‘Eldoret has athletic fans in millions not soccer’ – Nyong’o, Baraza oppose state’s decision on venue of AFCON matches
Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong'o and his Kakamega counterpart Ferdinand Baraza have raised concerns over the hosting of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.
In a joint statement, the governors took issue with the government's decision to select Nairobi and Eldoret as the venues for the AFCON 2027 football matches.
They argued that the decision was tragic and that the government should have considered the Western region with either matches being held in Kisumu or Kakamega.
"The UDA government has announced that the AFCON 2027 football matches shall be held in Nairobi and Eldoret. This in our view, is a tragic decision. Western Kenya should have been included with either matches being held in Kisumu of Kakamega," the statement reads in parts.
This, according to the county heads, will enhance the success of the matches since the Western region has more soccer fans than Eldoret.
"The Western region of Kenya is where football fans exist in plenitude. Not in Uasin Gishu or Eldoret for that matter. The success of the matches will be on the turn up at the stadia where the matches will be held.
"Eldoret has athletes and athletic fans in millions. But not soccer. And that is the naked truth. This means the Afcon matches will be played in empty stadia with very little impact," the statement added.
WHERE SHOULD THE AFCON MATCHES BE HELD IN KENYA?
This is a joint statement by @County037 H.E @BarasaFernandes and I concerning the hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations in the three East African countries in 2027.@StateHouseKenya@WilliamsRuto @moyasa_ke @AbabuNamwamba pic.twitter.com/1n12aT9k3V— Gov. Anyang' Nyong'o (@AnyangNyongo) October 1, 2023
The two leaders went on to state that the decision by President William Ruto-led administration would deny the western region the opportunity to host the games.
"That would be extremely myopic as the President was representing the Republic of Kenya when he teamed with our colleagues in the East African Community. Coming back home, he seems to have changed the goal post. That's unfortunate," the statement added.