The Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports in Tanzania has announced that two of the country’s most important football stadiums, Uhuru and Benjamin Mkapa, will be closed for major renovations. The closures will begin on January 1, 2024, and are expected to last until October 2024.
The closures come after the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) determined that the two stadiums did not meet the required standards for hosting professional football matches. The TFF cited a number of issues, including the condition of the playing surfaces, the lighting systems, and the seating areas.
The Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports had previously allowed the two stadiums to continue hosting matches despite the renovations, but it has now decided that it is important to adhere to the required standards. The ministry has apologized for any inconvenience the closures may cause.
The closures will have a significant impact on Tanzanian football. Both Uhuru and Benjamin Mkapa are home to some of the country’s most popular teams, including Simba SC and Young Africans SC. The two stadiums are also used for international matches, including World Cup qualifiers and Africa Cup of Nations matches.
The Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Sports has said that it will work with the TFF to find alternative venues for matches that would have been scheduled to be played at Uhuru or Benjamin Mkapa.
The closures are a sign of the commitment of the Tanzanian government to improving the country’s football infrastructure. The renovations will make Uhuru and Benjamin Mkapa safer and more comfortable for fans and players, and they will also help to ensure that Tanzania can continue to host major football events.