Renovation Delays Stall Namboole Stadium Completion in Uganda

Delays and challenges plague Namboole Stadium renovation in Uganda, leaving it unfit for international football matches. Oversight report reveals deficiencies, raising concerns about project management and oversight.

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Trim Correspondents
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Renovation Delays Stall Namboole Stadium Completion in Uganda

Renovation Delays Stall Namboole Stadium Completion in Uganda

The ongoing renovation project at Mandela National Stadium (Namboole) in Uganda has faced significant delays and challenges, leaving the stadium unfit to host international football matches, according to recent reports. A parliamentary oversight report, prompted by findings from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), revealed several deficiencies in the project that have hindered its completion.

The report affirmed that the issues highlighted by CAF, such as the lack of smart stadium facilities for automated ticketing and fitting, were crucial for stadium operations. It recommended immediate enhancement of project supervision, installation of all required equipment to meet CAF's standards, and transparent weekly reporting to Parliament to ensure continuous monitoring until all requirements are met.

Eng. Moses Magogo, the president of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), expressed concerns about the expertise of the consultants overseeing the renovations. Magogo revealed that the Ministry of Works' consultant lacked expert engineers in stadium civil works, prompting him to appeal to CAF for another inspection of Namboole Stadium.

The discord between Magogo and Minister Ogwang over the stadium renovations has escalated, drawing attention from Members of Parliament (MPs) who emphasized a longstanding impasse between FUFA and the Ministry of Education. Despite efforts to address the situation, a motion to involve FUFA in the Ministry of Education's renovation of Namboole Stadium was dropped after the minister urged parliament to allow the executive to handle the matter.

The renovation project, which began in 2022 with a perimeter wall fence at a cost of Shs2.3bn, was planned to be completed in 15 months by June 2023. However, delays in the release of funds from the Ministry of Finance have hindered progress. The second phase of the renovation, costing over Shs67bn, has faced similar setbacks.

A recent CAF inspection report indicated that the renovation works were below the required standard, and the stadium was not approved for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. This has left the Ugandan national team without a suitable home stadium for international matches, forcing them to find alternative venues for key World Cup qualifiers against Botswana and Algeria in June 2024.

Why this matters: The delays in completing the Namboole Stadium renovation have significant implications for Uganda's ability to host international football events and the national team's performance. The lack of a suitable home stadium may impact player morale and fan support. The situation also raises concerns about the management and oversight of large-scale infrastructure projects in the country.

As of April 2024, the Namboole Stadium remains unfit to host international matches, with several areas of the exterior and interior zones still under construction. The government and relevant authorities are working to address the issues and complete the renovation as soon as possible. However, the exact timeline for completion remains uncertain, and Uganda will need to find alternative venues for its upcoming international matches in the meantime.

Key Takeaways

  • Namboole Stadium renovation in Uganda faces significant delays and challenges.
  • CAF inspection found stadium not up to standard, unable to host World Cup qualifiers.
  • Lack of expertise in consultants overseeing the project, discord between FUFA and Ministry.
  • Delays in fund release from Finance Ministry hindering progress on renovation phases.
  • Uganda forced to find alternative venues for upcoming international matches.