By Fahad Muganga
A delegation from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), led by the inspecting agency PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has commenced the inspection of proposed facilities in Uganda regarding their bid. The team, including Adam Vojtekovszk, Omar El Ghiati, and Lakshmikanth Karunanithi, arrived in Uganda on Friday. They were joined by delegations from Kenya and Tanzania, represented by John Kienda Ruga, Doreen Nabwire Omondi, Maureen Nasimiyu Wekesa, Wilfred Kidao, and Boniface Wambura, who came to observe the inspection.
The inspection focuses on five key areas: the availability of sufficient 5-star hotels, stadia, excellent training grounds, a well-maintained airport, and at least one national referral hospital. Due to time constraints, the delegation selected a few facilities for inspection as samples from the ones submitted by Uganda.
The first site inspected was the Mandela National Stadium, which is currently under renovation. FUFA President Moses Magogo and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda Rt. Hon Thomas Tayebwa welcomed the CAF delegation at the stadium. Tayebwa reiterated the government’s commitment to providing funds for the facilities required to support the East Africa Pamoja bid.
After visiting Namboole, the team proceeded to Nakivubo Memorial Stadium, Kampala International School Uganda (KISU), and Kampala Serena Hotel. The first day concluded with a meeting between FUFA and stadium developers.
The inspections will continue, with the inspectors expected to visit St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, Denver Godwin Stadium in Garuga, and Entebbe Airport before traveling to Tanzania for further inspections.
Questions have been raised about the capacity of the three East African countries (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania) to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations within the limited four-year timeframe, considering the current infrastructure challenges in their borders. Tanzania is currently the only country among the three with a CAF-approved stadium, leading to doubts about the joint bid.
In response to these concerns, Moses Magogo emphasized that CAF gives preference to countries that have never hosted the tournament before, making the East African countries and Botswana strong contenders. He further clarified that CAF’s decisions are not solely based on a country’s current infrastructure but also on their plans to fulfill hosting requirements by 2027 and the commitment of their respective governments.
Magogo assured that the necessary resources are available to ensure the facilities meet the required standards before the tournament’s commencement. The inspection’s purpose is to evaluate the readiness of the countries by 2027, rather than their current hosting capabilities.