FUFA Not Sure Cranes Will Play World Qualifiers At Namboole Stadium

he Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) is in negotiations with the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to have  Mandela Stadium host Uganda Cranes’ World Cup qualifiers in June.

The Cranes are set to face Botswana and Algeria in match-day 3 and 4  in June. Fufa is eager to have these crucial fixtures played on home soil. The previous international engagements were held away from home due to the unavailability of a suitable stadium. 

A recent inspection report by Caf revealed that Namboole which has been undergoing renovations for the past two years still falls short of the required standards to host international games. Caf highlighted several deficiencies, including relocating the media tribunal, addressing the unfinished ceiling, upgrading floodlights, improving the VVIP section, and reducing seating capacity from 40,818 to 38,000 due to visibility issues caused by structural posts. 

In response to these concerns, Col Peter Kidemuka, the project engineer, assured that most issues were already being addressed and would be resolved soon. He said the floodlights, a key concern, have been ordered and are expected to arrive shortly. Kidemuka pledged that the stadium would be ready by May 25 well in advance of the Uganda Cranes’ fixtures.  

However, meeting this deadline does not guarantee Namboole’s approval by Caf. The confederation typically conducts inspections two months before a match and notifies member associations accordingly. Fufa’s deputy CEO in charge of football, Decolus Kiiza expressed optimism but refrained from confirming Namboole as the venue. 

He indicated ongoing negotiations with Caf to honour the contractor’s new deadline and inform Algeria and Botswana of any developments.  Kiiza said the major hindrance is the floodlights.

“It is the only factor that cannot easily be met. So until they are here you can’t guarantee anything, so we are negotiating whether they can allow us to work with that revised program of completion,” Kiiza told the media.

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