The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: FKF Get Greenlight to Bid for U-17s, Afcon Shows

Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba has given Football Kenya Federation the green light to formally bid for the 2015 Under 17 tournament and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Namwamba said he met CAF president Issa Hayatou in Kampala during the Cecafa senior Challenge where he expressed the dream of hosting the Cup of Nations.

"CAF rules stipulate that for a country to host the Cup of Nations, it must first host one of their youth tournaments and that is why we have to start with the Under-17s," said Namwamba.

"We know it will be a challenge in terms of infrastructure but we have already talked to countries like Qatar and China, who we hope will come to our aid if we win the bid."

"The country is on course for the big take-off since the football scenario has settled down after the coming on of FKF," said Namwamba. "The Sports Act also offers an opportunity for a much better organised football development."

Namwamba said missing out on the chance to host the Cup of Nations in 1996, which went to South Africa, was shameful and has worked against football development in the country.

"Since hosting that tournament, South Africa have grown from strength to strength and have even hosted the 2010 World Cup which is their biggest achievement," Namwamba said.

South Africa also hosted the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations last month. Namwamba said that, after losing the 2012 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup hosting rights, FKF must ensure the tournament comes home later in the year as this will test the countries capacity to host international tournaments.

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