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AFCON 2027 can be ‘most profitable’ in history

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The 34th edition of AFCON will begin on January 13 in Ivory Coast

The 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be the most profitable in history, according to Rogers Byamukama, a board member of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).

Uganda will host the tournament alongside East African neighbours Kenya and Tanzania – the first time in history that three countries have delivered the continental showpiece.

“There’s a minimum guarantee of nine completely sold-out home games—a record that has never been achieved before since a single host can only guarantee three home games,” Byamukama told BBC Sport Africa.

“I can declare with confidence that the 2027 tournament will be the most commercially viable event for the Confederation of African Football (CAF).”

CAF will not be dealing with the host countries individually but as an entity, and soon the three nations are expected to name a joint organizing committee.

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The three hosts aim to have a shared spirit of ‘Pamoja’, which translates as unity or together, yet a tournament spread across Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania entails unique challenges.

Stakeholders from all three countries met in Kenya this week for the first time since their bid was accepted, with discussions dominated by infrastructure and anticipated difficulties.

“It’s no secret that infrastructure has been one of the biggest challenges in this region,” Byamukana said.

“But even as things stand right now, we have enough stadiums available to host the tournament. Renovating these facilities is a simpler approach than starting from scratch.

“It’s very profound that the three governments have committed to funding the construction of new stadiums. Sports infrastructure ought to be the main legacy of [hosting] the AFCON.”

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Meanwhile, Byamukana expects the 2027 Nations Cup will be able to take advantage of both existing transport links and the collective population of the host countries, which adds up to over 162 million people.

“Our population is probably next to Nigeria, making it a very good AFCON market,” he added.

“The beauty of our borders lies in our unity and seamless road transport, making it affordable for fans to watch a game in Nairobi, travel overnight by bus to Kampala for another match, then take another bus to Dar es Salaam.

“This is such a powerful and highly marketable fan experience.”

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