Uganda to host two world cup qualifiers ties pending stadium rehabilitation.

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The Minister of State for Sports, Denis Hamson Obua has said Uganda still has a chance to host two of its home games at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole if funding is provided for rehabilitation.  

Obua made the statements on Thursday while appearing before the budget committee chaired by Ntenjeru North member of Parliament Amos Lugolobi.

In May last year, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) disqualified the Mandela National Stadium from hosting the forthcoming 2022 world cup qualifiers, saying the facility is substandard.

The football body found the pitch, toilets, pavilion and dressing rooms at the Mandela Stadium in very bad shape and recommended total renovation. The Mandela Stadium has been the home ground for the national team, the Uganda Cranes since 2002.

The only option for Uganda now is the St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, home of Uganda Premier League side Vipers Sports Club. Although the Kitende based Stadium passed the CAF standards to host Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying ties, it is yet to get a node to host World Cup qualifying matches which start in June.

The Uganda Cranes are lined up to play Mali, Kenya, and Rwanda in Group E on a home and away basis with the best team making it to the final round of the qualifiers.

While appearing in Parliament, Obua told the committee that although Uganda will most likely play the first home game abroad in one of the neighbouring countries against Mali in June, if funds are provided to a tune of 97.2 billion shillings in the next financial year, Uganda could play two of its home games against Rwanda and Kenya in September and October respectively.   

He says that they have plans to have different companies work on the different components of the stadiums from seats, playing field, sanitary facilities, and dressing rooms among others. Obua says if funds are provided they will put in place CCTV cameras, install plastic seats, floodlights to ensure the renovations needed by FIFA are completed by September when Uganda will be required to host its second game.

When asked by members of Parliament about the fate of other stadiums in the country, Obua informed members of parliament that they think St. Mary’s Stadium which is still under consideration by FIFA may not meet the standards as they are yet to tarmac the road going to the stadium and it also has an artificial playing surface instead of grass.

The committee chairperson Amos Lugolobi told Obua that they are willing to provide the money

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