The Cecafa inspection team on Tuesday visited Kadugli City in the South Kordofan State, one of the 15 states in Sudan to assess their preparedness in co-hosting this year’s Cecafa-Kagame Club Championship.
Among the exciting findings that caught the eyes of the committee was an impressive modern stadium under construction that may meet construction deadlines in order to host one of the three groups of the championship.
The stadium has an in-built 4-star hotel which can accommodate 64 people. On arrival, hundreds of workers were putting finishing touches to the facility, including planting and watering grass in a frantic effort to ready it by the Kagame Cup kick-off.
The state of South Kordofan borders the newly created country of South Sudan. The Cecafa delegation was received at the air strip by the deputy Governor Gen. Ahmed Khamis and the Finance Minister Hafiz Mohammed Sowar among other dignitaries.
The team led by the Cecafa General Secretary Nicholas Musonye later held talks with the Governor of South Kordafan, Ahamed Mohammed Haroun who pledged to have the stadium completed on time. “I visit the venue three times a day to ensure close supervision of the works on the ground….everything will be ready in three weeks” the Governor guaranteed.
The second stadium owned by Al-Hilal Kadugli FC (Not Al-Hilal Khartoum) was approved by the committee for use in case of any irregularities. The old stadium has an excellent playing surface and descent enclosing walls suitable for international matches. Four other clubs will join Al- Hilal Kadugli in this area as the rest travel to Al Fashir City in the state of North Darfur.
Musonye said he was impressed with the developments on the ground but urged the local organizers to speed up the construction of the main stadium. The tournament kicks off on June 18 and ends on July 2 but Musonye insisted his team returns to Sudan on May 17 for a second inspection.
Governor, Ahmed Haroun, said his and the federal government [in Khartoum] and other donor had enabled the building of the stadium to cost [US] $10 million at completion.
“The investment is a reward for South Kordofan youthful sportsmen who, even currently, provide 47 key footballers playing for leading national clubs such as El Merriekh and Al Hilal in Khartoum.
“Our region is coming through past difficulties [such as war] and sport is one way of bring people together to focus on peace, togetherness and development.” The Governor said.
Meanwhile the draws will be conducted today (2:00pm) here in Khartoum City. Uganda will be represented by Express in this year’s championship.