KAMPALA – After the recent report from CAF deeming Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) unfit to host any international matches including the forth coming Uganda Cranes qualifiers for African Cup of Nations(AFCON), the government of Uganda has announced plans to revamp the dilapidated stadium to meet international standards especially during this Covid -19 period when all the sports activities are on halt.
Speaking to the media earlier this week, Hon.Hamson Obua, the State Minister for Sports said that government is looking at working on Namboole to meet international acceptable standards in a faithful manner and the works shall be in phases.
During the tour at the Stadium on a fact finding mission, Edgar Watson Suubi, the Chief Executive Officer at the Sports governing body In Uganda (FUFA) said;
“This came after the call from CAF about the state of the stadium and the good thing government efforts will help in club licensing. When FUFA came up to close some of the stadiums so that the standards are stepped up, a section of people did not get in well yet it was one of the tools to improve the facilities.
“As FUFA, we did not take it in bad faith but rather an opportunity to make it fit enough to host both International and continental games which is a good thing for us.”
The Managing Director of Mandela National Stadium, Jamil Ssewanyana emphasized that the works will be in two or three phases and a special team from the Ministry of Works and Transport shall do inspection at the facility to ponder on what needs to be worked upon as well as those that are not available so that its up to the required International standards.
Since it was constructed over 23 years ago, no renovations have been done and hope after all this it meets acceptable standards.
This leaves several minds lingering hard about having considerations of investing heavily in the sports arena to always have other options as major works take shape.
Titbits about Mandela Stadium.
It was officially opened in 1997 in celebration and commemoration of fallen African Hero Nelson Mandela from South Africa constructed by the Chinese.
A sold out concert was organised featuring Lucky Dube.
The facility has become a home of National pride for the Uganda Cranes.
Fred Tamale has his name etched in history as the first footballer to score at the stadium as Express played against Sports Club Villa.