Nyamweya, Twaha laud Caf after East Africa bid triumph
Football administrators Sam Nyamweya, Lordvick Aduda, and Twaha Mbarak have lauded the move by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to award the 2027 Africa Nations Cup hosting rights to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The historic bid dubbed East Africa Pamoja, will be staged in these three countries for the first time in the history of this tournament.
The Pamoja bid triumphed over other bids tabled by Senegal, Egypt, Botswana, and Algeria which withdrew at the last minute.
In an interview with Nairobi News, the three said the successful bid shows football is headed in the right direction and lauded Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba for the achievement.
Nyamweya, a former Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss said he was impressed with the awarding of the hosting rights to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. He however urged the government not to repeat the mistake that led to Caf revoking the hosting rights awarded to Kenya in earlier tournaments.
Kenya was awarded the rights to host both the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN). But the country failed to host both tournaments after Caf ruled that it lacked the requisite infrastructure.
“I feel elated by the victory because I have been pushing to have a continental tournament hosted in Kenya.
“While serving as FKF president, I spearheaded the bid to host the CHAN and while Kenya won the bid, we unfortunately could not host the competition due to poor infrastructure,” said Nyamweya.
“I have continued to use my connections to pursue CAF to give Kenya another chance and I’m happy we have succeeded. But this success is just the beginning of a long journey before we have the tournament played here,” added the veteran football administrator.
“As a country, we must now take stock of the reasons we failed to host the competition in 1996 when we first won the bid and the 2016 CHAN. We should not make the same mistake we made in the past when our rights were taken away due to our failures.
“Given it is a joint bid, the three countries must set up joint working committees and walk together to the end. It will be a shame if we fail one more time.
Aduda, former FKF Chief Executive, said with the awarding of the bid, hard work should begin in earnest to ensure that when the final inspection is carried out, Kenya shall not be disqualified like in the 1996 Afcon and 2018 Chan.
“The fact that the Pamoja bid has been successful is not yet a guarantee that we shall host. This also calls for putting the local FA’s administration in place in accordance with the applicable Statutes now that the term of the current regime is nearing its end,” he said.
Twaha, Bandari FC Vice Chairman said “Congratulations Pamoja bid! The hard work starts. We await the world-class stadiums,”