AFCON 2027: Botswana cries foul over ‘suspicious’ bid selection rules that handed Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania hosting rights

Lobatse Sports Complex will host Vipers SC away tie against Galaxy FC. Botswana National Sports Council

FOOTBALL AFCON 2027: Botswana cries foul over ‘suspicious’ bid selection rules that handed Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania hosting rights

Joel Omotto 16:00 - 13.10.2023

Botswana has questioned the ‘suspicious’ selection criteria used by CAF to hand Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania the AFCON 2027 bid when an inspection report ‘ranked them better’

Botswana Sports Minister Tumiso Rakgare has questioned the selection criteria used by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to settle on Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania as host nations for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.

The ‘EAC Pamoja Bid’ of the three East African nations won the hosting rights for the continental tournament amid stiff competition from Algeria, Botswana, and Senegal but Rakgare feels his nation was set to win the rights before rules were changed at the last minute.

“When we left for Cairo, Egypt, we were of the view that the bid would be determined by the report of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), who were engaged by CAF to conduct inspections across the bidding nations,” Rakgare said, as reported by Botswana Daily News.

He claimed the report had ranked Botswana in second position with 64 percent, behind Algeria, who were at 78 percent, and that after the North Africans withdrew at the last minute, Botswana would automatically win the bid.

“We were surprised when CAF decided to subject the bidding nations to a verbal presentation and a vote, which is where we lost the bid,” said Rakgare, adding that even up to today, he is still not aware how many votes went to which bidding country.

“Voting is a regressive form because it is prone to external influence, and as a country, doing things through the back door is just not our thing. This whole process led to suspicion regarding the conduct of the whole thing.”

Botswana are counting losses in the wake of their failed bid with reports indicating that the country spent P61 million (Ksh659,777,113) on producing their 2027 AFCON bid book which went down the drain following their failure to secure the hosting rights.

The country had sought the services of South African firm Ruben Reddy Architects who have a lot of experience in producing winning bids, having produced documents for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and the Russia 2018 World Cup but were not successful this time.