State approves Sh4.2bn for Chan

Thursday September 21 2017

Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa in deep thought at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret during an inspection tour by Confederation of African Football officials on September 15, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |

Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa in deep thought at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret during an inspection tour by Confederation of African Football officials on September 15, 2017. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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The government on Thursday took the first step towards giving the necessary financial guarantees for Kenya to host 2018 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).

A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday approved an allocation of Sh4.2 billion to cover the hosting of the 16-nation three week football tournament slated that starts on January 12.

“(This is) one in a growing list of events Kenya has bid for to showcase our nation’s talent and promoting tourism,” State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said in a statement.

And Football Kenya Federation president, Nick Mwendwa, welcomed the development but did not say whether it would be enough to convince the Confederation of Africa Football of Kenya’s readiness to host the biannual event.

Caf’s top brass is concerned by Kenya’s slow preparation, and it is feared Caf could take the tournament to either Morocco or South Africa during its Executive Committee meeting in Ghana this weekend. “I will do a presentation to Caf this weekend and try and convince them we are at least ready politically,” Mwendwa said.

“This cash will be used to repair five stadiums and build 11 training grounds. We require an additional Sh6 to 7 billion for the operational budget including transport costs and other logistics.”

At the moment, none of the five venues earmarked to host the competition meet the minimum requirements set by Caf although government commissioned renovations are underway at the Kasarani and Nyayo stadium in Nairobi, Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret), Kinoru (Meru) and Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.