Kenya’s President, William Ruto, formally unveiled the country’s joint bid with East African neighbours, Uganda and Tanzania, to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Ruto said the joint bid, dubbed “Pamoja”, is part of government’s plan to harness skills and talent in sports.
“Pamoja” is the Swahili word for together.
“We also intend to launch the bid for opportunity to make Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania the epicentres of regional.
“The bid will equally give the three nations continental footballing resurgence,” the president said in an address in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Ruto said he had assigned his Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts to liaise with counterparts in Uganda and Tanzania to formulate “a winning bid”
This is to “enable the people of our three countries can look forward to participating in a successful 2027 tournament bid”.
He expressed confidence that East Africa would finally host the biennial continental showpiece for the first time ever.
This is despite competition from rival bids from previous hosts, Algeria, Egypt and Botswana.
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Namibia, who had initially agreed to present a joint bid with Botswana, withdrew from the running in February.
It cited a lack of financial resources to host the tournament last held in Cameroon the previous year.
Ruto pledged infrastructure development, enhanced monetisation of sporting talent, and the reinstatement of Kenya’s football into good standing.
“The key interventions my administration is keen on implementing to support the bid.”
He said Kenya will submit the Pamoja bid to the Confederation of African Football on Wednesday.
Kenya was granted and later stripped of the rights to host the 1996 AFCON and 2021 Africa Home Nations finals.
CAF’s demands for any country hosting its matches are that the venues must be near an airport, a level five hospital, and a five-star hotel.
The Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, is the only facility approved to host continental matches in the region. (Xinhua)
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