With President’s support, 2027 Afcon bid will certainly succeed, says former Nyamweya
Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Sam Nyamweya is confident the joint bid to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals will pass the integrity set by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and get approval.
On Wednesday, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania presented a joint bid to the African body seeking to host the competition. Before the bid was presented to Caf, Kenya’s President William Ruto promised to lobby to have the event held in the East African region for the first time ever in history.
“It is a good bid coming at a time when we have a President [William Ruto], who has already shown keen interest to support sports, especially football in the country,” Nyamweya told People Daily Sports.
“With three countries keen to co-host the Afcon I think they have a better chance to pass the Caf test. It is not a Kenyan affair but a three-nation affair which makes it even possible for the bid to be approved by Caf.”
Nyamweya continued: “For example, we will need two venues from each country to host the event, in Kenya we have Kasarani and Nyayo which only needs refurbishment to be ready, while Uganda and Tanzania have two of their biggest stadia if the bid was for Kenya alone then it could remain a pipe dream to have it come home.”
Nyamweya further explained why he would love to see Kenya and especially East Africa stage the continental showpiece.
“It is been my dream all along to see Kenya host Afcon and I will be the happiest man if this bid is approved, we missed out on Afcon some years back and lately Chan which was my brainchild,” added Nyamweya.
“But with the current bid being supported fully by the heads of state from the three nations, I have a strong feeling it will be the first time for Afcon to come to East Africa.
“We must now shift focus to improving our facilities, our stadiums must be up to the Caf standards, same to our airlines same to our hotels, we need five-star hotels for this event which we already have.”
On if there could be anything to hinder the process, Nyamweya said: “Mostly Caf goes for nations that have hosted some of their junior events before, like U17, U20, and even women tournaments when picking a host nation and you know we have never hosted such tournaments in the country.
“I really don’t know what criteria they will use but this being a tournament to be co-hosted by the three nations, they may change tune, they may use other avenues and this will be an added advantage to the bid.”
Apart from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, Caf has acknowledged receiving a declaration of interest from Algeria, Botswana, and Egypt to stage the continental showpiece.
In 1996, Kenya won the right to host the Africa Cup of Nations and in 2018 they won the bid to stage the African Nations Championships (CHAN), but they were later stripped of the rights due to a lack of infrastructure.