Much as the move by the Confederation of African Football to strip Kenya of the rights to stage the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) in January is saddening, it came as no surprise.
Caf made a similar move when it handed the rights to host the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations to South Africa after Kenya showed a lack of interest with retrogressive politics at play.
And when Kenya nearly missed hosting the World Under-18 Championships in Athletics in July, it was the assertiveness of the chief executive officer, Mwangi Muthee, that saw the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and then-Interior Cabinet Secretary, the late Joseph Nkaissery, intervene to save the event.
Lack of enthusiasm by the government — particularly Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario — should be blamed for the mess.
Kenya won the hosting rights more than three years ago but dragged its feet in preparing the grounds, with the government only approving a Sh4.2 billion budget two days before the cancellation.
The effects of Caf’s decision on Thursday will be felt for many years because Kenya will not be considered to host any other major football event in the near future. Besides, our locally based players have been robbed of the chance to compete against some of the established football stars on the continent. Similarly, the country has missed a great opportunity to market its tourism.