Cameroon costs steep for Uganda Cranes

KCCA forward delivered the decisive moment for Uganda Cranes in Tanzania on March 28, 2023. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

  • Uganda hosted their last ‘home’ game in Ismailia, Egypt - landing in the North African country through Cairo.
  • They will now ‘host’ Algeria in the West African country of Cameroon, hosts of the 2020 Afcon and Chan finals, after the Namboole false promise

Uganda will for the second successive time host their home international match in a foreign country after promises of Namboole being ready in time for the June 12 game against Algeria turned out to be false.

After inspections on Monday by the Minister of State for Sports Peter Ogwang, Fufa President Moses Magogo and his team confirmed Namboole was not ready, Cameroon was announced as the new venue.

Uganda also played their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying home match from Ismailia in Egypt last month as they continue to suffer the brunt of not having an international standard stadium.

Cameroon, who hosted the 2020 Afcon and Chan finals tournaments, have four stadiums that meet the required standards, while Tanzania - who have one - will be hosting Niger when the Cranes are facing Algeria.

Magogo explained the choice of Cameroon. “The connections to Cameroon are good, the visa process requirements are okay, but most importantly Cameroon will also give us an international friendly,” he said. 

Cameroon do not have an opponent to play during the June international window since there are only three teams in their group after Kenya were banned.

Magogo’s reasoning of the friendly match is valid. However, when it comes to travel expenses, playing the game in Egypt, as was the one against Tanzania, would have been cheaper.

Of course the difficulties in ascertaining the size of the contingent to travel to Cameroon in June, since Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic has not summoned the team yet, and the different departure points of the different players from across the globe, make it herculean to arrive at a uniform figure for an air ticket.

Plus, it is not clear yet whether the game in Cameroon will be played in the capital Yaounde or in Douala.

But because we must deliver on the task, we have used the 48-man contingent that was confirmed for the Egypt trip in March as a case study to estimate travel costs of hosting Algeria in Egypt versus in either Yaounde and Douala.

Air ticket costs

As such, we have decided to use Entebbe as a departure and return point to either Cairo, Yaounde or Douala. 

Since the game is on June 12, we assumed the Cranes would travel to Yaounde or Douala on June 4 or earlier and return a day after the match.
Also, since there were no direct flights for the aforementioned dates, we went for June 5 as departure - with the return date of June 15 - in order to get an Egypt Air direct flight to Egypt, assuming the tie was to be held there.  

Using the above metrics and dates as provided by Malaika Adventures Tour and Travel, and double-checked for margin of error on the internet, Entebbe to Douala by RwandAir costs an adult $852 (Shs3.2m). 

Multiply that by the estimated 48-man contingent and it totals to Shs154m, making it the cheapest available ticket with also the most favourable hours to Douala.

At $1,027 (Shs3.9m) per ticket, Ethiopian Airlines would cost the Cranes a total of Shs185m to Douala, while it would be Shs219m at $1,210 (Shs4.5m) per ticket for Entebbe to Yaounde. 

Egypt angle 

In contrast, if the game was to be played in Egypt, an Egypt Air direct flight to Cairo would cost Fufa just $699 (Shs2.6m), totalling to Shs126m for a 48-man contingent. Compared to the cheapest ticket to Cameroon, this - to Cairo - would save Fufa Shs28m.
Even Ethiopian Airlines to Cairo, which costs $785 (Shs2.9m) for a total of Shs142m, is cheaper than any ticket to Cameroon. 

And even at Shs159m and Shs163m for Emirates and Turkish Airlines respectively to Cairo, the former would help Fufa save Shs26m and Shs60m by avoiding Douala and Yaounde, while the latter would save the FA Shs22m and Shs56m by not travelling to Douala and Yaounde. The only inconvenience would be longer hours in Istanbul.

Cranes enlisted a 48-man contingent for clash against Tanzania in Egypt in March as shown below;

Players: 27 
Officials: 21  

Total: 48

Using the above numbers as a case study for upcoming trip to Cameroon, we show how much it would cost to host Algeria in Egypt versus in Cameroon


1  WB  464  M 04 JUN EBB1 KGL, 0350 - 0600,  SU DH4  
2  WB  212  M 04 JUN KGL DLA,  0820 - 1050,  SU 738  

3  WB  219  L  13 JUN DLA KGL  1700 - 2130,  TU 737  
4  WB  464  L  14 JUN KGL EBB  0120 - 0315  WE DH4

Cost: USD 852 x 48 = 40,896 (Shs154m)

1  ET  339  K  04 JUN EBB ADD  0245 - 0455  SU 
2  ET  913  K  04 JUN ADD DLA  0900 - 1130  SU 

3  ET  913  K  13 JUN DLA1 ADD  1230 - 2050  TU 
4  ET  338  K  13 JUN ADD EBB  2245 - 0055  TU

Cost: USD 1,027 x 48 = 49,296 (Shs185m)


1  ET  339  L  04 JUN EBB ADD  0245 - 0455  SU 
2  ET  925  L  04 JUN ADD1 NSI  0900 - 1345  SU 

3  ET  955  L  13 JUN NSI1 ADD  1205 - 2050  TU 
4  ET  338  L  13 JUN ADD EBB  2245 - 0055  TU

Cost: USD 1,210 x 48 = 58,080 (Shs219m)


EGYPT AIR (direct flight)
1  MS  838  K  05 JUN EBB CAI  0420 - 0850  MO 
2  MS  835  E  15 JUN CAI1EBB  2240 - 0520  TH

Cost: USD 699 x 48 =33,552 (Shs126m)

1  ET  333  V  04 JUN EBB ADD  1145 - 1350  SU 
2  ET  452  V  04 JUN ADD CAI  2205 - 0120  SU 

3  ET  453  H  13 JUN CAI ADD  0220 - 0720  TU 
4  ET  332  H  13 JUN ADD EBB  0850 - 1055  TU

Cost: USD 785 x 48 = 37,680 (Shs142m)

1  EK  730  L  04 JUN EBB DXB  1625 - 2250  SU 
2  EK  927  L  05 JUN DXB CAI  0815 - 1105  MO 

3  EK  926  L  13 JUN CAI DXB  0240 - 0710  TU 
4  EK  729  L  13 JUN DXB EBB  0955 - 1425  TU

Cost: USD 879 x 48 = 42,192 (Shs159m)

1  TK  612  Q  04 JUN EBB IST  0415 - 1035  SU 
2  TK  692  Q  05 JUN IST CAI  0040 - 0250  MO 

3  TK  691  V  13 JUN CAI IST  0955 - 1215  TU 
4  TK  612  V  13 JUN IST1 EBB  1850 - 0315  TU

Cost: USD  902 x 48 = 43,296 (Shs163m)

Ticket costs source: Malaika Adventures Tour & Travel and web search