Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Only two of five Kenyan stadiums earmarked to host the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in January 2018 are ready, a visiting CAF delegation said on Saturday.
But the delegation led by CAF vice-president Constant Selemani brushed aside concerns that the 16-team championship, reserved for players who are playing in their domestic leagues, might be moved to another country saying Kenya should be able to deliver on its promises.
Selemani, who is also president of the Congolese Association of Football Federation (FECOFA) said CAF would make a third inspection of the facilities at the end of August to assess progress before making a final decision.
“We have agreed that from now work would be stepped up on the infrastructure. CAF believed in the Kenyan government’s committment to host this competition when we awarded it in 2014, and we cannot start to doubt that now.
“We have been given a guarantee that Kenya will correct the situation, and at the end of August we will be able to know exactly where we stand and how much per cent of the work has been done before we decide the way forward.”
Officials of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) said only the Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium and the Meru Kinoru stadium, on the slopes of Mount Kenya have been declared almost complete.
Kenyan sports minister Hassan Wario accepted a lot of work needed to be done to upgrade the other three concerned stadiums in Nairobi, Machakos and the north-western town of Eldoret.
“We are not moving at the pace expected of us but there have a lot of things have been happening behind the scenes. We were looking for the money, setting up the contracts and visiting the sites,” Wario said.
“All that have come together and now we are moving to the next phase, which is awarding the contracts and ensuring that people work day and night. Let me not lie to you, we have a lot of work to do. But we are up to it and are promising CAF that we reached the target.
“We are not only fully committed to hosting Chan but other African football competitions in the future.
Rwanda hosted the last tournament in February 2016 which was won for the second sucessive year by the Democratic Republic of Congo.