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Ababu pleads with haters to support Kenya’s 2027 Afcon hosting rights

By Winnie Mabel September 29th, 2023 2 min read

Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Ababu Namwamba, has called on all Kenyans to support the country’s hosting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2027.

Speaking on Thursday in Nairobi upon arrival from Cairo, where he successfully led Team Kenya in the joint bid with Uganda and Tanzania, Mr Namwamba told Kenyans that the tournament is theirs and they should therefore fully support it.

“This tournament is yours. It belongs to all of us as East Africans. Let us embrace this tournament,” Namwamba said.

Also read: Nicholas Musonye pours cold water on joint East African 2027 AFCON bid

“It was again very disheartening to see some commentaries. Talking to some of the voters on the Caf Executive Committee, they admitted picking up a lot of negative vibes from Kenyan media and commentaries by Kenyans already declaring ‘hii imeenda’ and even declaring a winner against Kenya. And you just wonder why, what would motivate you to wish (this)?” Namwamba posed.

President William Ruto, Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa during the unveiling of the East African Community (EAC) Pamoja bid for the African Cup of Nations 2027 at State House, Nairobi. PHOTO | PCS

Mr Namwamba’s remarks come as Kenyans continue to be skeptical about the country’s ability to host the tournament considering the current state of football stadiums in the country.

As part of its bid, Kenya pledged to refurbish the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani and the Nyayo National Stadium as well as Kip Keino Stadium in Eldoret, with Mr Namwamba saying these three facilities will be ready for use by 2025.

Also read: Former football boss Sam Nyamweya gives thumbs up to EAC-Pamoja AFCON bid

The Confederation of Africa Federation (Caf) requires that any facilities that will be used for the tournament be near an airport, a level four or five hospital and a four or five star hotel.

Mr Namwamba had also called on Caf to look beyond infrastructure and technical capabilities to demonstrate equity in the distribution of events across Africa to help everyone grow football in their countries.

While announcing the successful joint bid on Wednesday, Caf President Patrice Motsepe said the future of African football “has never been brighter.”

Also read: Uganda confirms AFCON 2027 hosting bid with Kenya, Tanzania