Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Renovation of Mandela National Stadium, Namboole has kicked off with the construction of the perimeter wall.
Hamson Obua, State Minister for Sports and Education on Wednesday officially handed over the site to the UPDF Engineering Brigade.
The stadium has not hosted any international competition for almost two years since it was banned by the world soccer governing body, FIFA.
When URN visited the site, construction of the perimeter wall was ongoing. The perimeter wall around the stadium land will cost 3.8 Billion Shillings.
Anne Abbeja, a board member of the stadium said that the encroachers on the land have been one of the biggest challenges to the development of the stadium. She says that the perimeter wall will protect the stadium from encroachment.
According to Obua, after the completion of the perimeter wall, they will embark on phase two which will be the renovation of the stadium. He says that Parliament has approved a budget allocation of Shillings 67 Billion towards the renovation of the stadium effective next financial year.
Facilities that will be renovated include the dressing rooms, playing surface, running track, installation of desks and air conditioners in the media and VIP sections, seats in the general public stands, and upgrading floodlights as directed by CAF.
In 2020, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) disqualified Mandela National Stadium from hosting the 2022 World Cup qualifiers as well as Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and any other continental and international engagement, saying the facility is substandard.
The football bodies found the pitch, toilets, pavilion, and dressing rooms at the Mandela Stadium in an appalling state and recommended for the entire renovation.
Mandela 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 by Lawrence Mulindwa to host international games. But the facility also lacks floodlights, which is one of the key requirements for a stadium to host a FIFA guided match.