Namboole to host UPL matches in test fixtures ahead of grand reopening

Kampala, (UG):- Mandela National Stadium, commonly known as Namboole, is set to host an electrifying Uganda Premier League (UPL) doubleheader on May 1st, 2024 ahead of the official reopening of the stadium after undergoing extensive renovation since its closure in 2019.

Selected for the doubleheader fixture are; BUL FC vs Sports Club Vipers and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC against Sports Club Villa, promising an action-packed day for football enthusiasts, signaling the return of top-tier football to this iconic venue.

The closure of Mandela National Stadium in 2019, predating the COVID-19 pandemic, was prompted by concerns raised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) regarding the facility’s inadequacy to host international matches.

Despite ongoing renovation efforts, CAF’s recent inspection identified shortcomings, prompting the government to release 17BN for the completion of crucial works.

The upcoming doubleheader serves as part of the test events mandated by CAF before granting approval for hosting international fixtures.

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FUFA Executive Committee Member, Rogers Byamukama, emphasized the importance of these test matches, highlighting CAF’s conditionality for soft testing the stadium’s readiness.

“As we are all aware, there has been renovation works going on at Namboole, and we are in the final stages of having the stadium re-opened. But one of the conditions CAF set was to have test matches and see if the venue is ready,” stated Byamukama during a media briefing at the FUFA Complex.

The stakes are high as FUFA endeavors to secure Namboole’s clearance to host the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Botswana and Algeria in June, a testament to Uganda’s ambition to elevate its footballing prowess on the global stage.

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With the spotlight on Mandela National Stadium, football fans eagerly anticipate a triumphant return to the iconic arena, heralding a new era of sporting excellence in Uganda.

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