Saturday Apr 24, 2021. 17:00
Uganda is reportedly considering moving their home matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers to neighbouring country Tanzania.
According to a report in the Nairobi News, the Cranes could use the National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam if their current available venue of St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende is not approved by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Uganda’s main stadium in Kampala, the Nelson Mandela Stadium (also known as Namboole) was declared unfit to stage international matches by CAF and FIFA following an inspection in March last year.
The state of the pitch, pavilion and dressing rooms were declared below the minimum required standards by inspectors, and at present there is not enough funding available to bring this venue up to scratch.
With CAF looking closely at stadia ahead of the start of the WCQ group stage matches in June, there are worries that St Mary’s may also fail to gain approval.
“In the current circumstances, Uganda only has St. Mary’s Kitende,” confirmed Harrison Obua, the country’s state minister for sports.
“If the inspection team for the World Cup team does not approve it, I want to put our country on notice that it will have no option but to host the World Cup qualification matches in one of the countries outside Uganda.”
St Mary’s Kitende, which is also referred to as the Vipers Stadium, is a private facility owned by Lawrence Mulindwa, a Kampala tycoon. Uganda used the venue for her recent 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches.
Uganda have been drawn in Group E of the 2022 WCQ, where they will come up against Mali as well as regional rivals Kenya and Rwanda.
The Cranes’ campaign is scheduled to get underway with a trip to Kenya on 5-8 June, followed by a home clash against Mali on 11-14 June.