We Have What it takes to host AFCON- Magogo

FUFA President Moses Magogo has announced the Federation’s readiness to present Uganda’s bid to host the 2027 AFCON football event, as part of the East Africa AFCON Pamoja bid.

Magogo revealed this information just before the arrival of a delegation of CAF inspectors in Uganda to assess the bid’s merits.

However, concerns have been raised about the infrastructure challenges in the region. Many East African nations, including Uganda, have faced issues with inadequate stadium infrastructure. For instance, Uganda has not had a CAF-approved stadium for nearly three years since Namboole was blacklisted in 2020 for being substandard.

As a result, the Uganda Cranes had to host at least two of its last AFCON qualifying games away from the country. CAF has set specific requirements for hosting the tournament, including having six stadiums to accommodate the 24 participating teams, with specific capacities for each stadium. Additionally, the host country must meet criteria related to hotels, training grounds, and airport facilities, as well as having at least a national referral hospital.

Out of the three East African nations in the joint bid, only Tanzania currently has a CAF-approved stadium, casting doubt on the bid’s feasibility.

Nevertheless, Magogo asserted that East Africa has an advantage in the bid, emphasizing that CAF’s decision is based on the countries’ plans to meet the requirements by 2027 and the commitment of their respective governments.

“The inspection is 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 said.

He cited Mulago National Referral Hospital as a potential referral hospital and Serena and Sheraton hotels in Kampala as samples for the required 5-star hotels.

Regarding sports infrastructure, the bid includes existing private facilities, those needing refurbishment, and new stadiums to be constructed in Hoima and Lira.

The East African trio, comprising Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, will face strong competition from other countries like Senegal, Algeria, Nigeria, and Botswana.

However, Magogo pointed out that CAF gives preference to countries that have never hosted the tournament, making the East African nations and Botswana strong contenders.

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

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