Gov’t fails to raise Shs 96 billion for Namboole renovation

Even if the money is to be raised now, the necessary renovations on the stadium cannot be done ahead of the qualifiers that kick off in June.


Government has confirmed that Uganda risks playing its World Cup Qualifiers in neighbouring countries unless the World football governing body FIFA and the Confederation of African Federation (CAF) lifts the ban on Mandela National Stadium.  

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

The football bodies found the pitch, toilets, pavilion and dressing rooms in Namboole in a very bad shape and recommended total renovation.

Uganda has been hosting its home games from Namboole since 2002.

The only option for Uganda is a privately owned St Mary’s stadium Kitende, owned by educationist, Lawrence Mulindwa who built it for his school, St. Mary’s Secondary School, and Vipers Sports Club.

Although the Kitende stadium passed the CAF standards, it is below the standards for hosting the FIFA World Cup games.

The cranes are lined up against Mali, Kenya and Rwanda in Group E of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Hamson Obua, the Sports state minister told Parliament that for Uganda to host any games at Namboole, the government needs to inject about Shs 96 billion to renovate the stadium.

Even if the money is to be raised now, the necessary renovations on the stadium cannot be done ahead of the qualifiers that kick off in June.

For now, Obua said, government is looking up to FIFA’s approval of the Kitende stadium.

 “In the circumstances, Uganda only has St Mary’s Kitende and if the team of inspectors who are currently doing inspection for the World Cup qualifiers do not approve it, I want to put the country on notice that the country will have no choice but to host all our World Cup qualifiers in one of the countries outside Uganda,” Obua told Parliament.  

Obua’s revelation was prompted by concerns raised by Silas Aogon, the Kumi Municipality MP who tasked the Education and Sports Ministry to respond to media reports that Uganda does not have a stadium to host the World Cup qualifiers following the Namboole ban.  

Following the ban on Namboole, the Education and Sports minister, Janet Museveni wrote to the Works and Transport ministry to constitute a team to conduct a needs assessment and upgrade of the stadium.    

Obua said that the Ministry of Education and Sports included what Mandela national stadium requires in short term in this year’s budget but it falls under unfunded priorities because the indicative planning figures could not accommodate the Shs 96 billion budget needed to renovate the facility.  


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