By Innocent Atuganyira
Masindi: On Tuesday afternoon, officials from the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and the National Council of Sports inspected Masindi Stadium as one of the earmarked training facilities during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027 tournament.
Peter Ogwang, the Minister State for Sports, said they are carrying out inspections for some of the facilities for the purpose of AFCON, specifically Masindi, according to the plans they have for constructing a stadium in Hoima City.
Ogwang asserted that they are looking at having one or two training facilities in the region. He therefore asked the leaders to provide them with information about whether the piece of land where the stadium sits has encumbrances or not.
‘’We are looking at having one or two training facilities in the region, because we are suggesting one of the teams reside at one of the hotels in Masindi since the distance from Masindi to Hoima is within the recommendable distance, and they will need a training facility,’’ he added.
Moses Magogo Hassim, the FUFA President, clarified that they will not reconstruct Masindi Stadium but will do rehabilitation, like improving the surface and a few amenities that can go around supporting it, like the dressing room and others.
He therefore warned the politicians against expecting the reconstruction of the stadium and misinforming the public, noting that the stadium would be rehabilitated to the level of the stadium.
‘’Please don’t be excited and mislead the public that we are going to reconstruct Masindi Stadium; we are just going to rehabilitate it and improve the surface and a few amenities that can go around supporting it, like the dressing room. Please be clear on this,’’ he clarified.
He, however, noted that four teams will be playing at Hoima Stadium, and they have a plan for one team to be residing in one of the hotels in Masindi. Therefore, they need a training facility, and the pitch should have the standard of the stadium.
Ronald Kyomuhendo Businge, the Masindi Municipal Mayor, expressed his gratitude for the earmarking of the stadium as the training facility during AFCON 2027, saying it will improve the standards of the pitch.
‘’We are extremely happy for considering the construction of Hoima Stadium and earmarking Masindi Stadium as one of the training facilities during the AFCON 2027; we believe this won’t leave our stadium the same way you found it,’’ he said.
He also assured the officials that the land where the stadium sits has no encumbrance; they fill out the form, and if possible, they will attach a copy of the land title on the form.
Rogers Byamukama, the Executive Committee Member Kitara, said they would be availing more training facilities with time, and he asked people in Bunyoro to use the opportunity to improve their income.
‘’We shall be availing more training facilities with time; I’m therefore asking people in Bunyoro to use the opportunity to improve their income,’’ he added.
Last month, the same team inspected a number of hotels, including Masindi Hotel and Promoter Baalam’s five-star hotel, which is still under construction ahead of AFCON 2027.
The facilities Uganda earmarked in the AFCON 2027 bid include the Sheraton Hotel and Kampala Serena Hotel, and the training grounds are Kampala International School Uganda (KISU), Muteesa II Stadium Wankulukuku, Denver Godwin Stadium, St. Mary’s Stadium, and Nakivubo Stadium.
The stadiums included in the bid are Mandela National Stadium, Akii Bua Stadium, and Hoima (proposed for construction), while the airports are Entebbe International Airport, Kabalega Airport, and Hoima.
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