Renovation of two stadiums in Kigali is set to start soon in preparation for the upcoming 2016 African Nations Championship (Chan) that is slated for January 16-February 7 next year.
According to the Chan, Local Organising Committee spokesman Emmanuel Bugingo, Amahoro stadium and Kigali regional stadium in Nyamirambo will undergo refurbishment to get them ready for the second biggest football tournament on the African continent that will attract 16 teams.
In an exclusive interview with Times Sport, the Rwanda Housing Authority Director General Esther Mutamba said, “Construction works on the stadiums will start as soon as possible. We are waiting for the contracted company to get started.”
Mutamba explained that the renovation will improve the face of the stadiums to look very good. It will also make sure that the dressing rooms are up to standard and the seats too will be upgraded to meet Caf rules and regulations.
“We are also working on improving the training grounds around all the four stadiums that will host games during Chan. We shall upgrade the Ferwafa ground next to Amahoro stadium, KIST stadium and Mumena in Kigali as well as Groupe Scolaire Gatagara in Huye and in Rubavu,” said Mutamba.
Mutamba revealed that the four stadiums will be ready by October before the Caf inspection. The Umuganda stadium in Rubavu was closed earlier this year and reconstruction is already underway with league games being played at the Tam Tam stadium.
Asked about the Huye stadium whose construction commenced three years ago, Mutamba said, “People need to understand that there are a number of issues regarding Huye stadium. Its construction is in phases and phase one was completed, phase two will be finished this month and then we shall fully take over after that.”
Huye stadium which is a 12,000 seater has been installed with Desso artificial turf, a high quality hybrid playing surface recommended by Fifa.