The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has set its sights on a remarkable sporting journey by joining forces with Kenya and Tanzania to co-host the prestigious Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2027. Dubbed the “East Africa Pamoja Bid,” this collaborative effort aims to bring the footballing spectacle to the heart of East Africa and showcase the region’s passion for the beautiful game.
At a press conference held at FUFA House in Mengo, Eng Moses Magogo, the president of FUFA, revealed the progress of the joint bid. The bid’s objective is to promote unity among East African nations and highlight their commitment to sports and development.
The Pamoja bid, while receiving mixed reactions, stands as a testament to the collective ambition of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania to raise the bar for footballing excellence on the African continent. Critics have raised concerns about the lack of standard facilities, but the organizing committee is determined to demonstrate their capability and readiness to host a world-class event.
FUFA has identified three potential venues for the tournament. The iconic Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, is currently under renovation, showcasing the dedication to modernize infrastructure. In addition, the bid proposes the construction of new state-of-the-art stadiums in Hoima and Lira City, making a bold statement about East Africa’s commitment to sports development.
Furthermore, FUFA has submitted an array of top-notch training facilities, including the Kampala International School (KISU), which will serve as a nurturing ground for young talents. The bid committee is confident that the submitted facilities align with CAF’s stringent requirements and will provide a conducive environment for teams to excel during the tournament.
In late July, CAF’s mission team will conduct an on-site inspection of the proposed venues and facilities. The team will assess the suitability and readiness of each location to host the tournament successfully. The outcome of the inspection will play a crucial role in determining whether the East Africa Pamoja Bid receives the green light.
Despite facing tough competition from seasoned contenders such as Senegal, Algeria, Nigeria, and Botswana, the East Africa Pamoja Bid remains confident in its proposal. CAF grants priority to nations that have never hosted AFCON before, and with the collective support of three federations and three heads of state, the bid believes it has a compelling case.
Eng Moses Magogo emphasized the significance of this bid beyond the footballing spectacle. He highlighted the positive impact it will have on the sports infrastructure landscape, contributing to the region’s competitive growth in football on the continent.
The bid aims to redefine the narrative of East Africa as a football powerhouse, and FUFA has garnered unwavering support from the respective governments, guaranteeing the availability of resources to develop facilities and infrastructure to international standards.
For Kenya, a country that was awarded the AFCON finals in 1996 but subsequently lost the opportunity due to unpreparedness, this bid presents a second chance to make history and leave a lasting legacy.
As the countdown begins for the CAF mission team’s visit, East Africa is united, and the dream of hosting AFCON 2027 lies tantalizingly within reach. The tournament promises to be an unforgettable celebration of footballing excellence, regional cooperation, and a source of inspiration for future generations of football.