By Baron Kironde
Uganda will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at St Mary’s Stadium Kitende, CAF have confirmed. Uganda is in Group E of the qualifiers alongside Mali, Rwanda, and Kenya.
This ends speculations of where the Cranes will play their games because of the unavailability of a stadium that meets international standards.
Initially the Minister o Education and Sports Hamson had told government at Kinde wasn’t fit to host FIFA international matches because of the poor road network leading to the Stadium but also because its artificial playing surface.
And there was a need to find a venue within the region to host the games, which forced FUFA to make contact with the Tanzanian Football Federation in case FIFA had insisted on Uganda finding a foreign venue.
Uganda played their last two games of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against South Sudan and Burkina Faso at Kitende after Namboole had been turned into a COVD-19 medical centre.
Uganda’s quest for a first-ever appearance at the global showpiece will begin with a trip to Nairobi to face Kenya between 5th-8th June 2021 at Nyayo International Stadium.
Uganda will then return to action with a home fixture against Mali on matchday two. The dates will be between 11th -14th June.
Matchday three and four will be a double header against Rwanda with the first leg coming between 1st -4th September in Kigali before facing off in Kampala in a space of two-three days.
The penultimate game will see Uganda host Kenya in the first week of October and later end the group phase with a trip to Bamako, Mali between 10th-12th October.
The group winner after six games will go into the final qualifying phase that will have nine other group leaders.
There will be a draw for the final ten teams and the five winners on aggregate will represent Africa at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year.
Uganda will therefore play three games at Kitende, first, hosting Mali on Matchday two slated for between 11th to 14th June 2021.
Uganda will then play two more consecutive matches at home after Matchday three – Matchday four and five between 5th to 7th September 2021 and 6th to 9th October 2021.