FKF: We did everything possible to host CHAN

By alex wafula
Sep 24, 2017
  • CAF vice president Constant Omari addresses the press after a joint meeting with FKF and government officials in one of the visits. (SNA. File Photo)

  • CAF, government and FKF officials after one of their meetings at Kasarani. CAF alleged Kenya LOC were insincere. (SNA. File Photo)

  • CAF Inspectors meet LOC chairman Herbert Mwachiro at Sports Ministry Boardroom in their last visit. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

The Federation of Kenya Football (FKF) has maintained they did everything possible to ensure that Kenya hosted CHAN.

A statement by Barry Otieno, the FKF Communication Director after CAF stripped Kenya of the hosting rights said they had done whatever was humanly possible to ensure the tournament remains in Kenya.

“The federation would like to state that its resolve and commitment to change the game for the better remains stronger and will take positives from the CAF decision, this even as we continue to engage the CAF leadership on the possibility of hosting both upcoming and future CAF competitions,” the statement read.

On Saturday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) delivered its verdict that Kenya will not host next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN).

The decision was made after a meeting of the Executive Committee in Accra Ghana.

“With an overwhelming majority of the members present, it was decided to withdraw the hosting rights of the competition from Kenya in the light of accumulated delays from reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country, the last of which took place from 11 to 17 September 2017,” a statement from CAF read.

The Continental football body will now open bids for hosting the Championship that begins on January 11.

South Africa as likely hosts

An inspection team will look at the bids over the next 10 days and in 15 days’, a new host will be announced. It was not immediately clear who some of the possible bidders would be with South Africa on the lips of many.

According to CAF, the construction work at most of the venues was not convincing and the political situation owing to next month’s Presidential elections also played a part in Kenya failing to get the nod of approval from CAF.

“Majority of the EXCO members were of the opinion that Kenya would not be ready with the infrastructure lagging behind. At the end of the day, it was an easy decision for CAF to make,” a source who was on the sidelines of the CAF meeting in Accra told Sports News Arena.

Kenya had been hanging dangerously on CAF’s bad side especially with the venues not being up to standard. Three different CAF Inspection teams have been in the country and none has been impressed with the work going on.

The latest one which concluded its inspection tour last week delivered the chilling truth that most of the facilities, especially Kip Keino in Eldoret and Kinoru in Meru would not be ready in time.

The two had the most work needed with almost a complete overhaul.

CAF’s decision to strip Kenya of the hosting rights comes just a few days after the cabinet approved a Sh4.2bn for hosting the tournament, most of which would go to infrastructure development.

Hassan Wario, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports appeared a little bit out of interest with the tournament. He did not meet the CAF inspection team that travelled to the country last week.

Wario skipped press briefings

Also, he skipped two press-briefings that intended to inform on the country’s progress. Wario as well never travelled to Accra, Ghana for the CAF EXCO meeting, instead sending his Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia.

Kenya won the rights to host the Championship in 2015 and was officially handed over the flag after the completion of the last tournament on February 7, 2015 in Kigali Rwanda.

However, the country’s authorities had to wait until five months to the tournament before work started.

This is the second time that CAF is stripping Kenya of the rights to host a continental showpiece.

In 1996, Kenya was set to host the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) but the same was stripped away and handed to South Africa.