Home NewsNational More To Come: President Kagame, CAF’s Motsepe Unveil Amahoro Stadium

More To Come: President Kagame, CAF’s Motsepe Unveil Amahoro Stadium

by Edmund Kagire
6:57 pm

President Kagame kicks the ball to CAF’s Motsepe as part of the inauguration of Amahoro Stadium. Courtesy Photos.

President Paul Kagame says Rwanda will do more to put in place the necessary infrastructure that can spur talent and sports development to ensure that Rwandans and Africans in general, can claim their fair share of the benefits of the multibillion industry that sport is.

The Head of State made the observation on Monday after officially inaugurating the newly refurbished Amahoro Stadium, accompanied by Patrice Motsepe, president of the African Confederation of Football (CAF), in a colourful ceremony that saw national champions APR FC, tussle it out with Rwanda National Police (RNP) side, Police FC.

The army side won the game by one goal to nil, against the Peace Cup winners, lifting the “Amahoro Inauguration Cup”, with President Kagame and CAF’s Motsepe, kicking the ball first as the crowd cheered them on. They also signed autographs for young aspiring footballs.

In his address to the over 40,000 strong crowd, President Kagame commended the football governing bodies FIFA and CAF for backing Rwanda’s effort to rebuild the stadium, upgrading it from a 25,000 seater  to an ultra-modern 45,000 seater multipurpose sports facility.

President Kagame said the ball is now in the hands of young people who have the facility at their disposal.

“I would like to thank the President of CAF, my brother, Patrice Motsepe, together with another brother, President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, the two inspired us to put up a good sporting facility for football like this one. They have done many things to support Rwanda and other African countries and of course beyond, to raise football through availing this kind of facility so that our young people, can have a place to develop and exercise the huge talent we have on our continent,”

“Now there is no excuse for our young football talent, you have to work hard, you have to work smart, and let’s be counted among the best on our continent.“ President Kagame said, promising the enthusiastic crowd that a lot more is in the pipeline.

On his part, Motsepe commended Rwanda for building what he described as one of the best stadiums on the continent in Rwanda, calling on the crowd to thank President Kagame for his vision and work.

The CAF president said that the next term he comes, he will be looking forward to watching Rwanda play another team among the big wigs teams in the world.

President Kagame addresses Amahoro Stadium.

The mega facility is the biggest addition to the “sports city” which includes BK Arena, the newly refurbished Petit Stade and the Olympic Gymnasium as well as different training grounds and courts. Additionally, Zaria Courts, which will be an urban hospitality and recreation hub, is nearing completion.

On June 13, CAF confirmed that the state-of-the-art Amahoro Stadium has been cleared to host international games after a series of inspections by CAF officials who described it as ‘one of the best venues in the African continent.’

“Following the review of the report by CAF, please note that the stadium is approved for use in all competitions upcoming CAF/FIFA competitions since it meets all the set minimum CAF stadium requirements to host such matches,” a CAF statement said.

Renovation works on the stadium started in August 2022, carried out by two companies SUMMA and Real Contractors, which had two years to deliver. A test game was held on Saturday, June 15, featuring archrivals Rayon Sports and APR FC.

The stadium is also expected to host Liberation Day celebrations on July 4, to mark 30 years after the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) liberated the country.

The first international matches are expected in September when the qualifiers of the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 kick off. It is also expected that clubs representing Rwanda in continental tournaments will use the stadium as their “home” stadium.

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