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Akii-Bua Stadium Will Not Host AFCON 2027- Peter Ogwang :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Akii-Bua Stadium Will Not Host AFCON 2027- Peter Ogwang

Since Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania won the bid to jointly host the 2027 AFCON games, both Akii-Bua Stadium and Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal were included in the government program for the construction of additional stadiums.
The pavilion at Akiibua stadium (Photo by Isaac Otwii)

Audio 5

The government has committed to constructing the Akii-Bua Olympic Stadium in Lira City, but not specifically for hosting the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2027. The initial plan was to dedicate the stadium to Uganda's first Olympic gold medalist, the late John Akii-Bua. 

Since Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania won the bid to jointly host the 2027 AFCON games, both Akii-Bua Stadium and Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal were included in the government program for the construction of additional stadiums. A team from the National Council of Sports recently conducted an assessment in Lira, focusing on Akii-Bua Stadium and evaluating the city's readiness to host the games. The assessment report was presented to President Yoweri Museveni. 

However, in a broadcast on a local radio station in Lira, the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang, clarified that while Akii-Bua and Buhinga stadiums will be constructed, they will not host the AFCON games. Instead, a new stadium will be built in Hoima. According to Ogwang, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) guidelines state that stadiums hosting the games must be within a 50-kilometer radius of an international airport and have Five Star Hotels. 

//Cue in: "AFCON 2027 came… 

Cue out: … three is Nambole."// 

Ogwang explained that the construction of the Hoima stadium is part of the AFCON project, aiming to have three facilities ready for AFCON 2027. Hoima, Nakivubo, and Nambole will be equipped to host the games, with Hoima already having an airport. 

//Cue in: "Hoima has not… 

Cue out: … facility in Hoima."// 

This decision has sparked a debate in Lango, where people accuse the government of neglecting and underdeveloping the region. Currently, at the Akii-Bua site, there is a small pavilion and a two-stance pit latrine enclosed in a wall fence, constructed by Lango football fans and businessmen.

Former Oyam South Member of Parliament, Issa Otto Amiza, criticized the government for releasing funds for Akii-Bua's construction without progress. He called on associates of Lango to take the lead in building the stadium in memory of John Akii-Bua. 

//Cue in: "The resources that… 

Cue out: … not as the government."// 

Retired Colonel Tony Otoa, former Prime Minister of Lango Cultural Foundation, urged the people of Lango to protest if the Akii-Bua stadium is not constructed by 2026, emphasizing that Lango has the capacity to build it with minimal support. 

Luo bite: 

//Cue in: "Akk-Bua ikare ame… 

Cue out: …timere iyii Akii-Bua."// 

As pressure grows in Lango, Lango MPs, under the umbrella body Lango Parliamentary Group, plan to meet and discuss the construction of the stadium and the hosting of AFCON 2027. Kole North MP Samuel Opio Acuti, the group's General Secretary, announced the meeting's rescheduling to Tuesday to accommodate members with prior commitments. 

Currently, the government has been seeking a new contractor since March 2023 when the Chinese government announced its withdrawal from funding the construction of Akii-Bua and Buhinga stadiums after completing a feasibility study.

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