CAF officials inspecting Mandela National Stadium playing turf
On 9th March 2020, CAF officials Emmanuel Newton Dasoberi and Owofen Daniel Amokachi inspected Mandela National Stadium, Namboole and St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Group Stage Matches.
The key areas of interests were the playing surface, size of the pitch, dressing rooms, floodlights, technical bench, pavilion, media centre, parking and others.
However, reports indicate that Mandela National Stadium failed to meet the required standards required by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the World football governing body, FIFA.
Hence, FIFA has disqualified Namboole, Uganda’s home ground since 2002, from hosting 2022 World Cup qualifier games possibly coming up later this year.
The Stadium managing Director Jamil Sewanyana told Football 256 that the mandate to upgrade the 42000 seater is left to the government and the Ministry of Education and Sports.
“During these inspections, it was re-confirmed that Mandela National Stadium needs to be upgraded in the areas of the pitch, floodlights, dressing rooms and media facilities among others. The inspectors’ observation was in agreement with the needs highlighted by Stadium management and the Ministry of Education and Sports to upgrade the facility to international standards.”
Despite poor road networks heading to the 15000 capacity seater and delayed installation of floodlights due to COVID 19, the stadium was given the greenlight to host Uganda Cranes qualifier matches.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers are slated to run from October 5th, 2020 to October 4th, 2021 but the Stadium to host Uganda’s home games remains in contention.
Uganda Cranes was pooled in group E alongside Kenya, Rwanda and Mali.