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AFCON 2027: Magogo Calls For Positivity From Ugandans After Pamoja Bid Success

The President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), Moses Hashim Magogo has asked Ugandans to embrace the East Africa Pamoja AFCON 2027 bid success with optimism rather than skepticism.

On Wednesday, the Confederation of African Football- CAF President Patrice Motsepe announced that the East African joint bid between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, known as East Africa Pamoja had been awarded hosting rights for the 2027 AFCON.

The three Eastern African nations clinched the hosting rights, beating other contenders such as Botswana, Senegal, Nigeria and Benin. Algeria who also bidded later withdrew.

While the heads of state and football federations of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda celebrated the victory with enthusiasm and promises of full commitment, many ordinary Ugandans reacted differently.

On social media, a wave of satire and negative comments swept across the platforms, with these critics expressing doubts about their countries’ readiness to successfully host the football extravaganza. They focused on the myriad challenges that continue to plague their nations’ facilities and infrastructure.

In Uganda, memes and satirical content creatively depicted the sorry state of the city’s roads, humorously portraying African players, coaches, and referees navigating flash floods that have become commonplace in the capital.

For the past three days, both Nakivubo and Namboole stadiums have been trending on X formerly Twitter with several critics punching holes in the readiness of the two stadia.

However, Magogo says that Ugandans should be extremely positive because they lose nothing when one supports the newly approved before adding the government has assured the Federation that it will provide the necessary requirements to have AFCON in the land.

He adds that instead of exhibiting bad energy, Ugandans should focus on the opportunities that come with hosting AFCON including providing jobs to all service providers within the period of the AFCON.

For a long time, sports facilities have been a worry to many Ugandan sports followers and perhaps answers to the doubts Ugandans exhibited. Currently, the three countries are grappling with infrastructure hurdles within their borders including inadequate stadium.

Recently the Ugandan FA was forced to host two of its AFCON qualifiers games away from home after failing to provide a CAF-qualified stadium to host a continental game.

Uganda in particular has had no CAF- approved stadium for nearly three years since the Mandela Stadium, Namboole was blacklisted in 2020 for being substandard, and CAF inspectors recommended an overhaul. To date, the country has not been able to complete the renovation valued at 97 billion shillings.

Of the three East African nations that submitted the joint bid, Tanzania is the only country with a CAF-approved stadium, casting doubt on the bid submitted by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania to compete with Egypt, which has more than five CAF-approved stadiums.

However, Magogo has consistently stated that CAF bases its decisions not solely on a country’s existing infrastructure but also on its plans to meet the tournament’s requirements before the event and the commitment of the respective governments involved.

Recently, a delegation from the Confederation of African Football, led by the inspecting agency Price Water House Coopers (PwC), examined the proposed facilities in the East African countries related to the bid and subsequently reported their findings.

In Uganda, the delegation inspected several facilities, including existing stadiums, hotels, and more. Notable locations included Mandela Stadium, Namboole, Nakivubo Stadium, Kampala Serena Hotel, St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, Denver Godwin Stadium in Garuga, and Entebbe International Airport.

-URN

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