Will Rwanda be ready for CAN U-20 2009?
With exactly 184 days to the Africa U-20 Youth Championship 2009, there seems to be little progress as far as Kigali getting ready to host the event is concerned, hence most people wondering whether everything will be ready in time for the occasion?
To start with, the only two stadiums, Amahoro and Nyamirambo expected to be used are currently undergoing renovation—unfortunately, the former is still way far from being cleared usable while the work so far done on the latter is not even half that done on the former.
Rwanda will become the first country from this part of the continent to host a continental championship of such magnitude hence the need to have a will to host an unforgettable event this is a test for all Rwandans in the eyes of the outside world.
Apart from the stadiums, the other infrastructure required for such events seem not to be a big problem. So getting back to the issue of stadiums, will both of them be ready in time for the championship?
Let’s not forget that this tournament will determine whether Rwanda is indeed capable of hosting not only major international conferences but also major international sporting events.
All eyes will be on Rwanda, as seven African countries descend on Kigali for the two-week-long tournament which starts on January 18 until February 1.
Ultimately, this gives the country and its people led by those above, the best occasion or opportunity to show the rest of the world what exactly Rwanda is all about.
Unfortunately, there is no way you can be able to convince the rest of the outside world before you’ve convinced both Caf and Fifa that you actually deserved the opportunity to host the event in the first place.
Rwanda is a lucky country or let’s put it this way, Rwandans are such fortunate people because had it been another country, Fifa wouldn’t have allowed them to use a stadium of Nyamirambo’s standard to host the ongoing 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
According to the ministry of sports plan, Nyamirambo stadium is supposed to undergo total reconstruction but with 184 days remaining, only the playing field has been done, leaving hardly enough time for the remaining part of the work, which is the biggest, to be finished in time for the Youth Championship.
Twenty-eight teams including heavy weights, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Morocco over the weekend were involved in the first leg ties of the penultimate qualifying round for next year’s tournament in Kigali.
The second leg matches are scheduled for July 11-13 after which the seven qualifiers will join the hosts Rwanda for the finals.
Congo, Brazzaville stunned everyone to win the African title on home soil last year and Rwanda can hope to emulate them when the world turns focus on Kigali.
However, the million-dollar question is, will Rwanda be ready not only to host a memorable tournament but to emulate Congo and win the African Youth title on home soil?