23 September 2017

Kenya's Date With Destiny as CAF Decides

Kenya will on Saturday know its fate regarding the hosting rights of the Africa Nations Championship when African football chiefs hold an Executive Committee meeting in Accra, Ghana.

Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa arrived in Ghana on Thursday accompanied by Sports Permanent Secretary Kirimi Kaberia and Event Director Herbert Mwachiro ahead of the meeting which is expected to begin at 1pm Kenyan time.

The Kenyan delegation has put together a 33-slide PowerPoint presentation which they hope to present to the Caf Executive Committee as a last effort to convince them to retain their faith on Kenya.

In the presentation, the Kenyan delegation reaffirms government's commitment to the event, stating that a grant of Sh4 billion for the new infrastructure and upgrade of stadia and training pitches to be used during the tournament.

CONTRACTS SIGNED

The Kenyan representatives have also stated that all the contracts have been signed, and work is in progress to ensure that all the five facilities will be ready by December 1.

According to the presentation seen by Nation Sport, the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos has been left out of the list of stadia previously earmarked to host the 16-nation tournament due to unclear reasons.

The stadium was also eliminated mysteriously from the list of venues toured by Caf inspectors a fortnight ago, although sources privy to the matter indicate that Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua rejected Sports Kenya's specifications regarding the renovation of the stadium.

This leaves only the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Nyayo National Stadium, Kinoru Stadium and the Kipchoge Keino Stadium, all of which require a complete overhaul of the playing surface among other upgrades, as the main facilities that will host the event.

"Right now we are talking about when Caf will be coming for another round of inspection and when we are going to hold the draw. It means that the process is still on. So far Caf want to know when we are going to hold the draw and how many teams we expect here. Is that a tournament that is being taken away?" Mwachiro said early this week.

WORKS ON

The affected stadiums were closed down three weeks ago to enable contractors get to work to ensure they are fitted with seats, new grass, electronic installations as well as the latest state of the art water reticulation and irrigation system.

Apart from the delayed commencement of refurbishments in the four stadia, Caf is also concerned with the political situation in the country following the Supreme Court's order for fresh presidential elections early this month.

The qualification process of the tournament has already ended, with 15 nations having qualified so far.

Congo, Libya, Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Namibia have all qualified for the tournament that is scheduled to take place between January 11 and February 2.

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