The chances of Kenya hosting the 2018 African Nations Championship hang in the balance following the recent inspection by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF).
A CAF team was unimpressed with the progress made in preparing the five venues to host the championship in January: Kasarani and Nyayo (Nairobi), Kinoru (Meru), Kenyatta (Machakos) and Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret).
While Kasarani and Kinoru have done well, the rest are lagging behind and CAF is already thinking of a plan “B”.
The admission by Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario that the government has delayed release of funds to renovate the stadiums is distressing.
It’s now more than three years since Kenya won the bid to host the tournament.
This was enough time for the government and Football Kenya Federation to put everything in place.
In fact, the federation should have been testing the facilities now.
It’s a shame that Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda could pull off magnificent events, yet Kenya is struggling.
This could have paved the way for bidding for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.
The bitter memory of Kenya’s withdrawal from hosting the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, with South Africa stepping in, is quite fresh.
The government must rescue the situation as another withdrawal will come with hefty sanctions from CAF.