By James Bakama
Uganda stands to benefit should Kenya’s intentions to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament succeed.
Kenya announced in a statement that they are considering a joint bid with Uganda. Ethiopia and Kenya showed their interest in Africa’s top soccer competition after Libya’s withdrawal as the host nation.
Libya pulled out last week because of ongoing fighting in the country that has delayed plans to build new stadiums for the 16-team tournament. Kenya say they also have the option of co-hosting with Tanzania or Rwanda.
Rwanda will host next year’s Africa Nations Championship, a version of the continental competition involving only locally based players.
Federation of Uganda Football Association CEO Edgar Watson welcomed the idea of a partnership. Watson however noted that co-hosting would take an executive decision.
“I can’t give a strong opinion. Such a decision is for the executive. We would also require government guarantees before taking up such an offer.” Ethiopia, who hosted the tournament in 1962, 1968 and 1976, say they will submit their proposal immediately.
Ethiopia Football Federation president Junedin Basha told BBC Sport: “We already have two ready venues, the Addis Ababa and the Bahir Dar stadiums, and the construction of the other venues has also reached to a good level.
“Our government is ready and interested to do everything it can to bring the tournament back to Ethiopia.” Kenya said in a statement that they are also considering a joint bid with Tanzania or Uganda or Rwanda. Kenya have hosted the 1987 All Africa Games; the IAAF World Cross-country and Africa Athletics Championship.
The Confederation of African Football has set a deadline of 30 September for countries to express their interest in hosting the tournament. A decision on Libya’s replacement will be made in 2015. Rwanda will host CHAN in 2016.
Strife-torn Libya withdraw as 2017 CAN hosts
Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures