CAF Approves Namboole to Host International Football Matches

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Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has granted permission to the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) to host international football matches at the renovated Mandela National Stadium, commonly known as Namboole.

According to a statement released by FUFA on the X social media platform, the national team will now host the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualifier matches on their home ground starting in June 2024.

“CAF has granted FUFA permission to host international matches at Mandela National Stadium; this therefore implies that Uganda Cranes will host the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches against Botswana and Algeria in June at Namboole,” reads FUFA’s post.

The approval follows an appeal by FUFA for CAF to reconsider clearing the stadium for international matches after a recent inspection report by CAF revealed that Namboole, which has been undergoing renovations for the past two years, was still falling short of the required standards to host international games.

CAF had highlighted several deficiencies, including relocating the media tribunal, addressing the unfinished ceiling, upgrading floodlights, improving the VVIP section, and reducing seating capacity from 40,818 to 38,000 due to visibility issues caused by structural posts.

However, in response to these concerns, Col. Peter Kidemuka, the project engineer from UPDF’s engineering brigade, assured that most issues were already being addressed and were to be resolved. He pledged that the stadium would be ready by May 25, well in advance of the Uganda Cranes’ fixtures.

According to the FUFA President, Hassim Magogo, it has been very expensive for the federation to organize matches away from home; thus, CAF allowing them to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier matches at Namboole is a blessing to have the Uganda Cranes play at home again in over 4 years.

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