Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Wednesday 27, September 2023 officially granted joint hosting rights for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. This historic decision was announced by CAF President Patrice Motsepe following a meeting of the CAF Executive Committee in Cairo, Egypt.
The East African joint bid, known as the “Pamoja Project,” emerged victorious, signifying a significant moment in African football. President Motsepe expressed optimism about the future of African football, even suggesting that one of the participating nations could win the World Cup in the near future.
In another expected outcome, Morocco was awarded the rights to host the 2025 edition of the Cup of Nations after Nigeria and Algeria withdrew their bids.
Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania triumphed over competing bids from Egypt, Senegal, Botswana, and Algeria (which withdrew its bid just before the official announcement) to secure the hosting rights. As hosts, these three nations have automatically qualified for the 2027 Afcon.
President Motsepe conveyed his excitement about the forthcoming 2027 edition, highlighting the dedication and determination shown by the three countries’ presidents in their pursuit of hosting this prestigious event.
To meet CAF standards, Kenya has committed to enhancing the Moi International Sports Centre and Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, with the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret as a potential third option.
Uganda’s bid relied on Namboole Stadium, with plans to invest in venues outside the capital, such as Buhinga in Fort Portal, Akii Bua in Lira, and Kakyeka in Mbarara.
Tanzania has the CAF-certified Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium and additional venues like Chamazi Complex and CCM Kirumba Stadium to meet the required standards.
What is required by CAF to qualify as AFCON host country
CAF stipulates that AFCON host countries or joint hosts must provide match venues near an airport, level five hospital, and a five-star hotel. They should also have six stadiums to accommodate the 24 participating teams, along with three training grounds that meet CAF’s standards.
Other requirements include turnstiles at all stadium gates, CCTV monitors, designated VIP and VVIP seating, media facilities, a press conference room, a mixed zone, photographers’ area, OB van area, and VAR operation room.
It’s worth noting that Kenya previously won bids to host the 1996 Afcon edition and the 2018 Africa Nations Championship finals but had both rights revoked due to unprepared venues.
Uganda is still awaiting the completion of the Teryet High Altitude Training Centre, promised by President Yoweri Museveni 13 years ago after Moses Kipsiro’s success at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
In the history of the Afcon, only two Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) countries have hosted the tournament: Sudan in 1957 and 1970 and Ethiopia in 1962, 1968, and 1976.