Sports Minister in Tanzania, Dr. Damas Ndumbaro has revealed how support from sports governing bodies in Africa helped secure the joint bid by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to host the 2027 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Speaking in Cairo, Egypt, Ndumbaro said that the sports ministries from the three countries had drawn support from former officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) to show why the East Africa Pamoja Bid was the best fit.
He noted that the sports officials from the three countries also pitched camp in Cairo, explaining to CAF, the continental football governing body, how they will revamp the sports infrastructure in preparation for the 2027 event.
"Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have won the bid because of a number of reasons. The presidents of the three countries have shown commitment to restructuring their sports infrastructure in order to win the bid," he said.
"The Ministers of Sports across the three countries also pitched camp in Cairo to voice our opinions on why we were the clear victor. Sports federations across the EAC had also joined us."
Egypt's Ambassador to Tanzania, Major General Richard Mutayoba Makanzo and former Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) president Leodegar Chilla Tenga also had a meeting with CAF officials earlier in the week.
"Our ministries convened to ensure that we won the bid. Now is the time, for us to work hard and ensure our stadia are up to international standards," he added.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe awarded the hosting rights to the East Africa Pamoja bid, beating Senegal, Botswana, and Egypt. The historic victory means that the AFCON, the largest football tournament in Africa, will be hosted in East and Central Africa for the first time.
Moments after the announcement, the three host countries' presidents promised to honour their commitments to revamping the sports infrastructure in preparation for the 2027 event.
"I received good news that our joint bid with Kenya and Tanzania to host the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2027 was successful. I thank the organizers for putting up a good case for East Africa. This will promote our countries and positively impact our economies, especially the tourism sector," Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said.
"We thank God that we are graced with the opportunity to host AFCON 2027, alongside Kenya and Uganda. We applaud all of you in supporting us to ensure that our countries secured the bid. I instruct the Ministers to get to work and ensure the stadia are in line with international standards and are complete in record time," Tanzania's Samia Suluhu noted.
President William Ruto, on the other hand, acknowledged that the efforts by his government are beginning to pay off. In turn, he promised to deliver a world-class football event in 2027.
“We will mobilize every resource, every person, and every sector to ensure that we deliver a world-class football event in 2027. We will ensure that all the necessary infrastructural facilities are put in place to take Kenya to the next level in our sports industry. We will deliver a world-class football event,” Ruto stated