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East Africa Pamoja Wins Bid To Host 2027 AFCON

The East Africa Pamoja consortium, comprising Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, has been awarded the privilege of hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations. Patrice Motsepe, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) made the announcement following a CAF executive committee meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday afternoon.

The three Eastern African nations clinched the hosting rights, triumphing over contenders such as South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Senegal. This marks a significant milestone for East African collaboration, particularly under the guidance of Uganda’s Football Federation Association President, Moses Magogo.

Magogo has been an ardent advocate for regional cooperation in hosting this prestigious event since early 2022.

The endeavor gained substantial momentum in July this year when CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe, during a two-day visit to Uganda, encouraged Uganda and Tanzania to submit a joint bid for hosting AFCON. His endorsement prompted the three governments to embark on this ambitious journey. The onus now shifts to the three governments to meet the necessary requirements in a timely manner to ensure the successful hosting of this monumental Continental event.

According to CAF’s stipulations, the minimum requirement for hosting the tournament is to provide six stadiums to accommodate the 24 participating teams. Furthermore, CAF mandates that among these stadiums, two must have a seating capacity of 40,000, two with a capacity of 20,000, and two with a capacity of 15,000. Kenya had previously come close to hosting the tournament in 1996 but lost the opportunity due to an inability to fulfill CAF’s requirements.

Presently, the three participating countries face infrastructure challenges within their borders, including the long-standing issue of inadequate stadium infrastructure.

Consequently, many East African nations have had to host their continental matches in foreign territories. Recently, the Ugandan Football Association was compelled to host two of its AFCON qualifiers away from home due to the unavailability of a CAF-approved stadium for continental matches.

Of particular concern is Uganda, which has lacked a CAF-approved stadium for nearly three years since Namboole Stadium was blacklisted in 2020 for falling below the required standard. A comprehensive overhaul valued at 97 billion shillings was recommended by CAF inspectors, but to date, the renovation remains incomplete. Among the three East African nations involved in the joint bid, Tanzania stands out as the sole country with a CAF-approved stadium.

This raises questions regarding the readiness of the bid submitted by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, particularly when competing with Egypt, which boasts more than five CAF-approved stadiums. However, Magogo has consistently emphasized that CAF evaluates host nations not solely on their current infrastructure but also on their plans to meet the tournament requirements ahead of the scheduled dates. Additionally, the commitment of the respective governments involved plays a pivotal role.

Recently, a delegation from the Confederation of African Football, led by the inspecting agency PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), assessed the proposed facilities in East African countries concerning the bid and will subsequently provide a comprehensive report. In Uganda, this inspection covered several key infrastructures, including existing stadiums, hotels, and other essential facilities.

The evaluated facilities included Namboole Stadium, Nakivubo Stadium, Kampala Serena Hotel, St. Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, Denver Godwin Stadium in Garuga, and Entebbe Airport.

-URN

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