Nairobi: Kenya will bid to host the 2019 Africa Nations Cup with the country eyeing the 2015 Africa Under-17 football championships as the event to showcase the nation's capability of staging a world class tournament. This was disclosed by Sports Minister, Ababu Namwamba, when he hosted his first round table discussions among various stakeholders in the country's sporting fraternity here on Thursday, reports Xinhua.
"I had the opportunity of meeting CAF President Issa Hayatou during the CECAFA Tusker Challenge Cup in Uganda and we declared our interest to host the 2019 edition since Morocco and Libya have already secured the rights to stage the 2015 and 2017 editions. We suggested hosting the 2015 Africa under 17 championships as a means of preparing for the senior event," Namwamba disclosed during the discussions.
The minister also unveiled plans for the country to host English Premier League teams during the off-season beginning next year in conjunction with Openside Sports Limited, a British company who are laying out the ground work to organise a tournament featuring local sides against their visitors.
"Teams like Arsenal and Manchester United have visited African countries in the past and we want to invite them here to showcase our ability to accommodate top teams. It is my wish that our country will be able to welcome these teams so that we can promote sports tourism as well as raise the standards of our game," Namwamba added.