Why Nick Mwendwa is preaching the stadia gospel ahead of AFCON 2027

Photo Credit: Nick Mwendwa

FOOTBALL Why Nick Mwendwa is preaching the stadia gospel ahead of AFCON 2027

Mark Kinyanjui 20:00 - 02.10.2023

Many fans have cast doubts about how ready Kenya will be in time for the 2027 AFCON considering the current sorry state of stadia in the country.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has revealed why he is optimistic that stadia in the country will be ready in time to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations which will take place in East Africa for the first time in its history.

Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania won the bid to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, fending off interest from nations like Algeria, Egypt, Namibia, and Botswana to win the hosting rights.

However, many fans have been left puzzled as to how realistic it is, considering the rather sorry state of stadia in Kenya.

More have also further questioned why a country that had won the bid to host the 1996 edition only to be stripped of the rights due to insufficient stadia has still been granted the opportunity.

Quizzed about whether Kenya would be ready in time for the deadline in 2026, Mwendwa admitted that it also “hurts” him that there are no stadia in the country deemed sufficient enough to host international matches.

“I accept that our stadia is not of the required standard,” Mwendwa told KTN News. “ I have explained to you before how painful it has been for me,” he added.

Mwendwa insists that he is sure that the goodwill from all three governments from the host countries involved in preparing for the tourney will make adequate preparations to enable the region to meet the deadline required.

“Now we have done this work and I have proof from the Cabinet Secretary and the president that the stadia will be ready, not just Nyayo and Kasarani but even at Jamhuri where there will be a new stadium constructed.

“I have proof. We fought for the votes as federation presidents and we won them. All our three governments have assured us that the work that had not been done before will be done.

“The president William Ruto and CS Ababu have told me that they will do what needs to be done. That is where we are. It is now up to us Kenyans to wake up and push that job so that we can meet the deadline in order to avoid embarrassment in 2027.”

Mwendwa has revealed that it was tough to convince the panel of fifteen voters to award them the hosting rights for the tournament, admitting they hardly slept a wink trying to come up with valid points to back their bid, but has admitted that “the real work starts here.”