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Preparations amiss as Kenya aims for 2023 IAAF Worlds
Last Updated: 2017-08-17 15:25 | Xinhua
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Kenya made the bold announcement it will bid for the 2023 IAAF World Championships in Athletics on Tuesday but closer home, preparations for the 2018 Africa Home Nations Championships (CHAN) have stalled.

In just over six months, 15 African nations are expected to land in the country to take part in the biannual continental football event but there is nothing on the ground to suggest Kenya will be ready for a tournament of such nature.

Buoyed by the successful hosting of the last edition of the Nairobi 2017 IAAF World Under 18 (WU18) Championships in July and the resounding performance of the country's team at the London 2017 IAAF Worlds, Kenya's Sport Minister Dr. Hassan Wario announced the bid.

"Our delegation from London reported that stakeholders in athletics worldwide are still talking about our fantastic reception during the World Under-18 Championships at Kasarani. It is also very encouraging to see our athletes fly high our flag even in the so competitive London event. We will therefore bid to host the 2023 championship," Wario told the media on Tuesday when welcoming back part of the Kenyan team that won five gold, two silver and four bronze in London.

However, with the final inspection team from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) due to arrive in the next fortnight, Kenya will once again find itself scrambling to get ready with massive works on the five earmarked stadiums yet to start.

During the Extraordinary General Assembly of CAF held in Rabat, Morocco last month, Kenya was set an Aug. 28 deadline to guarantee they will host the CHAN set to kick-off in January 2018.

Only the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani stadium that hosted the WU18 is ready to stage the football tournament open to home grown players with renovation and repair works yet to start at Nyayo (Nairobi), Kinoru (Meru), Dr. Kipchoge Keino (Eldoret) and Kenyatta (Machakos).

The chief accounting officer at the ministry and Wario's deputy, Principal Secretary for Sports, Kirimi Kaberia, stepped in to calm fears Kenya will not be ready for the CHAN.

"We are on the last stage of evaluating tenders, and within the next few days the successful bidders will be notified. We have checked the bids and identified people who have the capacity to deliver what we want within the set timelines," Kaberia said while announcing the process would be done by the end of the week.

Successful bidders will be required to lay grass turf at all facilities earmarked for the competition, installing seats and repairing the dilapidated structures such as changing rooms and media centres besides laying the IT infrastructure needed.

In mid June, CAF gave Kenya the nod to host the CHAN to quell rumours the event would be moved to countries such as Morocco, South Africa and Ethiopia but gave a withering statement on the state of the stadiums allocated.

"We wish to put to an end to rumours that Kenya will not host CHAN. Yes, there are challenges but the positives are more. We are impressed with the progress made towards the hosting of the games.

"The progress has been good from the inspections. We hope the Government continues the work in fast tracking the areas lacking," CAF Second Vice-president, Constant Selemani Omari from Congo said at the time.

The 2018 CHAN will be the first continental football competition for Kenya to host after their bid for the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations collapsed due to political intrigues that saw retired President Daniel arap Moi's administration decline to guarantee the event.

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