Imaginary Pamoja bid mascot whistles on tough Caf requirements

Tuesday October 03 2023

Work in progress at Kericho Green Stadium in Kericho County, Kenya on September 12, 2023. PHOTO | NMG


In awarding the Afcon 2025 and Afcon 2027, Confederation of African Football (Caf) took into account the extensive Reports of the Independent Assessment Committees which visited and assessed the bidding countries, it was learnt.

While the independent Assessment Committee for the Afcon 2025 which went to Morocco was Roland Berger, the PricewaterhouseCoopers was for the Pamoja Afcon.

Caf Secretary General Veron Mosengo-Omba will visit the region on yet to be fixed date being a follow up.

Luxolo September for Caf Communications confirmed the Congolese trip yesterday but provided no fixed date.

 “As you know, the East Africa Bid of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania emerged as the successful candidates to host the Africa Cup of Nations 2027 – In the period from now onwards; Caf will work closely with the next hosts. The visit is in line with this,” September said.

Read: EA leaders rejoice after successful Afcon bid


Caf Online said Mosengo-Omba will lead a delegation of members of its secretariat “to discuss and ensure that the commitments and undertakings that were made” by the hosting nations are fulfilled as opposed to empty promises.

Caf has recently done a study which revealed that most of its 54 member states are plagued by “dilapidated stadia” which are not fit for the purposes but the same Caf has also a “bad” experience in the region having been forced to strip off Kenya of its hosting rights in two occasion recently with one being for the very Afcon which Caf deems to be the most prestigious and the most respectful since it showcases the national potentials of its member states.     

Caf President Patrice Motsepe has said his organisation being the owners of the tournament they will be making a series of such trips to the region to keep tab and see to it that Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa), Football Kenya Federation (FKF), Tanzania Football Federations (TFF) and the governments adhere to the set infrastructure standards and keep intact their promises of providing the required facilities.

Each country will have to provide three certified stadia of different seating capacities minimum being a 15,000-seater.

Motsepe spoke of having “confidence” and “the very high standards we have set for hosting a successful and world class Afcon competition”.

So, if all goes well Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya will be representing Cecafa in hosting the 36th edition of Afcon after over a five-decade lapse.

Read: CAF awards EA's 'Pamoja' bid 2027 Afcon rights

The three countries have some 48 or so months to prepare for the continental showpiece.

The 24-nation tournament demands certified stadia, training grounds, five level hospitals, five-star hotels and airports for arrivals and departures.

Also, the availability of standard accommodation for team supporters, security off and on the pitches, sufficient food supply, passable roads, internet among other supporting services.

On paper, the three countries are ready to kick off AFCON 2027 any time because of the pledges they made in their group bid which they presented in an EX COM-meeting in Cairo in Egypt, just.

The group bid was passed enormously by the Executive Committee (EX COM).

And the representatives from the three countries which include two ministers for sports as well as heads of the three football federations and veteran Caf officials hailing from the region spoke volume on how successful the bid was ensuring the mass that everything will be alright in terms of the required hosting infrastructure.

Tanzania Culture, Arts and Sports Minister Damas Ndumbaro hinted that a tripartite ministerial meeting will be on the card upon their return home from Cairo.

He said the three ministers have been given the presidential powers to conform to the Afcon 2027 hosting promises laid by the hosting nations.

Read: Tanzania qualifies for Afcon finals

Caf’s Mosengo-Omba will certainly like to hear from the responsible ministers of the works done and about to be done and he will most likely ask to be given the work plan towards completion of the required facilities and infrastructure.

In the meantime, the imaginary Pamoja Afcon mascot will have been lying either on the snow cap of Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or on the freezing temperatures of Mountain Stanley’s Margherita Peak of Uganda or Mountain Kenya.

Its figure could be either of that depicting a Maasai Moran jumping with a football shaped spear or depicting the shape of the sovereign boundaries in the common Lake Victoria that separate the three hosting East African nations or any.

Ugandan bid within the presented group bid shows that the country plans to build the will be Caf-certified two stadia one in the Hoima District and the other in the Lira. Also, the Nelson Mandela Stadium has been earmarked for massive renovations to meet the set standards.

Kenya will engage its army to rehabilitate the Moi International Sports Centre – the Kasarani and the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. It also plans to build a soccer-only facility called Talanta,

Tanzania is spending Tsh31 billion ($12.4 million) to renovate its 60,000-seater Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam whose trial runs will start late this October 20 by hosting the inaugural Caf’s African Soccer League.

Second is the Amani Stadium in Zanzibar which is being reconstructed ready for the continental event and third is a 30,000 - seater stadium which will be built in Arusha.

It is estimated that Cameroon coughed up over $800m to host the 2021 Afcon version spent in stadia, hotels and hospitals among others.