In a recent announcement by CAF President Patrice Motsepe, the East African joint bid, known as East Africa Pamoja, consisting of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, has been selected to host the 2027 AFCON tournament. FUFA President Moses Hashim Magogo has appealed to Ugandans to approach this achievement with optimism rather than doubt.
While the leaders of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda expressed their excitement and commitment to the event, some ordinary Ugandans reacted skeptically on social media. They voiced concerns about their nations’ readiness to host the tournament, pointing out various challenges in infrastructure and facilities.
Social media featured satire and negative comments, often humorously highlighting the state of roads in the capital and imagining African players, coaches, and referees navigating floods. Nakivubo and Namboole stadiums became trending topics on social media as critics questioned their readiness.
Magogo, however, emphasizes the importance of supporting the event and staying positive. He assures that the government has pledged to provide the necessary resources for a successful AFCON in Uganda. He also encourages Ugandans to focus on the opportunities the tournament will bring, including job creation.
Infrastructure has long been a concern for sports in Uganda. The country has faced challenges in providing CAF-qualified stadiums, leading to hosting AFCON qualifiers away from home. Uganda’s Mandela Stadium, Namboole, has been under renovation since 2020 but remains incomplete. Among the East African nations in the joint bid, only Tanzania has a CAF-approved stadium, raising doubts about Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania’s ability to compete with countries like Egypt, which have multiple CAF-approved stadiums.
Magogo emphasizes that CAF considers not only existing infrastructure but also plans to meet tournament requirements and the commitment of the governments involved. A delegation from CAF, led by inspecting agency Price Water House Coopers (PwC), has examined facilities in East African countries related to the bid, including stadiums, hotels, and airports.