- Kisumu Governor, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, and Kakamega Governor, Ferdinand Baraza, have jointly expressed their concerns regarding the choice of host cities for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027 football matches in Kenya.
- They suggested that this could be a deviation from the initial cooperative spirit demonstrated during the formation of the East African Community.
Kisumu Governor, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, and Kakamega Governor, Ferdinand Baraza, have jointly expressed their concerns regarding the choice of host cities for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027 football matches in Kenya.
The government recently announced that the AFCON 2027 football matches will be held in Nairobi and Eldoret, a decision that has sparked controversy and disappointment in the Western region of Kenya.
In a statement, Governor Nyong'o and Governor Baraza lamented the omission of Western Kenya as potential host cities for AFCON 2027.
Governor Nyong'o and Governor Baraza contend that this decision overlooks the passionate football fan base present in their respective regions and calls for a more inclusive approach.
"The Western region of Kenya is where football fans exist in plenitude. NOT in Uasin Gishu, or Eldoret for that matter," stated Governor Nyong'o unequivocally.
Their primary concern revolves around the potential turnout at the stadiums, emphasizing that Eldoret, known for its prowess in athletics, may not share the same enthusiasm for football.
The two governors expressed their fear that the decision could result in half-empty stadiums and, consequently, dampen the impact of the tournament.
Moreover, they raised suspicions that the UDA government's decision may be influenced by the exclusion of Western Kenya from what they termed the Kenya Kwanza Company Limited, a move they deemed myopic.
"The success of the matches will be on the turn up at the stadia where the matches will be held. Eldoret has athletes and athletic fans in millions. But not soccer. And that is the naked truth. This means the AFCON matches will be played in empty stadia with very little impact," the statement read.
"That would be extremely myopic as the President was representing the Republic of Kenya when he teamed with our colleagues in the East African Community."
They suggested that this could be a deviation from the initial cooperative spirit demonstrated during the formation of the East African Community.
The governors highlighted the choices made by neighbouring countries participating in the tournament, namely Uganda and Tanzania, which have each designated three host cities.
They posed the question, "Why can't we do the same in Kenya?" Advocating for a more inclusive approach to venue selection, they believe that this would not only enhance regional representation but also promote the growth of football in the country.
Governor Nyong'o and Governor Baraza have called upon the government to reconsider its decision and include Western Kenya as host cities for AFCON 2027.