Choice of Eldoret to host AFCON games irks Western governors

Two county governors want are petitioning President William Ruto to strip Eldoret as one of the host cities for the 2027 AFCON matches and replace it with either Kisumu or Kakamega.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe announces the host countries for the AFCON 2027 on September 27 in Cairo, Egypt. PHOTO/Khaled Desouki

The two; Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o and his Kakamega counterpart Fernandes Barasa, agree with the choice for Nairobi, but have questioned the criteria used in picking Eldoret as the second venue for the matches.

In a joint statement, the two governors, argue that Western Kenya has the football fans who would throng the stadia to watch the matches if either Kisumu or Kakamega is picked as the second host.

“EIdoret has athletes and athletic fans in millions. But not soccer. This means the Afcon matches will be played in empty stadia with very little impact,” the joint statement reads in part.

The duo believe attendance of the matches would be key in making the hosting a success.

“The Western region of Kenya is where football fans exist in plenitude. NOT in Uasin Gishu, or Eldoret for that matter. Western Kenya should have been included with either matches being held in Kisumu or Kakamega.

“It should be noted that our neighbors who are cohosting the tournament with us under the PAMOJA proposal, have each chosen three venues namely: Uganda-Kampala, Lira and Hoima; Tanzania-Dar e Salaam, Zanzibar and Arusha. Why can’t we do the same in Kenya?,” they posed.

They are calling on President Ruto to reconsider the decision, adding, “the people of Western Kenya are waiting.”

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