THE Ministry of Sports and Culture is set to consult with other stakeholders to ascertain if Rwanda can have a joint bid with Kenya and Tanzania to host the 2017 Africa Nations Cup finals.
Minister Joseph Habineza told Times Sport yesterday, “ I will have to discuss with stakeholders to see if Rwanda can back this bid but I believe East Africa has the infrastructure to host the continental tournament.”
Habineza said it would be a big achievement for the East African Community, adding that having the Africa Nations Cup final in Rwanda is among the several projects “we have discussed with Caf President Issa Hayatou before.”
“I would actually advise that we look at a four-nation bid with Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania each hosting one group since this is a 16-nation tournament,” added Habineza.
Rwanda has hosted two African youth championships in 2009 (U20) and 2011 (U17) and the country is now preparing to host the 2016 Africa Nations Championship (Chan).
Football Kenyan Federation (FKF) is pursuing the bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. This comes after the bids were re-opened following the withdrawal of Libya as a host nation due to the unstable security situation in the country.
FKF president Sam Nyamweya has confirmed talking to Ferwafa chairman Vincent Nzamwita and his Ugandan counterpart Moses Hassim Magogo and both have backed his proposal and are willing to further explore the opportunity before the joint bid is submitted to Caf before the September 30, 2014 deadline.
He also urged respective ministries of Sports, Tourism and Foreign Affairs in nations under the auspices of the East African Community initiative, driven by the EAC Secretariat, to move with speed and work together with their federations to ensure that they have a strong bid that will be successful.
For the joint East Africa nations bid to be approved, a government guarantee must be issued to Caf ascertaining the availability of accommodation, transport and hotel facilities, as well as training sites and stadiums.
Another condition is that a hosting nation must have conducted one youth tournament before and this is a motivating factor for Rwanda to be considered.
Meanwhile, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia and Mali have also announced their interest in hosting the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The designation of the host country will be made at a meeting of the Executive Committee in 2015.
Caf are due to decide the host countries for the 2019 and 2021 Nations Cup finals at a meeting in Addis Ababa on September 20. Algeria, Cameroon, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia are bidding.