NAIROBI, April 26 – Confederation of African Football (CAF) Senior Vice President Almamy Kabele Camara and Secretary General Hicham El Amrani are in Nairobi on a fact-finding mission ahead of Kenya’s hosting of the 2018 African nations Championship (CHAN).
While Kabele, who is the chairman of the CAF CHAN organising committee arrived on Sunday night, Amrani touched down in Nairobi on Monday afternoon and they are expected to have a series of meetings with federation and government officials. A meeting with the Cabinet Secretary of Sports, Arts and Culture is also in the two’s itinerary.
“The CAF officials are in town in regards to our hosting of the 2018 CHAN for preliminary meetings and fact finding. They are not necessarily here to inspect anything. They are scheduled for a series of meetings and might meet with the Cabinet Secretary maybe today or tomorrow. This is just to check on preliminary information in regards to our preparedness for CHAN,” FKF CEO Robert Muthomi told Capital Sport.
Kenya were handed the 2018 CHAN hosting rights early last year and the mantle officially handed to them after this year’s edition in Rwanda in February.
There have been concerns that Kenya might not be ready to host the fifth edition of the biennial tournament with Ethiopia said to be breathing on the necks of CAF to bounce on the opportunity in case Kenya opts out.
However, FKF and the Sports Ministry insist the country will be ready to host the tournament with Wario promising ‘at least one new stadium’ before the tournament.
CAF requires high standards of organization and infrastructure and the two officials are in town to ensure there is at least good will of the same. Among the stadia lined up to host CHAN matches included Nyayo, Kasarani, Machakos, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa but at the moment none save for Nyayo and Kasarani meet CAF standards.
In 1996, Kenya were handed a chance to host the African Cup of Nations but pulled out in the last minutes, South Africa being handed the opportunity. The last time Kenya hosted a huge continental tournament save for the African Athletics Championships in 2010 was during the 1987 All Africa Games.
Meanwhile, Kenya will play an international friendly with Tanzania in Nairobi on May 29, the Kenyan and Tanzania FAs have confirmed.
This is the first time Kenya will be playing an international friendly match within the FIFA recognized dates since 2013 January when they travelled to North Africa to play Libya.
Harambee Stars’ only assignments this year are the two African Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Congo at home and Zambia away in June and September respectively. The national team coaching bench will most likely use the Tanzanian friendly to test the level of the local based players.
At the same time, the Football Kenya Federation is expected to permanently shift to the Goal Project offices in Kasarani by the start of next month, according to Muthomi.
“We had some challenges with electricity and furniture because there was a time it was vandalized. But we have worked on those and we should have electricity there by the start of the month. It is a requirement of FIFA that before anything else, we move to the offices and hopefully we should be there soon,” Muthomi offered.