NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – Football Kenya Federation chief Nick Mwendwa says he is not happy with the progress made in preparation for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) which will be hosted in Kenya.
Mwendwa says the government is yet to approve most of the plans including the refurbishment of proposed stadia which will host the games.
“It’s not going the way we want it to go, it’s a bit slow. We are putting the pressure on government because December is here and 13 months to go we really need to show what we have done,” Mwendwa said.
“I have told the ministry and I hope things go well. We have done our part and submitted everything. We now need the budget approved, the secretariat set up among other things,” the FKF boss added.
FKF needs to show the Confederation of African Football (CAF) substantial progress made, but as at now, not much of the same has been made.
A high level CAF delegation led by President Issa Hayatou was in the country in August where they met Deputy President William Ruto who assured the government’s commitment to ensuring the country delivers a successful event.
With the country also hosting the IAAF World U18 Championships at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani in July 2017, much of the attention seems to have shifted to the event.
Among the CAF requirements are four standard pitches with at least four changing rooms each, four training grounds close to match venues as well as hospitality facilities.
“The biggest challenge we are facing at the moment is stadium infrastructure. We are excellent with all other things because Kenya has beautiful hospitality. We need to get the stadia ready,” Mwendwa declared.
He was speaking on the sidelines of FKF’s launch of sub-branch level Under-13 and Under-15 leagues at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi’s Jericho estate.
A total of 32 teams around the Nairobi East branch were handed footballs as part of a Sh10mn FIFA development project.
“The job of the federation is to develop the game and when you start developing from the Under-13s, you are planting the seed for the future and that is what we want especially for the 2022 and 2026 World Cups,” Mwenda noted.
He also disclosed that an all-star team picked from all sub-branch leagues around the country will be selected for an Under-15 tour of Spain in March where they will play friendly matches.
The federation will next year roll out girls’ Under-17 and Under-20 leagues with an eye on the 2019 Women’s World Cup.