Kenya: Kenya FA blames CHAN hosting rights withdrawal on polls imbroglio

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has blamed the current political impasse in the country as the reason Kenya was stripped of the right to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN).

The government, through Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia, Event Director Herbert Mwachiro share the same opinion.

The trio were in Accra on 23 September where they failed to convince the CAF Executive to retain faith in Kenya. Even a 33-slide Power Point presentation to the CAF Executive by the Kenyan delegation failed to convince the African football governing body.

“CAF could not take the risk of Kenya’s political crisis, that's the reason for 2018 CHAN cancellation,” said FKF President Nick Mwendwa.

On 11 August, three days after the 8 August general elections in Kenya, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Party the winner with 54 percent against opposition challenger Raila Odinga's 44 percent.

Odinga, a former prime minister and flag bearer of the National Super Alliance (NASA), appealed the result and filed a petition at the Supreme Court, citing rigging, vote fraud and other irregularities.

On 1 September, the court, under its president, who is also Kenya's Chief Justice, Justice David Maraga, nullified the result, ruling that apart from irregularities, the exercise did not meet the constitutional threshold. The court ordered that fresh elections be held within 60 days.

The IEBC has since set the fresh poll for 26 October. But the Odinga-led NASA has threatened to boycott it unless the 11 IEBC officials it is accusing of tampering with the elections are removed.

Politics aside, CAF also punched holes in Kenya's shambolic preparations for the tournament, citing the slow speed at which Kenya was renovating or sprucing up stadia earmarked for the 16-nation event set for January-February 2018.

On previous visits, CAF Inspectors expressed concern about the slow pace of construction of stadiums. Out of the four stadiums Kenya had earmarked for the tournament, only one - Nairobi's 60,000-seat Moi International Sports Centre - met the requisite standard.

This is the second time Kenya is losing the chance to host a top-notch CAF event. In 1996 the country was stripped of the right to host the Africa Cup of Nations, citing lack of commitment on the part of the government. It was moved to South Africa.

Despite the loss of hosting rights, Kaberia says the Kenyan government will continue with the ongoing works on stadiums because this is good for the country.
-0- PANA DJ/MA 27Sept2017

27 september 2017 10:45:13




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