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Uganda’s AFCON 2027 Hosting Status in Jeopardy as Akii-Bua Stadium Sparks Outcry.

In a week marked by fervent discussions across the Lango region, the fate of the proposed Akii-Bua Memorial Stadium as a host for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) games has taken center stage. Following the successful joint bid by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania to host AFCON 2027, Akii-Bua Stadium and Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal were initially submitted as part of the government’s plan for constructing additional stadiums.

A recent visit by a team from the National Council of Sports to Lira, specifically focusing on Akii-Bua Stadium and evaluating Lira City’s readiness to host the prestigious games, culminated in an assessment report presented to state house.

However, the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang, clarified during a radio talk show that despite the planned construction of Akii-Bua and Buhinga stadiums, neither would host the AFCON games. Instead, a new stadium in Hoima would be constructed, in compliance with Confederation of African Football (CAF) guidelines.

CAF mandates that host stadiums must be within a 50km radius of an international airport and the area must boast Five-Star Hotels. Hoima was selected, given its existing airport infrastructure.

The announcement has ignited controversy, prompting responses from various personalities within the Lango Sub-region. Notably, Issa Otto Amiza, the former Oyam South Member of Parliament, expressed strong sentiments, stating that if Akii-Bua is not chosen as a host for AFCON 2027, Uganda should withdraw from hosting altogether.

“We are going to petition AFCON and FIFA to make our position clear. If Akii-Bua is not going to host AFCON 2027, Uganda should not host AFCON. You cannot use the name of Akii-Bua to solicit AFCON and then deny Akii-Bua the opportunity to host it,” Otto asserted.

Issa Otto called upon associates of Lango to support the construction of Akii-Bua Stadium, emphasizing Lango’s capability to build the facility with minimal external support.

Retired Colonel Tony Otoa, former Prime Minister of Lango Cultural Foundation, joined the chorus of discontent, urging the people of Lango to protest by not voting for any candidate under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party ticket if Akii-Bua Stadium is not completed by 2026.

As the debate intensifies, the future of Akii-Bua Stadium and Uganda’s role as an AFCON 2027 host hangs in the balance, subject to the outcome of these heated pleas and petitions.


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