The continental football governing body, CAF has given a green light to the St.Mary’s Stadium, Kitende in Wakiso district to host the forthcoming World Cup qualifying games for the Uganda Cranes.
On Monday, CAF included St Mary’s stadium on the list of stadia around the continent that will be used by countries to host the qualifying games that start next month.
The development ends speculation about where Uganda will hosts its World Cup qualifying games after St.Mary’s Kitende had initially passed the test to host only Afcon games whereas Namboole had earlier been deemed below standard to host any international game.
The latest inspection by FIFA had indicated that St.Mary’s Stadium, the only available option currently after Namboole was turned into a Covid-19 treatment centre had no floodlights and access roads that had to be worked upon before being cleared.
The State Minister for Sports, Hamson Obua had hinted at Uganda hosting the World Qualifying games from a neighbouring country as the last resort.
“Uganda only has St Mary’s Kitende and if the team of inspectors doesn’t approve it, we will have no choice but to host all our World Cup qualifiers in one of the countries outside Uganda,”Obua said recently.
World Cup qualifiers
Uganda after being pooled in Group E alongside neighbours Kenya, Rwanda and Mali will now turn guns onto the World Cup qualifiers next month.
The Cranes will begin their quest for a first-ever appearance at the global showpiece with a trip to Nairobi to face Kenya between 5th-8thJune before returning to action with a home fixture against Mali to be played between June 11 and 14 in Kampala.
The Cranes will then head for a doubleheader with Rwanda between September 1 and 4 and the return leg in a space of two to three weeks and then host Kenya in the first week of October, before the penultimate group game with Mali in Bamako set for October 10 and 12.
The group winner after six games will go into the final qualifying phase that will have nine other group leaders.
There will be a draw for the final ten teams and the five winners on aggregate will represent Africa at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year.