As several stadiums have come under heavy public heavy criticism, the Ministry of Sports and Culture is set to start construction of two synthetic stadiums ahead of the 16th edition of the Africa U-20 Youth Championship scheduled for next year in Kigali.
In the remaining three months, the ministry plans to upgrade Kicukiro and Mumena grounds respectively to meet international standards.
Minister Joseph Habineza said recently, “The two stadiums will be an addition to existing grounds which will facilitate the teams’ training during the continental championship”.
He also confirmed that renovations at Nyamirambo stadium will be finalized before the end of the year.
“Renovation works on the Nyamirambo stadium are in the final phase so the stadium should be ready by early December,” Habineza stressed.
According to Habineza, Amahoro national stadium, which is the main venue for the championship is ready for use.
With just three month before Rwanda hosts the first ever African championship on East African soil, local organizers are yet to set concrete guidelines about the event something that could lead to doing things at the very last minute.
The Organizing committee, COCAN which was set to prepare for the continental championship has since held one press conference and that was five months ago to brief the public on their activities, which leaves one wondering whether it’s [COCAN] active or not.
Apart from the stadiums, other infrastructures like hotels and internal transportation have been contracted according to Habineza.
“Different hotels have been earmarked for participating teams,” the Minister said.
Congo Brazzaville are the defending champions after winning last year’s title on home soil.
Fourteen teams including Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Gambia, Sudan, Zambia, Congo, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Egypt are among those vying for the seven slots for next year’s championship.
The first and second legs of the second round qualification are due on September 26-28 and October 11-13 respectively.
The seven qualifiers will join Rwanda in the finals to be held in Kigali from January 18-February 1.