Since the start of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, the 30th June Stadium has hosted four matches of group C that has Algeria, Senegal as well as two East African countries Tanzania and Kenya.

The first time I visited this facility was during the double header when Algeria beat Kenya 2-0 and Senegal overcame Tanzania by the same score-line.

During the second time of asking, Senegal fell 1-0 to Algeria and witnessed the five goal thriller of the East African derby as Kenya recovered from a goal down to out-muscle Tanzania 3-2.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports The playing surface of 30th June Stadium
David Isabirye | Kawowo Sports 30th June Stadium interior

The facility will also host one of the final group A matches when Zimbabwe plays the Democratic Stadium, ironically on Sunday, 30th June 2019.

Then it will entertain two five more games in Group D as well as one match each in the round of 16, the quarter finals, and the semi-finals.

On a personal experience, the 30th June Stadium is a magnificent facility, highly and jealously protected by the military.

The first time I visited the facility, officers nearly denied me and my colleagues easy access.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports A section inside the media center at the 30th June Stadium

It took close to 30 minutes of thorough body searches before we were led to the main gate for entry.

Upon entrance, we were searched once again before entering the media zone to get access for the media center.

In the media tribune, there is comfort, like elsewhere, there in the sections of the stadium.

Located at El-Moshir Tantawy Axis, Al Hay Al Asher, Nasr City in Cairo Governorate, the 30th June Stadium has a natural grass surface with a 30,000 capacity ground.

It was built by the Egyptian Air Defense Forces since it is the main venue of the Air Defense Sport Village.

In the Egyptian Premier League side, the 30th June Stadium hosts Pyramids Football Club.

The grey area remembered at this stadium happened on 8th February 2015 when twenty-two football fans died in a confrontation with the police at the gates of between two Cairo clubs, Zamalek and Enppi.

Most of the dead were suffocated when the crowd stampeded after police used tear gas to clear the fans trying to force their way into the stadium.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Flags for some of the countries at AFCON 2019 outside the 30th June Stadium

The genesis of the stadium:

The stadium was constructed in memory of the June 2013 massive protests in Egypt.

These protests occurred in Egypt on 30 June 2013, marking the one-year anniversary of Mohamed Morsi’s inauguration as president.

The events ended with the 2013 Egyptian coup d’état after millions of protesters across Egypt took to the streets and demanded the immediate resignation of the president.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports The front view of the 30th June Stadium

The rallies were partly a response to Tamarod, an ostensibly grassroots movement that launched a petition in April earlier that year calling for the government to step down and it claimed to have collected more than 29 million signatures.

This was the biggest protest in Egypt’s history”, with 32 million protesters.

Protesters demanded Morsi’s resignation included accusations of increasing authoritarianism and his pushing through an Islamist agenda disregarding the predominantly secular opposition or the rule of law.

John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports General fans’ stands of the 30th June Stadium
John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Irrigation process of the playing surface at the 30th June Stadium
John Batanudde | Kawowo Sports Sports journalists ready for duty at the 30th June Stadium

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