The Uganda National Soccer team, Uganda Cranes are now at the mercy of foreign countries to host their home games in the upcoming African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
This comes after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ruled that Uganda does not have a stadium at the standard of hosting the national team’s classification A matches.
Initially, CAF disqualified Mandela National Stadium, Namboole for the games, relegating the Cranes to St Mary’s Kitende stadium which has also not made the cut for the AFCON qualifier games. This leaves Uganda at the mercy of other countries to host its games.
FUFA President Moses Magogo said that the national team is considering options with Malawi or Zambia, being the closest options.
“According to the latest stadium homologation by CAF, Uganda Cranes shall have no stadium in Uganda to host AFCON and World Cup Qualifiers. Unfortunately, all our immediate neighbours don’t have stadiums that qualify. Tanzania has one, but we are playing against them in the AFCON qualifiers, so we are looking at nations like Zambia, Malawi, and Egypt, among others,” he said.
Magogo says playing away from home could affect the team’s chances for qualification as they will miss the fans’ impact on the games.
“CAF has given us until the 10th of February to be able to submit a stadium that the administrative body has homologated. Between now and the deadline, I don’t think there are miracles that can be done for Namboole to be ready,” Magogo lamented.
He said that there is the team in charge of renovations at Namboole promised that that stadium would be ready only in June.
“I am the President of FUFA. We don’t manage, we are just clients at Mandela National Stadium. We can only raise the noise like any other Ugandan, which we have done through parliament and that’s how the resources have been availed. once the renovation works are done, hopefully, by June, the stadium will be in a position to host the games,” he added.
Only 24 out of 54 African nations have stadia at the standard CAF stipulates, including neighbouring nations Rwanda and Kenya.