Nairobi — After its failed bid to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) due to unfinished venues, Kenya has a chance to redeem itself after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) proposed the East African country to host the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Kenya has officially been listed down as one of the bidders with India, host of the recently concluded Under-17 World Cup, Mexico and Poland also included.
“This time round, FIFA has decided that the youth tournaments will rotate around continents and what happens is that the continental body proposes one member association to host then from there, FIFA will begin the process of finding a host. CAF in turn, proposed us,” FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi explained to Capital Sport.
FKF boss Nick Mwendwa had hinted earlier after the CHAN hosting rights were plucked off that CAF had promised to back Kenya’s bid for either the Under-17 or Under-20 World Cup.
“FIFA is yet to officially write to us but what is expected is that they will contact us with all the relevant documents and forms needed to put up a formal bid document. The Sports Principal Secretary is already aware of this,” Muthomi added.
In a response to Capital Sport on an enquiry on the same, the FIFA media office said;
“Bids to host both the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 are due by 15 November 2017. We will only be able to communicate the list of bids received once the deadline has expired.”
Different from CAF which comes to inspect progress, in the event that Kenya’s formal bid documents are accepted, FIFA will be in the country to inspect ready facilities.
“With India hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup, we feel hosting the U-20 World Cup would be the best way to sustain the footballing momentum in India. Even though the event was held earlier this year in Asia in Korea Republic, we would be happy to discuss with FIFA about the possibility of hosting the event in India in 2019,” India Football Federation president Praful Patel said on his official Twitter feed.
Mexico and Poland have also formally expressed their interest to host the tournament.
The Federation expects the stadia which were meant for CHAN to be complete by February next year with FIFA expected to make a decision on the host by April.
“The agreement with the government and contractors was that all the stadia should be ready by February before the season starts and we expect that the same will happen. If all things go well and with the backing of CAF, I think we can be able to hack this,” Muthomi noted.
Kenya is looking to host a global football showpiece for the first time in its history. In July this year, Kenya successfully hosted the IAAF World Under-18 Championships. The other last big event to be hosted in Kenya was the 1987 All Africa Games.
A positive development for Kenya was that the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Supplementary Budget estimates did not recall part of the Sh4.2bn CHAN budget approved by Government after earlier threatening to do so.
Source ; Capital FM