Mwendwa: Why AFCON Pamoja Bid succeeded
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa has pointed out that political goodwill from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania helped the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Pamoja Bid to succeed.
To Mwendwa, the three governments, unlike before, took serious efforts to convince the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to approve the joint bid.
“Traditionally, our governments compared to those of countries like Morocco have never been serious, but this time, all three presidents [President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President William Ruto of Kenya, and President Samia Suluhu of Tanzania] gave kudos to the bid. It shows the political goodwill was there.
"Our commitments by all three nations were key because the problem has always been with the governments," Mwendwa told a local TV station.
The Kenyan FA chief also said that the bid sailed after a hard task they undertook to convince the CAF voters why the biennial tournament should be hosted in East Africa.
“It was quite a task to convince the panel of voters that we deserved to win the bid. We did not sleep trying to think of ways to convince them. There were 15 votes, but we were able to get at least 11 votes, I think.
“The voting was what was most important because, at the end of the day, our bid had to be subject to voting, and we tried convincing them on Monday and Tuesday nights to ensure they granted us the votes for us to get the tournament, but the real work starts here," he continued.
Standard of stadiums
The three nations now face the challenge of hastening the improvement of stadiums in time for the AFCON games.
Although the standard of infrastructure in Kenya has been poor, President William Ruto assured that his government will pull resources together to ensure they are improved before continental actions come.
"We will make sure that whatever infrastructural facilities are required will be made available to make sure we move Kenya to the next level in our sports industry.
"We will mobilize resources; we will mobilize every person and every sector to make sure that we deliver a world-class football event in 2027," Ruto said when it was confirmed that the Pamoja Bid success was confirmed in Cairo on Wednesday.
This will be the first time that the tournament will be jointly hosted by three nations.