Former football boss Sam Nyamweya gives thumbs up to EAC-Pamoja AFCON bid
Former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Sam Nyamweya is confident East Africa’s joint bid to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals will pass the integrity set by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have announced intent to host the biannual continental showpiece with Kenya’s President William Ruto and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni popularising the bid.
If successful, it will be the first time East Africa has hosted this competition, which attracts the top national teams and football talents from the continent.
“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 Nairobi News.
The former football boss, who was FKF boss between 2011 and 2015, further shared why he would love to see Kenya and especially East Africa stage the continental showpiece.
Nyamweya was pivotal in convincing the Caf to hand Kenya the hosting rights for the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) even though the tournament hosting rights were later transferred to Morocco after the tournament organisers ruled that the country did not have the requisite sports infrastructure.
“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, tthe training grounds, our airlines, hotels and any other required supporting infrastructure.
“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 though Tanzania have.”
“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.”
The East African bid, dubbed Pamoja (together) is rivalled by separate individual bids from Algeria, Botswana and Egypt.
Nairobi News understands Kenya has settled on Nairobi and Eldoret as the possible venues for the bid.
Tanzania is looking at Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Dodoma while Uganda will mainly concentrate on sprucing her facilities in Kampala.