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CAF president happy to receive Uganda’s bid to host AFCON

CAF president Dr Patrice Motsepe.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dr Patrice Motsepe has urged Uganda to send its bid to host the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027.

The CAF boss made these remarks at a press conference held at the Serena Hotel on Thursday.

Dr Motsepe who was accompanied by FUFA President Moses Hassim Magogo and the President of the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), and the Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) President, Wallace Karia said he would be happy to receive Uganda’s bid to host Africa’s biggest football championship.

“We have received so many proposals from many countries wanting to host the AFCON 2027. I would be so proud to accept a formal bid from my brother Magogo and the head of state to have AFCON here,” added Dr Motsepe.

Dr Motsepe noted that if Uganda and Tanzania succeed in bidding to co-host AFCON, it will be an opportunity to have the whole world watching the action from the two countries which he believes will improve tourism, trade and football development of both Uganda and Tanzania.

Last month, the FUFA President said Uganda was contemplating bidding to co-host the AFCON 2027 with Tanzania after receiving the green light from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

According to CAF, the minimum requirement for hosting the tournament is that the host country should have six stadiums to cater to the 24 teams that take part in the tournament. In addition, CAF notes that host nation should have two (40,000) capacity stadiums, two 20,000-seater stadiums, and two with a capacity of 15,000.

In this case, if Uganda is to co-host AFCON with Tanzania, the two countries must have at least three FIFA and CAF-approved stadiums each.

But this comes at a time when Uganda’s national stadium (Mandela National stadium) is just undergoing renovation after CAF and FIFA did not approve it to host FIFA World Cup and AFCON qualifiers, saying the facility does not meet some standards.

The football bodies found the pitch, toilets, pavilion, and dressing rooms at the Stadium in a bad shape and recommended total renovation. The Mandela National Stadium has been the home ground for the national team, the Uganda Cranes since 2002.

Currently, Uganda relies on St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende, a privately-owned facility to host international games. But the facility also lacks floodlights.

Meanwhile, Dr Motsepe applauded FUFA for the efforts taken towards the development of football in Uganda. “Let me thank the President of FUFA for the excellent work he is doing, some of the initiatives that Uganda’s football has been doing, I have seen some of them on the field of play, ” said Dr. Motsepe.

Adding that; “But I was very proud to be shown the infrastructure, like the FUFA radio, FUFA TV, on the side of the field of play, the stable leadership has found an impression in the performance of the national team. A few days ago we saw the women’s team from Uganda playing at AFCON. I am confident that Ugandan football will continue to grow”.

In the same development, Dr Motsepe also applauded the relationship between Uganda’s FA with Tanzania, adding that the relationship of the two football bodies contributes tremendously to the development and unity of the two countries and the entire CECAFA region.

He also thanked the government of Uganda for improving sports funding in the country and also pledged to support Uganda’s FA to transform Uganda’s football to a more competitive football nation.

“We are committed as CAF to support and make a contribution because at the end of the day, financial resources and financial support are crucial. Uganda football is competing against football nations that have got significantly more financial resources than we have in Uganda,” he added.

While unveiling the 2022/23 financial year budget, the sports sub-sector registered a record budget increment from 18 billion shillings to 47.81 billion shillings. Shs 17 billion out of the 47.81 billion was ring-fenced to FUFA, and 5 billion out of the 17 billion shillings is also supposed to cater to women’s football in particular.

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