Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have launched a joint bid for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, which would bring the continental showpiece to East Africa for the first time in half a century.
The African Football Confederation on Thursday acknowledged having received a declaration of interest from the three countries along with bids from Algeria, Botswana and Egypt.
The Kenyan government in December approved a cabinet proposal to back a bid for the biennial tournament, alongside two of its neighbours.
The government said a successful bid would help the national football team, Harambee Stars, achieve their target of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time in 2030.
On Wednesday, Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba said he had held discussions with his Ugandan and Tanzanian counterparts, adding they plan to set up a joint bidding and organising committee for the event.
“Our joint bid with Uganda and Tanzania for the AFCON 2027 is a strong one. It is about time the Africa Cup of Nations comes to East Africa,” Namwamba told reporters.
Poor stadium infrastructure has been a problem for most East African nations, with national teams forced to play continental matches away from home.
Kenya has twice won the rights to stage continental tournament finals, the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996 and the African Nations Championships in 2018, but both times was stripped of hosting rights due to the lack of internationally-approved stadiums.
Regional rival Sudan staged the first edition of the tournament in 1957 and were hosts again in 1970 while Ethiopia were hosts in 1962, 1968 and 1976.
Namwamba said Kenya would construct new high-class stadiums or renovate existing ones to meet international standards.
CAF will name the winning bid in September, along with the new venue for the 2025 tournament after original hosts Guinea were stripped of the right to hold the event last October.