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Kenya loses hosting rights to African soccer championship


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ACCRA, Ghana (AP) – Kenya has been stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship.

The Confederation of Africa Football cited “accumulated delays” in Kenya’s preparations for the tournament, which is the continental championship for players playing in their home leagues.

CAF made the decision to take the tournament away from Kenya at an executive committee meeting in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday and opened the bidding process for a new host on Sunday. CAF says applications must be received by next Sunday and the new host will be announced in just over two weeks.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, right, leaves after speaking to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya’s electoral commission has announced it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. The electoral commission had earlier set Oct 17 as the date for the fresh poll after the Supreme Court invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August re-election and ordered a rerun within 60 days. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

The African Nations Championship is scheduled to be played from Jan. 12-Feb. 4.

Kenya’s preparations for the 16-team tournament were already troubled before August when its presidential elections were nullified and a re-vote was ordered. That re-vote is scheduled for next month, and the political instability has meant preparations for the soccer tournament have been undermined.

CAF also says it is opening a tender process to recruit an audit firm to examine Cameroon’s preparations for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, Africa’s top soccer event.

Like Kenya, Cameroon’s readiness to host the Cup of Nations has been under scrutiny. CAF says it needs to examine the state of Cameroon’s “infrastructure to host the tournament,” with the 2019 Cup of Nations the first to be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaks to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya's president said Thursday the nullification of his re-election is a blow to the democratic ideals Kenyans fought for, describing it "as a judicial coup", while the electoral commission announced that it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, speaks to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya’s president said Thursday the nullification of his re-election is a blow to the democratic ideals Kenyans fought for, describing it “as a judicial coup”, while the electoral commission announced that it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, right, speaks to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya's electoral commission has announced it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. The electoral commission had earlier set Oct 17 as the date for the fresh poll after the Supreme Court invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta's August re-election and ordered a rerun within 60 days. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, right, speaks to the media at State House in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Kenya’s electoral commission has announced it has moved the date for a fresh presidential election to Oct 26. The electoral commission had earlier set Oct 17 as the date for the fresh poll after the Supreme Court invalidated President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August re-election and ordered a rerun within 60 days. (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

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