BY MOSES MUGALULA
LEADING Ugandan Investor Hamis Kiggundu commonly known as Ham yesterday received salutations from Confederation of African Football (CAF) visiting inspectors for constructing such a magnificent Nakivubo Stadium worth billions which according to insiders, passed the test for a standard Stadium which can host big football events like AFCON! Thanks be to Allah!
This comes at a time when Uganda is bidding to Co-host AFCON 2027 alongside other two East African Countries, Kenya and Tanzania.
CAF inspectors who jetted into the Country on Thurday this week to inspect the two Stadiums, Mandela National Stadium Namboole and Nakivubo Stadium which has been redeveloped to the international standard by money magnet Hamis Kiggundu, were impressed by the way Nakivubo stadium has been constructed, with first class facilities, meeting the required standards to host CAF A type competitions.
Before the visitation of CAF inspection team, FUFA president Eng. Moses Magogo told media on Tuesday that, “We have earmarked some of the venues that will be used as sample space during the inspection”.
Among the samples, Magogo mentioned Mulago Hospital (where players can be rushed to if they get injured during AFCON), Sheraton Hotel and Kampala Serena Hotel for accomodation of players and other officials, Training grounds are Kampala International School Uganda (KISU), Muteesa II Stadium Wankuluku and St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende.
For stadiums where AFCON will be played from, Magogo said, “CAF officials will visit Mandera National Stadium Namboole, Denver in Garuga and Hamis Kiggundu’s Nakivubo Stadium.”
Other stadiums proposed for construction in Lira and Hoima as per the bid submitted to CAF will also be visited.
For the Airports that were visited by CAF officials are Entebbe International Airport and Kabalega Airport Hoima which is under construction.
HOW HAMZ NAKIVUBO STADIUM PASSED TEST
Inspecting Nakivubo Standium which is nearing completion, among others, CAF looked at the provision of grass/carpet. Ham imported one of the best carpets in the world used in first world stadiums and hired professional Engineers from Europe to lay this carpet in Nakivubo Stadium.
The White Engineers are working on the playing surface whose measurements must comply with the laws of the game and upon which any match is played within a stadium, including areas immediately behind the goal lines and touch lines.
Within a period of about two weeks, Engineers will be done with the carpet work.
CAF looked at the provision of modern floodlights, a standby generator, the four dressing/changing rooms for a minimum of 4 teams, modern first aid and treatment facilities for players and officials, seats for individual spectators, well equipped media facilities and training facilities.
CAF Inspectors also looked at the provision of a Standard television set, a refrigerator equipped with non-alcoholic drinks, sealed mineral water bottles and waste-paper bin for bottles.
CAF officials inspected the Inner perimeter that immediately surrounds the stadium building, which contains the turnstiles.This perimeter comprises the stadium walls.
Nakivubo Stadium has a provision of a mixed zone. This is the area designated by FIFA and/or the association which is located between the team dressing rooms and the designated team bus pick-up area, where players may be interviewed by media representatives.
Nakivubo has parking space for the ambulance to rush injured players to the Hospital.It also has a provision of an outer perimeter. This is the perimeter outside the inner perimeter, beyond which only officially accredited personnel and match ticket holders are entitled to pass on match days.
The stadium has enough washrooms for players and the public, restaurants, parking space, large outlets and inlets.The stadium is accessible from sides and the roads to the stadium are tamarc.
Ham constructed channels around Nakivubo Stadium to enable smooth flow of water if it rains.
WHEN FUFA OFFICIALS VISITED NAKIVUBO STADIUM
A few weeks ago, FUFA officials visited Nakivubo Stadium ahead of CAF officials’ visit.
FUFA team was led Vice President Owek. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi. Other officials were D. Kizza, Rogers Mulindwa, Ronnie Kalema and CAF certified licencing officer Sumaya Hood.
They were taken around by Ham Enterprises General Manager Omulangira Edward Nakibinge who was in company of Eng. Christopher Omara and Ivan Ssewankambo.
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