When someone mentions South Africa, you obviously think of the Republic. Quite rightly, but these stadiums show that there’s more to see than just RSA if you’re southbound…
We’re just one stadium away from leaving Africa with our ‘Discovering new lands’ campaign. But before we head north, check out venues in the very pristine regions, known for landscapes and wonderful wildlife.
New national stadium for Mozambique was inaugurated in 2011 some 15km from the centre of Maputo. As it usually happens with African countries, it was designed, constructed and financed by Chinese institutions. Total cost of $57 million allowed to create the country’s largest venue with 42,000 seats and one covered stand.
Around it extensive parking, training and residential infrastructure was created that combined creates Mozambique’s first ‘Olympic Village’. It was built in order to host the 2011 All-African Games.
Historically the national stadium of Mozambique, this one was built by Portuguese authorities back in 1968. Initially it bared the name of Antonio Salazar, prime minister of Portugal. He died just 3 years after opening of this ground took place. When Mozambique overthrown Portuguese supremacy, name changed and currently it’s mostly referred to as Estádio da Machava, from the district’s name.
Since 2011 it’s not the main stadium of Maputo, nor is it the largest in Mozambique any more. It is still in use though as the Ferroviario club owns and operates it.
Its distinctive feature is the audience layout with 10 independent grandstands. Three of them together make for the main stand with seats and cover. At each end of the ground, behind running track curves, there are also three steep stands. And finally the 10th stands opposite the main stand.
Thanks to 2009-2010 renovation the ground easily meets FIFA’s criteria with fresh paintwork seen in 7 uncovered stands and a new running track as well (all in blue – the national colour).
Currently it’s the country’s largest stadium, but this is to change once the new Francistown stadium (400km north of the capital) is finished. With 27,000 seats the Francistown venue will be bigger, but construction is suffering from major drawbacks and is late by several years.
National stadium of Lesotho lies in the strict centre of capital city Maseru nad has changed several time in its history. First stand to be built is the – now covered – main grandstand, then came the opposite section. Last elements were north and south curved sections, built in 2011.
After that change it became the only venue in Lesotho to have individual seats only (temporary bleachers were standing in the endzones before that) and by far the largest one.