‘Many people did not believe Kenya had a chance’ – Ruto says after AFCON Pamoja Bid success
President William Ruto has said many people were skeptical of Kenya's chance to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in 2027.
Ruto made the statement after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, that Kenya, alongside Uganda and Tanzania, will host the event in 2027.
The three East African nations jointly tabled their offer, commonly known as the AFCON Pamoja Bid, and after waiting for months, CAF confirmed it had accepted the East African offer.
While reacting to the news, Ruto welcomed the announcement and went ahead to congratulate the Ministry of Sports, which has been at the forefront of fighting for the success of the bid.
To Ruto, the government's effort to improve the state of sports is succeeding.
"Nimepatiwa habari ya kwamba Kenya ikiungana na Tanzania na Uganda tumefaulu kuwa host AFCON in 2027. Nataka nipongeze wizara yetu ambae inasimamia michezo na washika dau wote katika sekta hio kwamba ile mpango tumekuwa nayo ya kubadilisha mambo katika sekta ya michezo sasa imefua dafu.
"Many people never believed that we had a chance of hosting AFCON in 2027 because of the state of our football and our sports in general," Ruto said.
The head of state affirmed that his government will mobilize resources to ensure that the facilities are ready for continuous action in 2027.
"But I am proud today that Kenya, together with our partners Uganda and Tanzania, have won the rights to host AFCON in 2027.
"We are very proud of this achievement. 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," he added.
The standard of the Kenyan stadiums has been one of the reasons cited most by people who questioned Kenya's readiness for the biennial football show. But Ruto has assured that the issue will be solved.
"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," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua also reacted to the news and emphasized the need for Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to be ready for AFCON.
"It is quite exhilarating to receive the news that the joint bid by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations has this afternoon been accepted by the Confederation of African Football.
"The Pamoja Bid, fronted by H.E. President William Ruto and the other heads of state, was one of its kind, as it underscored our readiness to work together to ensure the competition comes to East Africa for the first time in its history," Gachagua said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.
This will be the 36th AFCON edition and the very first time it is hosted by three countries.