Nicholas Musonye pours cold water on joint East African 2027 AFCON bid
Veteran football administrator Nicholas Musonye has poured cold water on Kenya’s joint bid to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) alongside Uganda and Tanzania, saying the process could fail if not handled properly.
Musonye, who spent 13 years as the general secretary of the Council of East and Central African Football Associations (Cecafa), says he knows what a host nation for a regional or continental competition needs in terms of infrastructure and the three countries may not be able to achieve that in three years.
Kenya is expected to present its bid to co-host the continental tournament on May 17, 2023.
“We don’t have facilities and the ones we have, we can’t improve them in three years. It will take at least 10 years to put everything in place. We have been given the right to host continental tournaments twice and both times we failed,” said Musonye in an interview with the Nairobi News.
He was referring to the two occasions when Kenya was awarded the right to host the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 Confederations Cup of Nations (CHAN), only to be stripped of the hosting rights due to lack of infrastructure.
Musonye’s comments came on the day President William Ruto received the bid document at State House in an event attended by Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa.
CAF’s requirements for any country hosting its matches are that the venues must be close to an airport, a level five hospital and a five-star hotel.
Each venue must also have at least three world-class training grounds.
CAF has set June 1 to July 15 as the period for the inspection visits.
Nairobi News understands that Kenya’s capital Nairobi, Kisumu and Eldoret have been earmarked to host the tournament if the bid is successful.
Tanzania, meanwhile, is eyeing Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha and Zanzibar, while Uganda is already sprucing up Kampala’s Namboole and Nakivubo stadiums as possible venues.