Chan 2018: Kenya on the brink of losing tournament rights

Goal Kenya.
Caf has reportedly put two countries on standby to take the rights should the country (Kenya) fail to meet the August deadline

Kenya is on the brink of giving away the rights to host 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).

The Confederation of Africa Football (Caf) has reportedly put two countries on standby to take the rights should Kenya fail to meet the August deadline.

A team of inspectors from Caf are expected in the country on September 7 to deliver the message home after Kenya failed to put all the structures in place as confirmed by a source within Football Kenya Federation.

“It is very sad that we are on the brink of losing rights to host the tournament because the government is dragging its feet to meet the requirements,” said a source, who talked to Goal on condition of anonymity.

Caf president Ahmad

    Caf President Ahmad Ahmad

Morocco, Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire have already expressed serious interest in hosting the tournament, and are waiting in anticipation of news that Kenya is stripped of hosting rights.

Kenya was given until the end of August to demonstrate their preparedness but with only Kasarani Stadium having been given the clean bill of health, Caf are most likely to deliver the not-so-shocking message next month.

"Our delegation is talking to the (Kenyan) government as there will be presidential elections in August. They asked us to give them until the end of August when they will give us their action plan.

"After that, we will sit down to take a decision whether we will have it in Kenya or not,” Caf President Ahmad Ahmad said last July.

A lot of work still needs to be done at Nyayo, Kip Keino and Kinoru Stadia, yet the government is yet to award the contract for construction work to commence.

Former FKF President Sam Nyamweya insists that it will be a shame for Kenya if the miss out in hosting the tournament.

FKF President Sam Nyamweya addresses media

    Former FKF President Sam Nyamweya, who tabled the bid

Football Kenya Federation, then led by Nyamweya, spent upwards of Sh50 million in 2013 to put together a bid and to facilitate frequent trips to and from Caf headquarters in Cairo to negotiate with African football chiefs.

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“It will be unfortunate if Chan tournament is taken away from Kenya. I can’t imagine that the resources we spent to put in a bid will go to waste. This is not good news for Kenya at all. I hope something urgent is done and the tournament is staged here,” Nyamweya told Goal.

The Chan tournament, which is reserved for players who feature in their respective domestic leagues across Africa, will be staged from January 11 to February 2, 2018.

Serious sanctions await Kenya should hosting rights be withdrawn for any reason, including hefty fines as well as lengthy bans from competing in the competition as was the case in 1996 when the hosting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations were withdrawn and handed to South Africa.