EAC cements AFCON’s joint bid

THE joint bid by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) moved a step further as the trio continues to put things right to win the hosting ticket for the continent’s biggest national-level showpiece.

It is evident that the three countries are serious on jointly hosting the event and have lately been involved in high-level diplomatic talks to complete the bidding exercise timely.

For Tanzania, Minister for Culture, Arts and Sports Pindi Chana recently had a fruitful visual meeting with sports Ministers from Ababu Namwamba from Kenya and Peter Ongwang of Uganda.

The discussions aimed to see at how the best the three countries can successfully cooperate to win the hosting bid through their respective football federations.

Tanzania is ready, and we have good infrastructure which can accommodate such big football event in Africa,” Chana said.

Among others, they created a task force to persuade CAF to give the green light for the three nations to host the big competition for the first time jointly.

Before making this bid, Tanzania successfully hosted the 2019 Under-17 AFCON, which unfolded from April 14th to 28th, hosting seven countries that descended well.

Moreover, the country’s 60,000-capacity Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam is undergoing major rehabilitation, including eight other venues that are earmarked to improve.

Meanwhile, eight sports venues in Kenya could get a significant facelift after they were identified as some of the training grounds in the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), East African Commission (EAC) “Pamoja” bid.

Kenya has presented the iconic 60,000-seater Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani, 30,000-seater Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi and Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret.

As their training grounds, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa said Nairobi presented MISC Kasarani Annex, Police Sacco Stadium, Kenya Utalii College Sports Club, Ulinzi Sports Complex and Jamhuri Sports Complex.

President Yoweri Museveni welcomed the regional bid for Uganda on Monday, highlighting the importance of hosting sports to players and spectators.

“As I have always said, sports is good for health to burn calories and not be unhealthy. It is also good for entertainment “for yourself, who is participating, and the spectators. This is better than other activities like consuming alcohol, etc.

“While in sports, you learn to coordinate your body better, just like the parade in the army. And to coordinate a group. You develop the spirit of determination. You push yourself even when you are tired. You learn not to take the easy way. You stop having ‘nyeko’ (jealousy) by learning that one can lose and later win and it’s normal,” Museveni said.

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