Uganda is reportedly considering shifting their home games for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers to neighbouring country Tanzania.

According to reports, the Cranes could use Tanzania‘s National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam as their home stadium if their current available venue of St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende is not approved by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Uganda’s main stadium in Kampala, the Nelson Mandela Stadium (also known as Namboole) was declared unfit to stage international matches by CAF and FIFA following an inspection in March 2020.

The state of the pitch, pavilion and dressing rooms were declared below the minimum required standards by inspectors, and at present, there is not enough funding available to bring the venue up to the minimum requirements.

With CAF looking closely into the stadium facilities ahead of the start of the World Cup Qualifying group stage matches in June, there are worries that St Mary’s may also fail to gain approval.

“In the current circumstances, Uganda only has St. Mary’s Kitende,” confirmed Harrison Obua, the country’s state minister for sports.

“If the inspection team for the World Cup team does not approve it, I want to put our country on notice that it will have no option but to host the World Cup qualification matches in one of the countries outside Uganda.”

St Mary’s Kitende, which is also referred to as the Vipers Stadium, is a private facility owned by Lawrence Mulindwa from Kampala. Uganda used the venue for their recent 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification matches.

Uganda have been drawn in Group E of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, where they will come up against Mali as well as regional rivals Kenya and Rwanda.

The Cranes’ campaign is scheduled to kickstart with a trip to Kenya on 5th-8th June, followed by a home clash against Mali on 11th-14th June as they will look to overcome the disappointment of failing to qualify for next year’s AFCON finals.