President Ruto hints at possibility of Kisumu hosting Afcon matches

Kisumu County is likely to host some of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations matches, following comments made by President William Ruto during his tour of the region.

Speaking during the inauguration of the MV Uhuru II at the Kisumu Shipyard, President Ruto announced that Kisumu is being considered as one of the cities to host the matches.

“Among many other things, we also agreed on how to host all the tournaments that we have starting from Afcon, Chan, to Cecafa and all the others and spread all the facilities across Kenya… I want to confirm to you Professor (Anyang’ Nyong’o) we have taken into account the place of Kisumu in hosting at least some of the tournaments that we have spread across the country,” said the president.

While President Ruto’s announcement offers a glimmer of hope for Kisumu to host Afcon matches, it is only a political promise as CAF reserves the right to approve the stadiums that will host Afcon matches after inspecting the facilities. CAF has already decided on stadiums in Nairobi and Eldoret as proposed in the Pamoja bid.

In the bid, Kenya put forward the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, Nyayo International Stadium and the yet-to-be-built Talanta Sports City in Jamhuri, Nairobi, and the Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret.

The move follows a petition by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and his Kakamega counterpart Fernandez Barasa, protesting over the choice of venues to host the games.

“Western Kenya should have been included with either matches being held in Kisumu or Kakamega,” the governors said, making anecdotal claims that the Western region is where “football fans exist in plenitude and not in Uashin Gishu, or Eldoret for that matter.”

“The success of the matches will be on the turn-up at the stadium where the matches will be held,” they said, adding that, “Eldoret has athletes and athletic fans in millions, but not soccer.”

Eldoret and Nairobi had been selected for the matches, generating protests from the county chiefs.

The Governors had noted that their neighbours who are cohosting the tournament with Kenya under the Pamoja bid, each had proposed three venues for the tournament.

Uganda proposed Kampala, Lira and Hoima, while Tanzania named Dar e Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha as its preferred venues.


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