Bukhungu stadium to host 2024 CHAN matches

Fans cheer Shanderema High School and Agoro Sare during a school game at Bukhungu Stadium on August 12, 2023. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The Ministry of Sports has announced that Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega will play host to the 2024 African Nations Championship (CHAN) that will be co-hosted by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Speaking during the commissioning of ward projects in Lurambi sub-county, Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa said that renovation of the facility will be complete by June, ahead of the 16-team event slated for September.

Barasa said he had a consultative meeting with Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, where the latter undertook to ensure the facility would be ready within set timelines.

“We have tasked the technical teams to work on the nitty grities. It is important to have this stadium completed for purposes of hosting CHAN and by the end of this week, we are going to submit a report to the ministry," he said adding that his administration has allocated Sh570 million in the 2023/2024 financial year towards the completion of Bukhungu stadium.

“Completing the construction of Bukhungu is on top of my agenda. We want to host the African Nations Championships competitions as we prepare for Afcon. I want to thank the national government for the support in this project,” said Barasa.

The governor disclosed that the county government is considering expanding the stadium to increase capacity to at least 60,000 people.

“I have already reached out to President William Ruto for financial support in this endeavour and I will consider it done as early as possible,” he said.

“We need to work on the changing rooms and improve the drainage system of the pitch and we also have terraces being constructed. Those are some of the items among others that have been highlighted by CHAN as the irreversible minimum requirements” said Barasa.

Namwamba said that according to Article 6 of CAF stadium regulations, stadiums earmarked to host CAF competitions are classified into four categories.

“Our target is to have Kakamega as the host city. Should there be a need for alternative or subsidiary sites, then we shall also be looking at Kisumu or Nakuru as possible subsidiary venues,” he said.

The CS noted that the facilities need to have a smooth and level playing surface that has either natural grass, hybrid or artificial turf with a proper drainage system to avoid flooding.

Namwamba said the stadium is also supposed to have four well-accessorized and easily accessible dressing rooms and all seats need to be individually fitted with numbering.

He announced plans to have all sporting facilities aligned with CAF and World Athletics standards.

“We are also in discussions with county governments that have sports facilities to avail these venues for purposes of these international assignments. For example, we are working closely with Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika to ensure Afraha meets these standards," he said.