Mwendwa concedes Kenya could lose Chan 2018


Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwendwa. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa has admitted recent Confederation of African Football (CAF) activities reflect the underlying fact that Kenya could be stripped of its 2018 African Nations Championship hosting rights.

With CAF set to send a team Kenya for a final inspection tour before the country’s preparedness for the competition is determined, the FKF boss braved questions from the press alone as Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario snubbed the presser.

Drawing positives ahead of the crunch week, Mwendwa expressed confidence that preparations are well on course with all contractors for each designated host stadium working to beat deadlines.

“There have been stories that Chan will be taken away. The truth is that their must be a back up plan that’s why CAF has promoted some countries to be on the standby.

“We have to be seriously engaged at the construction work when CAF comes for inspection on September 7, otherwise we could lose it,” Mwendwa said.

He added that 11 training grounds are required for the tournament, apart from the five stadiums.

Questions linger as to the ability of Kenya to do the much remaining work within four months before the biennial tournament set for January 12 to February 4 begins.

“We accept there has been delay, much delay indeed from all stakeholders including the government.

“The question is how we move forward, to ensure no further delay. There will be a daily plan on how to deliver this, with the media and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) open to assess the progress,” Mwendwa charged.

Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Guinea and Zambia are the countries that qualified for the competition was introduced in 2008 to give home-based stars international exposure.

Nyayo Stadium specifically, will require 14 working weeks to complete the construction work while Meru’s Kinoru, Kenyatta (Machakos) and Kipchoge Keino in Eldoret could take up to 16 weeks.

“Kasarani has very little work to be done while Kinoru is 60 percent done. One of these stadia will be dropped with the official four to stage the tournament set for announcement later,” LOC Chairman Hebert Mwachiro said.

He added the national government through Sports Kenya has taken over all the proposed stadia apart from Kinoru, to fast track the construction work.

“It is going to be easier with operations taking place from one central point. Once CHAN is over, Sports Kenya will hand over the stadia to the respective county governments for routine management.”

Initially, both the Sports Kenya and County governments had stake in the work, which led to delay in decision making and execution.

Approximately KSh6 billion will be spent, with the figure likely to shoot up in the stadia construction and ‘tournament specific work’

CAF will station an inspector in Kenya after the September 7 inspection, to monitor the preps.

Lexis International Limited has been awarded the contract for the Nyayo Stadium work, and the contractor Chandresh Barbariya has is confident of delivering within the strict timeline.

“This is going to be a 24-hour activity. We want by the time CAF comes, we show them what we have done in specific number of days so that they measure the work that will be remaining against the one we shall have done considering the time,” Barbariya said.

Meanwhile, Mwendwa has called upon the local media to support the preps by ensuring ‘positive coverage’.

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