By Mark Baber
November 3 – Despite being stripped of the hosting rights for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) due to the failure to deliver on new venues, Kenyan officials have expressed hope the country will be chosen to host the U20 World Cup 2019, claiming to have the support of CAF.
Speaking to local media, FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi said: “This time round, FIFA has decided that the youth tournaments will rotate around continents and what happens is that the continental body proposes one member association to host then from there, FIFA will begin the process of finding a host. CAF in turn, proposed us.”
Muthomi admitted that “FIFA is yet to officially write to us but what is expected is that they will contact us with all the relevant documents and forms needed to put up a formal bid document. The Sports Principal Secretary is already aware of this.”
According to FIFA’s original memorandum regarding bidding for the tournament Declarations of Interest were to be made and bidding documents sent out by FIFA in July 2017 with the original deadline for definitive bids being November 1, but this appears to have been extended.
A Capital Sport enquiry to FIFA’s media office elicited the comment that: “Bids to host both the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 are due by 15 November 2017. We will only be able to communicate the list of bids received once the deadline has expired.”
India, Mexico and Poland are known to have expressed interest in hosting the tournament. After successfully hosting the U-17 World Cup India must be in a strong position to host the U-20 World Cup, but FIFA may also be keen to rotate the tournament amongst the continents, with Korea Republic having hosted the last edition.
Kenyan officials appear confident that the stadia, which were originally being built to host CHAN, will actually be ready by February 2018, a confidence which is difficult to reconcile with past performance.
In any case, with a decision to be made in early 2018, it would be surprising if FIFA were to appoint Kenya as hosts of any tournament without being satisfied their facilities were 100% complete.
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