The World football governing body FIFA has cleared St. Mary’s stadium in Kitende to host the Uganda Cranes World Cup Qualifiers game against Mali that is scheduled for September.
Decolas Kiiza, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Uganda, Football Associations-FUFA disclosed this to media on Monday morning.
He explained that the Confederation of African Football-CAF on behalf of FIFA had issued Uganda provisional clearance to host their first home fixture against Mali at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende.
This comes months after both CAF and FIFA disqualified Mandela National Stadium from hosting the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, saying the facility is substandard.
According to the Group E fixtures, Uganda will visit Kenya in their opener at the beginning of September, before hosting Mali in Kitende in the same month.
Uganda will host Rwanda in October. Kiiza however, noted that St Mary’s stadium Kitende lacks floodlights, which is one of the key requirements to host a FIFA Competition match.
In May last year, CAF and FIFA disqualified Mandela National Stadium from hosting the World Cup qualifiers, saying the facility is substandard. A team of inspectors found the pitch, toilets, pavilion and dressing rooms at the Mandela Stadium in very bad shape and recommended total renovation.
Mandela Stadium has been the home ground for the national team, the Uganda Cranes since 2002. In June this year, the State Minister for Sports, Hamson Obua revealed that the government had released Shillings 30billion for the renovation of Namboole stadium. He revealed that the renovation works would start on July 1, 2021.
Initially, the Minister had indicated that they needed Shillings 96billion to renovate stadium for the first time since it was established in 1999. Although the stadium was free earlier this year, it was converted into a COVID-19 treatment center following a surge in COVID-19 infections, which affected the planned renovation.