The Confederation of African Football on Wednesday awarded Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania the hosting rights for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe announced the East Africa Pamoja Bid as the winner of the rights to host the premier African football bonanza after the CAF Executive Committee’s meeting in Cairo, Egypt.

“The future of African football has never been brighter…in the near future an African nation will win the World Cup,” Motsepe said.

The East Africa nations beat Egypt, Senegal, Botswana and Algeria – who withdrew from the race two days before the official announcement – to the hosting rights.

In the bid, Kenya are said to have fronted improvements on Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, and Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, with the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret, just over 300kms from the capital, the third option.

Uganda is said to have used Namboole Stadium as the guarantee. It is not clear what second and third options were provided, or what training facilities have been pledged.

The under-renovation Nakivubo Stadium’s location, chaotic surroundings and poor access roads is a red flag for Caf, while the preference of natural grass keeps St Mary’s Kitende on the periphery.

But sources close to the bid suggest that the Ugandan government is looking to invest in venues out of the capital, with Buhinga in Fort Portal, Akii Bua in Lira, and Kakyeka in Mbarara.

The Caf-certified Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium is already inked-in for Tanzania. Chamazi Complex – home to Azam FC, the CCM Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza and some venues in Dodoma, Arusha and Zanzibar are the other options Tanzania will look to touch up or invest in to meet Caf standards.

Kenya won the bids to host the 1996 Afcon edition as well as the 2018 Africa Nations Championship finals, but on both occasions was stripped of the rights because several venues were not ready.

NTV Kenya

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