Accra, Kenya, for the second time in their football history, had been stripped of an opportunity to host one of the major football competitions’ on the continent � the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).
The decision by CAF for many Kenyans did not come as a surprise, because it was obvious they were going to lose the right to host the event, as there was overwhelming evidence on the ground that, the pace of preparation was slow, with just three months to go.
The CAF cited the following reasons for denying the athletics great nation, the opportunity to host the event; slow pace of preparations, misinformation from the Kenyan officials and the political tension in the country, with barely three months to start the competition.
In the face of the three reasons cited by CAF, one could say the political tension could not be a major bother, though the country was going for a re-run of their presidential elections in October and they could be ready for the championship, by January 2018.
Mr. Chris Mbaisi, Sports Sub Editor of the Star – a Multimedia organization in Kenya and President of the Sports Journalists Association of Kenyan told the GNA Sports that, they were just not ready for the competition.
According to him, out of the four stadiums earmarked for the competition, only one was ready to host the event, as the remaining three were under serious renovation and could not be ready by December to host 15 other countries for the 2018 Championship.
Mr. Mbaisi said, the Moi Stadium, which has a capacity of 60, 000 was the only venue ready for the competition, because it hosted the 2017 World Under-18 Athletics Championship.
From the information gathered, it was evident that, indeed, Kenya was not ready to host the continental showpiece, designed for only players plying their trade in their respective countries.
The Nyayo Stadium, the 25,000 capacity stadium, which is also located in Nairobi, is under serious renovation and was far from completion and could not be ready for the event by December.
Again, the Kipchoge Kaino Stadium, 400 kilometres away from the capital, was half completed, as the time of denying the Kenyans the opportunity to host the event.
According to Mbaisi, the contractors were yet to fix the seats at the 15,000-seater stadium, whilst the dressing rooms were also not ready for such a high profile competition and there was no signal of completion, ahead of schedule.
The last of the four stadiums selected for the competition was way behind schedule, a situation Mr Mbaisi described as, simply not completed.
The 15,000 capacity stadium � Kinoru Mervy Stadium, located in the central part of the country, was also far from completion.
The CAF was indeed right when they said officials of Kenya were not truthful with them over preparations for the competition and this could be backed with statements from the Vice President of Kenya � Mr. William Ruto, on a political platform in June 2017.
Mr. Ruto, on a political platform, said five stadiums, would be ready for the competition, when a question was posed to him on the preparations of the East African country for the event.
The ruling party, on assumption of office, promised to provide each province with a stadium, but from all indications it has failed.
Mr Mbaisi told the GNA Sports that, it was a political promise, which never materialized and could be described as one of the major reasons why Kenyan lost the right to host the event.
Source: Ghana News Agency