By The Reporters News
East African Countries of Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda have mounted their bid to co-host the Africa Cup of nations (Afcon) final scheduled for 2027.
The three East African ballpark neighbors have submitted a joint expression of interest with the Confederation of African Football (Caf), the governing body that organizes the biennial tournament.
The 2027 Afcon final tournament host race is also joined by three other nations that have since registered interest: Algeria, Botswana and Egypt.
However, it is unclear how much investment will be needed to allow either Botswana’s or the East African bid to succeed.
Until last week, Botswana’s bid was also due to be a joint one, but Namibia dropped out at the last minute, citing financial concerns.
The East African Bid; The Stadium issue;
For the East African host bid (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania), Kenya has just one stadium approved for international games by Caf, the Nyayo National Stadium in the capital, Nairobi.
The country was stripped of the right to host the 2018 Chan just four months before the finals because several venues were not ready.
In December, the Kenyan government released a statement about its prospective 2027 bid revealing its cabinet had “sanctioned the revitalization of football as a key cog of our nation’s social fabric” in a bid “to revive the prospects of Kenyan football”.
Uganda at the moment doesn’t have a certified stadium to host a CAF and FIFA grade match with effort to renovate the Mandela stadium being critically under looked by football authorities in the Country.
Around February 2022, the statement came through from CAF, saying that Namboole in Uganda and other 23 stadia across Africa, had been instructed to bring their stadia up to international standards. This would involve massive renovation, re-grassing, modern floodlights and a standby generator.
Namboole was particularly ordered to do complete renovation and expansion of the dressing rooms, modern first aid and treatment facilities for players and officials, seats for individual spectators, well equipped media facilities and training facilities.
Today, the Country’s football senior national side the Cranes host their home games either in Egypt or Cameroon as witnessed in the both Cranes previous Afcon 2023 qualifier fixture against Tanzania while the next one coming on June 12th 2023 will be hosted in Cameroon.
In Tanzania, the government has pledged to upgrade seven stadiums with natural grass in order to meet criteria of hosting big international events and increase chances of staging the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports Mohamed Mchengerwa made the vow when he officiated the 2021/22 NBC-TFF Awards in Dar es Salaam saying the renovation works will begin soon.
He named the venues to be decorated with natural turfs as CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza, Mkwakwani Stadium in Tanga, Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Sheikh AmriAbeid Stadium in Arusha, Sokoine Stadium in Mbeya and Amani Stadium in Zanzibar.
These are the venues which the government will renovate to give them an international look and improve their pitches with natural grass so as to meet the requirements of hosting big football events of AFCON caliber.
There are also going to make major improvements at Uhuru and Benjamin Mkapa Stadiums in Dar es Salaam to make them much better and all these are in line with the government agendas to ensure that all playing venues are in perfect status.
He also declared that a lot of investments are happening in the sports sector under the current administration of president SamiaSuluhu Hassan saying people should expect many things.
Egypt and Algeria bids;
Egypt hosted the Cup of Nations as recently as 2019 while earlier this year Algeria hosted the African Nations Championship (Chan), the pan-continental tournament for locally based players, meaning those two countries are unlikely to struggle when it comes to infrastructure requirements.
The four bids now have until 23 May to submit their final official plans ahead of inspection visits in June and July.
Caf is yet to make a decision on who will host the 2025 Afcon, having stripped Guinea of the right in October due to insufficient preparation.