Only Kasarani meets threshold to host CHAN

AFC Leopards SC fans cheer their team against Gor Mahia FC during their Sportpesa Premier ...
AFC Leopards SC fans cheer their team against Gor Mahia FC during their Sportpesa Premier League match at the Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on March 06, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

A preliminary assessment report by Confederations of African Football (CAF) indicates that only Nairobi’s Safaricom Stadium meets the standards set by the continental and world governing body; FIFA to host an international tournament.

The damning assessment comes after CAF officials conducted their first inspection tour to access Kenya’s ability to host the 2018 Africa Home Nations Championships (Chan) after it won the bid last year.

According to CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani, who completed a whirlwind tour of alongside Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa on Thursday, more than 10 stadia in the country fall short of the required threshold due to the poor infrastructure around them and require massive renovations.

“We need a stadium that is well-partitioned; there needs to be referees’ changing rooms, a doping test room, back-up generators in case the power goes off, screens to follow matches and various other facilities,” Amrani told the media.

Majority of sporting facilities outside Kasarani have the surrounding land encroached on by private investors leaving little room to host all facilities required by such an event within their perimeter.

“We can’t compare the ones we have seen with others outside this country or demand that we need similar stadiums in terms of design and general outlook. As long as these key requirements are met then we are good to go.

“Although Kasarani is the only impressive stadium that we’ve come across since we started our inspections on Monday, it still needs some re-touching,” he asserted.

The CAF boss added that during their meeting with Deputy President, William Ruto, he promised to work closely with them and offered to extend Government support.

Mwendwa said that the federation was in the process of setting up a Local Organizing Committee that will ensure every thing needed to host the second-tier continental competition that features home grown players is in place.

“The committee will be a component of all stakeholders CAF needs; medical, technical, media, government, security, immigration and all others who are required to achieve our combined goal,” Mwendwa stated.

“There will be sub-committees involving the media and the medical units. We are also developing a budget that will be completed in the next 10-20 days and are holding discussions with the government so that by the time we meet next we should be able to present it to CAF,” he concluded.

Kenya is scheduled to host the African Nations Championship (Chan) in February, 2018 with CAF officials touring Kisumu, Mombasa, Kinoru and Machakos stadiums.

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