Kenya’s Sports Minister on Tuesday refuted the reports that the country is set to be stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
In the past week, multiple sources said that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had placed Morocco and South Africa on standby to host the second-tier competition after expressing disappointment with Kenya’s preparations.
It led many Kenyans to take on social media to condemn the government seeking a stop to public spending on the competition open to home grown players.
“Treat such as blatant rumours! We are going to host CHAN next year, don’t be misled by what is happening in social media,” the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts, Hassan Wario stressed.
Kenya will stage the 16-nation tournament as scheduled from Jan. 11 to Feb. 2, 2018 at the five designated venues of Kinoru (Meru), Nyayo (Nairobi), Kipchego Keino (Eldoret) and Kasarani (Nairobi) stadiums, he added.
“I have personally visited most of the facilities and therefore, I say this from a point of knowledge,” Wario emphasized.
Caf inspectors who were due for the final inspection on Monday (Aug. 21) have deferred the exercise to Sept. 7 with the continental governing body expressing their discontentment with Kenya’s preparations.
Thus far, 14 nations have sealed qualification with hosts Kenya who were handed automatic entry being joined by Congo, 2014 champions Libya, Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, Zambia, Uganda, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, debutants Equatorial Guinea and Namibia.