For the first time Kenya will get to host the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) football tournament in 2018. This also means that Kenya, after waiting for almost nine years, will at least qualify for the tournament through automatic qualification!
The announcement came following a Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive meeting in Cairo on Friday 21st 2014. The executive committee gave Kenya the rights to host the tournament in 2018 after receiving necessary government guarantees which they did not disclose.
“I wish to thank the President of CAF, Dr Issa Hayatou, and the entire, CAF executive committee for bestowing us this honor only a few days after our successful meeting in Cape Town where we presented our bid,” said Football Kenya Federation chairman, Sam Nyamweya.
COULD KENYA FAIL TO WIN AUTOMATIC QUALIFICATION?!
The Chan tournament is a continental tournament for home-based players but still Kenya’s run in the competition has been poor having last qualified in 2004.
Kenya had previously missed the opportunity to host the premier 1996 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) due to poor preparations which almost sabotaged the tournament that year and which led to Kenya being banned from the tournament in 1996 and 1998.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY BUT DON’T SCREW IT
This is a great opportunity for Kenya to showcase herself to the world on how far she has developed and is also an opportunity for the football body to fix its tainted reputation as a (same old) poorly managed institution.
We cannot celebrate as of yet if the 1996 situation is anything to go by. We cannot afford to humiliate ourselves again. Kenya needs to prepare well and in advance by upgrading its sports facilities to international standards and prepare well for the tournament (and at least avoid humiliation). This requires commitment and integrity from both the football federation and the Kenya government.
It is high time we delinked ourselves from the old ways of doing things and look to do better, not only regarding football but also other sports activities in the country.
Let’s hope we have (will) put our past experiences to good use by learning from them and not making the same mistakes again.