Kenya is at risk of losing its hosting rights to the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) football tournament after a number of its stadia were deemed sub-standard.
Kenya is due to stage the competition, which is contested exclusively by players who ply their trade in their home country, from January 11 to February 2 next year.
However, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has found that the majority of the venues slated to host games at the tournament fall short of the standards required to stage such a competition. The AFP news agency reports that Kenya has been given until June to improve the facilities.
CAF vice-president Suketu Patel said that Kenya is still in line to host the tournament, but insisted much work is needed before the country is able to do so. “I want to state that the only country in CAF’s mind to host CHAN next year is Kenya, and so it is up to Kenya to deliver,” Patel said, according to AFP.
The Kasarani stadium, located in the northern suburbs of capital city Nairobi, was the only stadium deemed suitable to stage games at the tournament. Further venues in Nairobi and Meru remain under construction, with the other two stadia located in Machakos and Eldoret.
Kenya’s sports minister, Hassan Wario, assured the CAF delegation that all five venues would be ready in time.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the defending champion of the tournament, which was first staged in the Ivory Coast in 2009.