Lang'ata Member of Parliament (MP) Phelix Odiwuor aka Jalang'o has scoffed at the demands by Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong'o and his Kakamega counterpart Ferdinand Baraza for Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) matches to be held in their counties.
Jalang'o wondered if Nairobi was even ready to host AFCON matches while expressing concerns about Kisumu, Kakamega and Eldoret which have fewer facilities than the capital city.
"Forget about Eldoret, Kisumu or kakamega hosting AFCON, Is Nairobi even ready? If we host the opening ceremony do you know we will need 32 top hotels to host the participating nations?" Jalang'o's statement reads in part.
The Langata MP further poked fun at Kakamega hosting AFCON matches, sarcastically wondering if Senegalese superstar Sadio Mane would sleep at Kakamega Golf if his team was to play in the Western Kenya town.
"The fans? Kakamega asking to host AFCON, wapi? Mane atalala Kakamega Golf ama ValuValu?" Jalang'o said.
Forget about Eldoret, Kisumu or kakamega hosting AFCON, Is Nairobi even ready? If we host the opening ceremony do you know we will need 32 top hotels to host the participating nations? The fans? Kakamega asking to host AFCON, wapi? Mane atalala Kakamega Golf ama ValuValu?— JALANG'O (@JalangoMwenyewe) October 2, 2023
Jalang'o's statement came after Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong'o and his Kakamega counterpart Ferdinand Baraza raised concerns over the hosting of the 2027 AFCON games.
In a joint statement, the governors took issue with the government's decision to select Nairobi and Eldoret as the venues for the AFCON 2027 football matches.
They argued that the decision was tragic and that the government should have considered the Western region with either matches being held in Kisumu or Kakamega.
"The UDA government has announced that the AFCON 2027 football matches shall be held in Nairobi and Eldoret. This in our view, is a tragic decision. Western Kenya should have been included with either matches being held in Kisumu of Kakamega," the statement reads in parts.
The two governors claimed that most football fans hail from the Western region and thus it would have been prudent for AFCON matches to be held in Kisumu or Kakamega.
"The Western region of Kenya is where football fans exist in plenitude. Not in Uasin Gishu or Eldoret for that matter. The success of the matches will be on the turn up at the stadia where the matches will be held.
"Eldoret has athletes and athletic fans in millions. But not soccer. And that is the naked truth. This means the Afcon matches will be played in empty stadia with very little impact," the statement added.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania jointly won the bid to host the 2027 AFCON game. The tournament's 52 matches will be spread across the three countries.