Meeting this Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt, CAF designated the Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania trio as the host country of CAN 2027. A choice justified by the president of the African body, Patrice Motsepe.
To everyone’s surprise, CAF designated the Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania trio as the host country for the final phase of CAN 2027. The African body retained the file of the East African trio to the detriment of others in the race including that of the Nigeria/Benin duo or even Senegal and Zambia. A choice which did not fail to provoke a reaction from leather observers on the continent, especially since the Lions of Téranga were favorites to host this 36th edition.
The heads of state and the “rotation” of the CAN
But for CAF President Patrice Motsepe, it was in particular the involvement of the heads of state of the host countries concerned which made the difference. “This is the very first time in a very long time that CECAFA (Council of East and Central African Football Associations, editor’s note) has hosted a CAN. The last time was in Ethiopia in 1976. The beauty of it is that if you look at the presentation of the facts, we have all the heads of state: Presidents Ruto (of Kenya), Museveni (of Uganda) and Ms. (Samia Suluhu) Ameir (from Tanzania). They expressed their deep commitment to this organization”justified the South African leader in comments reported by Afrik Foot.
“I am very proud when countries come together. We have never been so united and football united us. There is a lot of enthusiasm which makes us all proud as Africans. CAN 2027 will be a great success”, he assured afterwards. But the commitment of the heads of state of the Horn of Africa is not the only factor which worked in favor of the East African trio. The much-advocated rotation of the CAN also tipped the scales:
“We do not want the CAN to be held only in one zone. We want to adopt a rotation strategy to contribute to the development and growth of football in the different zones, developed Motsepe. (…) I would like the CAN to take place in these countries. We will all be proud.” The challenge of sports infrastructure now remains to be met. To date, the trio has only one stadium meeting CAF-FIFA standards…