East African leaders have hailed the awarding of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations to a joint bid by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. It is the first time the premier sports event in the continent will be staged by three countries after Ghana/Nigeria in 2000 and Equatorial Guinea/Gabon in 2012 co-hosted previous editions.
Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda’s leaders are elated at the opportunity to host the 2027 Africa cup of nations.
The trio’s bid was up against Egypt, Senegal, Botswana and Algeria which withdrew from the contest a couple of days before the official announcement.
“To all Tanzanians, Kenyans and Ugandans. It’s our time. Let’s prepare well for this tournament, let’s have preparations that are up to standard in order to ensure that the 2027 tournament is the best Afcon that ever was.”
The Confederation of African Football says it wants the 2027 tournament to match the standards of competitions held by their European and South American counterparts.
As a result, Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan has since called for the construction of two new stadiums in the capital Dodoma and the northern city of Arusha.
The last time an East African country hosted the Africa Cup of Nations was in 1976, with Ethiopia playing host to the tournament.
For the 2027 competition, the governments of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda will be hoping to cash in on playing host to the biggest football event on the continent.
Tanzania’s sports council says it sees numerous benefits for the region in hosting the tournament.
“We didn’t just talk about football, we told them about other experiences visitors will have. We told them about our tourism and how we are very hospitable, so I think it’s a good day for our country’s football and our nation’s economy.”
Analysts say East Africa faces a logistical and financial mountain to climb in hosting the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.
But succeed or fail, the region appears to be content with a chance to finally be in the spotlight.
East Africa to co-host AfCON 2027: