.

Only the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi's northern suburbs was considered up to scratch, while three others -- including Kenya's second largest stadium, Nyayo in Nairobi, and the Moi Kinoru stadium in Meru, eastern Kenya -- are still under construction.

The other two stadiums are in the eastern town of Machakos and Eldoret in western Kenya.

Kenya's sports minister Hassan Wario assured the CAF delegation that all five stadiums will be ready at least three months before the competition, and said the country has already committed a budget of 2.7 billion shillings ($262 million)for the hosting of the tournament.

If the stadium works are completed in time Kenya will become only the fifth country to host the 16-team championships in January 2018.

The inaugural tournament was held in Ivory Coast in 2009 followed by Sudan, South Africa and Rwanda which hosted the last competition in 2016 won by defending champions the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).