East Africa celebrates winning bid to host 2027 Africa Cup of Nations


FOOTBALL East Africa celebrates winning bid to host 2027 Africa Cup of Nations

Festus Chuma 14:37 - 27.09.2023

CAF selected Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to host the 2027 Africa Cup, over bids from Egypt, Botswana, Senegal, Algeria, and Morocco.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, beating out bids from Egypt, Senegal and Botswana.

Although the East Africa Pamoja Bid received recommendations from several nations, it was ultimately chosen by the CAF Executive Committee.

The political rift between Algeria and Morocco, both of whom faced challenges with their respective bids due to severed diplomatic ties since 2021, paved the way for East Africa's Pamoja Bid to gain traction.

The collective efforts were evident since last December when the Kenyan government approved a proposal to back a bid for the prestigious biennial tournament. 

This marked an ambitious stride, not only to bring the AFCON to East Africa but also as a strategy to bolster the national football team, the Harambee Stars. 

"Our joint bid with Uganda and Tanzania for the Afcon 2027 is a strong one. It is about time the Africa Cup of Nations comes to East Africa," declared Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba at a press conference.

Kenya was granted hosting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 and the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in 2018. However, on both occasions, they were stripped of these rights due to infrastructural inadequacies.

One of the significant challenges for the East African nations has been poor stadium infrastructure. It's a matter of concern that has often forced their national teams to play vital continental matches in foreign territories.

With the spotlight now on them for AFCON 2027, a massive infrastructural overhaul is on the horizon.

 Namwamba emphasized Kenya's commitment to this transformation. "Kenya will construct new high-class stadiums or renovate existing ones to meet international standards," he assured.

For long, countries from the region have been spectators in the continental football arena, with the exceptions being Sudan, who hosted the maiden edition of AFCON in 1957 and again in 1970, and Ethiopia, which held the torch in 1962, 1968, and 1976.

The AFCON 2027, therefore, is not  just another tournament for the East African community. It represents an opportunity – a chance to showcase their capabilities, to shed past disappointments, and to lay the foundation for a brighter, more competitive future in international football.