Uganda Minister of State for Sports Denis Hamson Obua has reiterated the urgency of upgrading Mandela National Stadium.
In its March inspection, Caf cited poor floodlights, poor playing surface, a dilapidated dressing room, and the media section being in wanting conditions and thus the stadium will not be allowed to host any international events if the renovations are not completed.
Uganda were set to host Kenya, Rwanda and Mali for the World Cup qualifiers at the facility but it will not be possible if the recommendations by Caf are not implemented.
“It is true that Uganda needs a better national stadium,” Obua said as he was quoted by Kawowo Sports.
“What we have at the moment is an old testament stadium but we had already drawn the plan both in the short and long run. There are some things that were highlighted in the Caf report, for instance, the floodlights, the drainage system, pavilions, the playing surface and the dressing rooms.
“Some of these can be addressed in the short run.”
Obua was quick to state the government had long thought of doing the renovations even before the football governing body ordered so two months ago.
“In February this year, during my familiarisation tour at the stadium, we realised there are several challenges that must be addressed,” the Minister said.
“As the government, we want a stadium that will benefit us in various ways. When Caf stopped Fufa to host games there, we had already made our plans to renovate Namboole.”
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Obua did not state when the works will start but stated the Ministry of Transport and Public Works will be engaged to undertake the renovations.
“The plan was agreed but we are not putting up timelines for now,” he added. “We need to go through a process. There must be a thorough assessment on what needs to be done, then present a bill of quantities to the Cabinet, go to Parliament and then a PPDA [Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets] Act applied.”
The stadium at Namboole is the only international sports facility in Uganda but the Cranes can use the St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, which has passed Caf tests, for international engagements should the Mandela stadium take too long to be renovated.