Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania were recently awarded the hosting rights for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations, as announced by CAF specifically on September 27, 2023; a first in the history of hosting rights.
As preparations are currently underway to prepare the country for the AFCON 2027, a recent development concerning the hosting stadium in Uganda has raised concerns.
These concerns particularly stem from the revelation by the Minister of State for Education and Sports Hon. Peter Ogwang while appearing on one of the local radio station in Lango on the 13th of November 2023 where he indicated that Akii Bua Stadium would not be constructed to host AFCON 2027.
The Lango Parliamentary Group to this effect, today held a press conference in response to the exclusion of Akii Bua Stadium from hosting AFCON 2027 games.
The Chairperson Lango Parliamentary Group, Hon. Judith Alyek read out a statement that was been signed by the 29 Members of Parliament from Lango sub-region that form Lango Parliamentary Group.
In the statement, the Chairperson of Lango Parliamentary Group, Hon. Judith Alyek, stated that as a group, their assessment deemed this move by the government as malicious.
“The reason given such as lack of an airport and good roads are unjustifiable since the construction of roads and airport are a function of government which it failed to fulfil in Lango sub-region.”
The group further resolved that they were going to distance themselves from the proposal to construct Akii Bua Stadium in a phased manner since previous efforts to carry out the construction failed to take off and the sub-region got a raw deal.
They demanded that the plan to construct Akii Bua Stadium to host AFCON 2027 be maintained and implemented within the timelines of the CAF bid. In their demands also was an urgent meeting with the President of the Republic of Uganda on the matter.
Akii Bua, a national hero was the first Uganda to win an Olympic gold medal and in his memory, the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pledged in 2010 to construct Akii Bua Stadium in Lira; and has since been yet to be realized.
Lango has consistently had the highest number of soccer fans and gate collections as demonstrated in the FUFA Drum collections. Akii Bua Stadium was also assessed as the second most suitable venue for hosting AFCON 2027 after Namboole Stadium in a technical evaluation.
Various members of the Lango Parliamentary Group also submitted similarly at the press conference including Dr. Samuel Opio Acuti, Hon. Paul Omara, Hon. Felix Ogong, and Hon Atim Apea, among others.
Hon Felix Ogong in his submission made it clear that the issue of Akii Bua Stadium is live wire in Lango and advised the President not to step on that live wire.