Political goodwill needed to host CHAN- CAF
Confederation of African Football (CAF) Secretary General; Hicham El Amrani noted it will be difficult for Kenya to successfully host the fifth edition of the African Home Nations Championships (Chan) in February 2018 if the Government fails to fully commit towards its organisation.
Speaking during a visit to Meru’s Kinoru stadium in the company of Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president; Nick Mwendwa and other CAF officials to assess its viability to host matches of the tournament, Amrani added focus should be placed on ensuring the country can meet standards set by FIFA and continental governing body.
“It’s our first inspection visit and we’ll have at least 10 of them between now and the opening of the tournament. Considering its magnitude, it cannot be possible to have it successfully hosted without political goodwill and support of the authorities,” he asserted.
Amrani added that CAF is working towards supporting not only the FKF and the country’s football but also ensuring a conducive environment for Kenyans to enjoy the tournament and leave behind a legacy of great infrastructure.
“We are expecting 16 national teams including the host nation so it’s a big tournament. We require four stadiums, eight training sites as well as other requirements in terms of hospitals, hotels and such. We know Kenya is already doing great on all those aspects but we need to work on the key priority of infrastructure,” the secretary general stressed.
Meru County Governor; Peter Munya assured that his administration was willing to put in place all necessary measures required for Kinoru to host Chan games.
“We are happy that you considered Kinoru as a possible choice for a host stadium and more so that you are here to give us technical advice. We are committed towards fulfilling any possible recommendations from you,” he affirmed.
Mwendwa declared they will work hand in hand with the County Government to ensure the dream of having the stadium among the tournament hosts is realized.
“We have seen some work has been done. But this was done without the view of hosting Chan in mind but now that we are here, we are going to share ideas to achieve the best,” the FKF boss observed.
Earlier, the team kicked off their task with a tour of Nairobi’s Safaricom Stadium, Mombasa Stadium, Kisumu Moi Stadium and Nyayo Stadium.
Other venues that are set for inspection include Machakos Stadium and Kip Keino stadium in Eldoret.
Separately, Members of the Meru County Assembly (MCAs) have called for the formation of a joint committee to investigate the progress of Kinoru alleging the work done to refurbish the stadium thus far does not reflect the amount of money pumped into the project.
In their Wednesday sitting, the MCAs challenged a report by the County Government Department of Gender, Sports and Culture, saying that it was not satisfactory.
Deputy Speaker, Gideon Kimathi who chaired the session, ruled that the committee has 21 days to give a full report and findings on how payments are being done compared to the amount of work done.
Public and Accounts Committee Chairman, Daniel Kiogora, lamented that even though the stadium has been allocated funds on several occasions, there is little that has been done.
In his contribution, Igoji west MCA John Kireria said that it is a shame for a Government to concentrate on a single project for close to three years, saying a permanent answer ought to be sought.
Report by Mwenda Kinoti