Namwamba addresses reason for Kenya's frenzied bidding to host several football competitions

Photo credit || FKF

FOOTBALL Namwamba addresses reason for Kenya's frenzied bidding to host several football competitions

Mark Kinyanjui 18:00 - 23.11.2023

The Sports CS has addressed why Kenya have recently been bidding to host several football tournaments, including the 2027 AFCON.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has hit back at critics claiming that Kenya have been “aimlessly” bidding for major tournaments under his tenure in office.

Kenya has bid to host five football tournaments since his appointment as Sports CS in 2022, including the AFCON 2027 tournament, which, alongside neighboring countries Tanzania and Uganda, won.

They have also bid to host the CECAFA u18 Boys’ football tournament, which will take place in Kisumu and Kakamega from Saturday, as well as the CECAFA u15 tournaments, and reportedly won the bid to host the 2024 African Championship of Nations (CHAN) tournament.

Speaking to the press on Thursday morning during a press conference arranged to address the two-week CECAFA u18 tournament, Namwamba insisted that the current Kenya administration had taken “deliberate steps” at bidding to host specific tournaments.

“This administration will take deliberate measures, deliberate steps to attract elite competitions to Kenya for purposes of developing talent and promoting and marketing Kenya as a destination of choice,” Namwamba said.

“We are delighted as the government, as a ministry, to get the opportunity to host this tournament. We are very keen to host important events as a government.

“For those who may not be in the know, we are not just shooting in the dark. We are not just moving aimlessly by trying to bid for every tournament in town.

“It is deliberate, intentional, structured and planned and it is in sync with the plan and the manifesto that brought this government to office.”

Meanwhile, Namwamba has revealed the strategic purpose behind Junior Stars’ participation at the tournament, citing the need to identify prospects that could help Harambee Stars in future.

"We want to see the boys we brought to Kasarani for one week for the camp and the boys we have supported to go to foreign academies, we want to see whether the identification and the nurturing we have invested in them can be seen in a competitive environment.

"And we do that because we believe, to build competitive Harambee Stars and Starlets we must give our best talents and the youngest age possible to show us what they are made of," said Ababu.

He also announced that there are no gate charges for the tournament, appealing to Kenyans to "fill the stadiums to the rafters" once the matches get underway. 

The CECAFA U-18 Championship will feature Kenya alongside Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Zanzibar, Tanzania and South Sudan as the host nation take on Sudan in their opening fixture.

Follow our WhatsApp channel for more updates.