Kenya has won the joint bid to host the 2027 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) alongside neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda, beating Senegal, Botswana, and Egypt.
The three countries submitted a joint bid to host the biggest football tournament in Africa. This will be the first time the event will be hosted in East and Central Africa.
The tournament, hosted every two years, is planned and funded by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a continental football governing body.
East Africa's Pamoja bid emerged as the best during the CAF executive meeting chaired in Cairo by its president, Patrice Motsepe.
During the event, Kenya was represented by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa.
In the race to secure the bid, the Ministry of Sports unveiled plans to revamp three stadiums to meet international standards including Kasarani Stadium, Nyayo Stadium, and Kipchoge Keino Stadium (Eldoret) respectively.
The government is also planning to build the Talanta Stadium at the Jamhuri Sports Grounds in Nairobi.
Speaking during the announcement, Motsepe indicated that there was intense lobbying by the three countries which even involved the Heads of States.
Nonetheless, he noted that the hosting rights will come with a lot of demands including having stadiums that meet the required standards well ahead of time. The Kenyan government will also be required to demonstrate that its transport infrastructure will be able to handle the human traffic streaming to the country for the showpiece tournament.
Kenya will also be required to have adequate accommodation facilities to host the teams, technical staff, delegates, VIPs and visitors.
"We are very strict on the requirements that we are placing on these countries in terms of the movement of people, support and infrastructure the cooperation. We will be sending our teams to form an evaluation of our progress," the CAF president stated.
Following the announcement, the government faces a task to fulfil its host obligations to avoid a scenario where Kenya can be stripped of its hosting rights.
In 2018, Kenya lost the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) owing to substandard infrastructure.