By Daniels N. Tatya
Something the country is not concerned about, yet, very significant is the fact that Uganda as a rising sports nation needs more, not only state of the art sports facilities as homes but also ordinary with playable surface stadia other than Namboole.
Making his submission to the Parliamentary Budget Committee Thursday morning, Eng. Moses Magogo in his capacity as the President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations-FUFA, was seen and heard supporting the approval of the supplementary Budget meant for the renovation of Mandela National Stadium.
Magogo, who, also is the Legislator for Budiope East, forgot some core factor to his submissions that, while the country needs Namboole, there is also need for more ordinary Nambooles as home to first, football, then the other sports disciplines to that effect.
Named after the South African then-President and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, the multi-purpose Mandela National Stadium should not be the only and only sporting orientation stadium in Uganda. It alone is either to suffocate the facility or else under-developing sports in the Country.
That said, a reminder here is that there is need to have standard stadia in all the cities of Uganda because sports is a huge sector that employs majority of our youths. The many youths across the country do not need to travel distances to come to Namboole to develop their sporting talents if there were such facilities as Namboole in their vicinities.
Just like Magogo, State Minister for Sports, Hamson Obua is not looking at the importance of building and upgrading other stadia across the country but doing a disservice too. Sometime early this year, Obua confirmed receiving Sh30bn to cater for the renovation of the dilapidated Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
Either Obua or Magogo is working with subordination complex and is not acquainted that these offices are meant to serve the sports docket better.
The dilapidated Stadium is lately momentarily out of use as government turned the facility into a provisional Covid19 isolation center following its pitiable and/or sorry state.
For starters, Namboole today does not pass the required CAF and FIFA standards of hosting continental and international engagements, that such Cranes home games have been shifted to a private St Mary’s Stadium Kitende.
Some of us may not be architectural engineers but could guide the Ministry of Sports and FUFA on utilizing the shs97bn Namboole renovation bound budget.
Namboole renovation is great work indeed but the cost should be half the money. The other bunch could be taken to develop a stadium somewhere in the North or East. These are both havens of talent that the country should not forget about.
From the look of things by many it’s suggested that the Sh97bn can be used to install more than five small stadia across the country.
Built on a grant of $36m from China government and opened in 1997, Namboole has under gone refurbishment in 2010. Eleven years later the facility is up for another renovation. The question is, should the focus be Namboole alone. No! It’s time the Country’s Obua’s and Magogo’s look beyond the 50,000 seater Namboole.
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