Uganda is facing a prospect of hosting her upcoming World Cup qualification games in neighbouring countries due to unavailability of a standard football stadium, Sports Minister Hamson Obua has revaled.
“In the circumstances, Uganda only has St Mary’s Kitende and if the team of inspectors who are currently doing inspection for the World Cup qualifiers do not approve it. I want to put the country on notice that the country will have no choice but to host all our World Cup qualifiers in one of the countries outside Uganda,” Obua told the legislators.
Obua made the startling remarks while responding to Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon who quizzed the Education and Sports Minister to throw more light to a series of media reports that Uganda does not have a stadium to host international World Cup qualifiers following the ban of Namboole Stadium.
In May last year, the Confederation of African Federation (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) banned the Mandela National Stadium from hosting the forthcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers, pointing out that the facility is substandard.
The football governing bodies found the toilets, pavilion and playing surface below par and unfit to host international games.
Uganda is set to host neighbors Rwanda, Kenya and West African gaints Mali in the group stage round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Hopes lie in St. Mary’s Kitende stadium.
Obua added that Uganda’s hopes lie on either passing Namboole ready to host games or approving St. Mary’s Stadium by CAF and FIFA.
“In the current circumstances, Uganda only has St.Mary’s Kitende,” Obua said.
“If the inspection for World Cup qualifiers doesn’t approve it, I want to put the country on notice that we have no option but host the world cup qualifying matches in one of the countries outside Uganda.”
FUFA, however, remains tight-lipped on the matter.
The Uganda Cranes have hosting their homes at Namboole since 2002.
Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni instructed instructed transport and works ministry to renovate the stadium but the management of the stadium is said to be cash-strapped.