East Africa News Sports

Uganda Announces Bid for 2027 AFCON Hosting Rights Amid Infrastructure Concerns

FUFA President Moses Magogo has announced Uganda’s intention to bid for the hosting rights of the 2027 AFCON football event as part of the East AfricaCON Pamoja bid. Magogo made this announcement just before the arrival of a delegation of CAF inspectors in Uganda, who will assess the merits of the bid.

However, concerns have been raised about the infrastructure challenges in the region, particularly regarding stadium facilities. Many East African nations, including Uganda, have struggled with inadequate stadiums. Uganda has not had a CAF-approved stadium since Namboole was blacklisted in 2020 for being substandard, causing the Uganda Cranes to host some their recent AFCON qualifying games outside the country.

CAF has specific requirements for hosting the tournament, including the need for six stadiums to accommodate the 24 participating teams, each with specific capacities. The host country must also meet criteria related to hotels, training grounds, airport facilities, and have at least a national referral hospital.

Out of the three East African nations in the joint bid, only Tanzania currently possesses a CAF-approved stadium, raising doubts about the feasibility of the bid. Nevertheless, Magogo emphasized that East Africa has an advantage in the bid, as CAF’s decision is based on the countries’ plans to meet the requirements by 2027 and the commitment of their respective governments.

Magogo stated, “The inspection not about hosting AFCON today. It is about being ready by 2027, and the guarantee we have from the government is that the resources are available to ensure that these facilities are put to the required standards.” He mentioned Mulago National Referral Hospital as a potential referral hospital and highlighted Serena and Sheraton hotels in Kampala as examples the required 5-star hotels.

In terms of sports infrastructure, the bid includes existing private facilities, those requiring refurbishment, and new stadiums to be constructed in Hoima and Lira.

The East African trio, consisting of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, will face strong competition from other countries such as Senegal, Algeria, Nigeria, and Botswana. However, Magogo pointed out that CAF tends to give preference to countries that have never hosted the tournament before, making the East African nations and Botswana strong contenders.

Hosting the 2027 AFCON event is a significant undertaking for the East African countries, and they are diligently working to meet CAF’s requirements and demonstrate their readiness to hold this prestigious football tournament.

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