NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Confederation of African Football Executive Committee says it is impressed with Kenya’s preparations for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) after the latest visit by top CAF officials led by Vice President Suketu Patel.
Kenya’s level of preparedness was discussed and analyzed by CAF during the Executive Committee meeting held in Addis, Ababa Ethiopia on Tuesday evening ahead of the 39th CAF General Assembly.
“Significant progress has been made on the ground and there is a strong government commitment to host the competition and make it a success. This comes after the inspection mission to Kenya from February 20 to 24, led by CAF First Vice President, Suketu Patel. The inspection team visited the various sites, including Nairobi, with two stadia, Eldoret, Meru and Machakos,” CAF said in its statement.
There had been growing fears that the country will not be ready for the biennial championship for homegrown players over the readiness of various stadia proposed to host the matches.
However, a visit by the CAF bosses in February cleared these fears with Patel being categorical the continental football body was not thinking of another host.
“CAF is not thinking of another host. We are confident that Kenya will be able to host a good Championship,” Patel said then after a meeting with Football Kenya Federation and government officials.
At the same time, CAF has already sent back a document detailing what exactly needs to be done in the remaining 10 months before the competition.
“As promised, the document has been sent but we have to discuss it first as the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) before we can disclose it to the public. But the thing is we are working hard to ensure the facilities are ready for the championship,” LOC deputy Chief Executive Officer Herbart Mwachiro told Capital Sport.
“We are encouraged with what the Executive Committee had to say after their meeting. We had no doubts of course but it is always good to know that we are on the right path,” Mwachiro added.
Currently, the Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia are closed for renovation while contractors are on the ground in Meru and Kipchoge Keino in Eldoret to step up efforts to ensure the facilities and playing surface is ready.
Meanwhile, the Executive Committee unanimously recommended the CAF Disciplinary Board to proceed with the case of COSAFA President Philip Chiyangwa.
Chiyangwa, also the Zimbabwean FA president has been accused of attacking the honor of CAF, its president and members of the executive committee with his actions and recent statements.
Ahead of the CAF elections on March 16, the continent has been split between incumbent Issa Hayatou and newcomer Ahmad Ahmed, the Madagascar FA president who is seeking to unseat Hayatou.
Chiyangwa irked CAF last month when COSAFA unanimously declared their support for Hamad while also convening a meeting of FA president from across the continent as they sought more support for Ahmad.
The 70-year old Hayatou has been at the helm of the continental football body since 1988 and a section of the continents FAs want a change at the helm.