Kenya has been stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) following a Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee meeting in Accra.
The decision was announced at a media conference after a one-day meeting headed by CAF ‘s president Ahmad.
Caf says the decision was made “in light of accumulated delays from reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country.”
The 16-team tournament for locally-based players only is scheduled to take place between 12 January and 4 February 2018.
A Caf inspection team visited Kenya from 11 to 17 September 2017 and found that only one of the four venues was ready to stage the event.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) insists “it did everything humanly possible to ensure that CHAN 2018 became a reality both to Kenyans and the entire East African Region.”
It went on to admit that “unfortunately, lack of up-to-standard infrastructure to host the competition and the need to improve the existing ones, meant that Kenya would inevitably play second fiddle to better-placed countries that have invested heavily in infrastructure development over the years.”
Some Caf officials in Accra also expressed concern about the political situation in Kenya, where recently annulled presidential elections are set to be re-run next month.
It is the second time Kenya has lost the right to stage an African football competition after being replaced by South Africa as 1996 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.
In other Caf decisions on Saturday, they announced that for now, Cameroon remains as hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, though the organizing committee must organize for an audit firm to carry out an inspection mission of the country’s infrastructure.
Caf also announced that Egypt has replaced Zambia as hosts of the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, which doubles as qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Zambia withdrew as hosts of the eight-nation competition on financial grounds.