Govt wears brave face despite CHAN uncertainty

first_img0Shares0000Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Peter Kaberia adrressing the press at the ministry headquarters on September 7, 2017.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7- The government through the Ministry of Sports remains confident that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will not strip the country of its hosting rights for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) despite concerns over infrastructure.CAF is expected to send an inspection team to the country before September 23 when they are scheduled to hold an Executive Committee meeting in Accra, Ghana after which a final decision will be made. “From the ministry point of view, we are doing everything possible to make sure that we host CHAN and we will host CHAN. We are still on course and we will deliver. We have talked to all the technical people and we will deliver it well; we don’t have a reason to worry,” a confident Sports Principle Secretary Peter Kirimi said on Thursday morning.CAF second vice president Constant Omari was in the country on Monday but later left in the evening due to bereavement, just a few days after CAF cancelled its planned inspection tour.Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUAccording to Kirimi, Omari who was making his second visit to the country, wanted to understand the Kenyan political landscape after last week’s Supreme Court ruling and whether or not it will have an impact on preparations for the tournament.“We explained to him everything he wanted to know and assured that the electoral process would not affect the preparations because that is democracy and it has to take its course. We also showed him the progress we have made with the stadia and he was satisfied,” the PS further explained.His confidence was shared by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa who is convinced that the renovation on all the four proposed venues is going perfectly well and the contractors will beat the 14-week deadline.“Kinoru, Nyayo and Kipchoge Keino are progressing very well and I am satisfied with how the pace is going. Machakos is lagging behind but we are not worried about it because it is a back up stadium but what I know is the other four will be ready. We will continue to push and hopefully, CAF will listen to us,” Mwendwa, who has confirmed attendance of the September 23 Accra meeting noted.Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Peter Kaberia.Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUMeanwhile, Kirimi has admitted that the process has dragged on for long since Kenya won the hosting rights in 2015, but says they will use the challenge as a learning curve to ensure better preparation next time the country wins a bid to host a major event.“Could we have done things earlier? Yes. But we can’t dwell more on what has happened in the past but focus on what we can do now. Going forward I want to promise that any bid we win, we will make it possible to do things much earlier,” he noted.Despite the late surge of effort from the government, sources within CAF intimate that the continental body is not yet comfortable that everything will be ready in time. South Africa has been strongly linked to replacing Kenya, just like it did for the 1996 Cup of Nations (AFCON).Morocco have also been touted as a strong contender to substitute Kenya, but the North Africans are reported to be to preparing for the 2026 World Cup which they have bid and probably, cast an eye on the 2019 AFCON with Cameroon’s position unstable.A total of Sh4.8bn, according to the Sports PS will be splashed out for the tournament.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more