Officials from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) arrive on Monday for an inspection visit that will ascertain Kenya’s preparedness for next year’s African Nations Championship (Chan).
Originally, the trip was due to start last Thursday but was postponed due to uncertainty following the annulled presidential elections.
The delegation, led by Caf’s second vice-president Constant Omari Selemani of D.R. Congo, will spend eight days in Kenya in this third and final inspection visit
At the same time, the government has insisted Kenya will host the Chan tournament despite growing fears that Caf may take the hosting rights away.
Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia allayed fears Caf was set to take the tournament to another country, saying the African confederation had so far given the thumbs up to the preparations ahead of the three-week tournament that involves local-based footballers.
In 1996, Kenya got the chance to host the more prestigious Africa Cup of Nations tournament but due to the exigencies of the moment, the powers that be made sure the project was tanked up.
Now this is what happened.
The chairman of the then Kenya Football Federation was the late Joab Omino, who was an opposition Member of Parliament.
Now, the ruling power brokers in Kanu would never countenance the idea that an opposition MP would pull such a spectacular move that would make them hog all the limelight.
The whole thing went south and Kenya never got the chance.
Now we have another chance, and I am hoping we will do it right.
Sifting through all these, two days ago I spoke to my great pal Herbert Mwachiro of Chan’s Local Organising Committee. From here I want to quote the good man:
BURNING MIDNIGHT OIL
“We are very happy with the progress we are making.
“We are sure of bagging the rights to host the tournament. We have worked hard starting last year and I am sure we will give Kenyans what they really deserve.
“I must thank the government for the support we have received.
“I have a great team that has been burning the midnight oil just to make sure all the systems are okay. Now we are waiting upon all Kenyans to give us the support we need.
“The Nyayo National Stadium is complete and the Moi International Sports Centre has been upgraded, thanks to the last athletics championships. We are in a position to bid for, and win, any international event.”