The Confederations of African Football, CAF Second Vice-President Selemani Omari told a news conference in Nairobi, on Saturday that Kenya has been given the final approval from CAF to host the 2018 Africa Home Based Nations Championships (CHAN). This put an end to speculation the East African nation would be stripped of the right to stage the second-tier continental tournament. The the North African State of Morocco is one of the nations reported to have been on standby to step in. He said the Kenyan government and local federation had met the major requirements and had been notified by CAF to expedite work on areas that fell short. He announced only two stadiums, Nyayo National and Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani- both located in the Kenyan capital had passed the threshold to stage CHAN games during the penultimate inspection tour of the facilities.
During the latest inspection tour, CAF officials expressed their displeasure with the state of the three stadiums outside Nairobi with the regional County Government of Meru immediately shutting down Kinoru on Wednesday to fast-track the renovation works. Kenyatta (Machakos), Kinoru (Meru) and Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret) stadiums have less than 90 days to get ready for the tournament
Kenya Football Federation President, Nick Mwendwa assured that Kenya will be ready:
“We are focused on eliminating any doubts out there and we know our challenges. We will be ready,”
Congolese national Omari who led the CAF delegation team to inspect the facilities earmarked for the competition told reporters:
“We wish to put to an end to rumours that Kenya will not host CHAN. Yes, there are challenges but the positives are more. We are impressed with the progress made towards the hosting of the games.The progress has been good from the inspections. We hope the Government continues the work in fast tracking the areas lacking,”
This will be Kenya’s first ever continental football tournament after the country was stripped of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations when the former regime of retired President Daniel arap Moi declined to financially guarantee the hosting of CAF’ s flagship event. As a result, the East African country was banned from the subsequent two editions and fined heavily.
CHAN 2018 that will be played from Jan. 11 to Feb. 2, 2018, is open to only footballers that ply their trade on the African continent .