10 Africa’s monumental stadiums

10 Africa’s monumental stadiums

Discover the capacities, historical significance and the moments that have etched some of Africa’s largest stadiums into the annals of sporting history, as Lucky Oluoch compiles.

1. FNB Stadium (Capacity: 94,736)

Built in 1989 between Soweto and Johannesburg, the First National Bank (FNB) Stadium is the largest stadium in South Africa and the continent as a whole. It underwent a complete reconstruction in 2006-2009 in preparation for the 2010 World Cup, during which it was known as Soccer City. Apart from hosting various sports and entertainment events, this stadium holds a special connection to Nelson Mandela. It’s where he first spoke after his release and made his final public appearance in 2010, as well as the venue for his memorial ceremonies in 2013.


 2. Borg El Arab Stadium (Capacity: 86,000)

Located to the west of Alexandria, near the Mediterranean coast, Borg El Arab Stadium is one of Egypt’s largest stadiums, designed to accommodate 86,000 spectators on the upper and lower levels.

Borg El Arab Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

The exclusive VIP cabin has 22 seats, and the terrace can hold 300 spectators. Originally part of Egypt’s bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this stadium became the home ground for the Egyptian national team alongside Cairo International Stadium after the bid’s failure.

3. Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte (Capacity: 80,000)

Formerly known as Stade Kamanyola, Stade des Martyrs is the national stadium of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, situated in Kinshasa. With a seating capacity of 80,000, it stands as the largest stadium in the DRC and the fourth-largest in Africa. This multifunctional venue serves as the home stadium for the Congolese national football team, AS Vita Club, and DCMP.

Stade des Martyrs de la Pentecôte/Internet

4. Cairo International Stadium (Capacity: 75,000)

Ranked as the fourth-largest stadium in Africa and 69th worldwide, Cairo International Stadium, located in Egypt, was one of the venues for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations. Originally known as Nasser Stadium, it boasts an all-seated capacity of 75,000 and was designed by the German architect Werner March, known for the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

4. Cairo International Stadium√
Cairo International Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

The construction was supervised by ACE Moharram Bakhoum.

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5. Stade du 5 Juillet (Capacity: 64,000)

Named after the Algerian Independence Day on July 5, 1962, this stadium in Algiers, Algeria, can hold 64,000 spectators. In a memorable event, it hosted 110,000 people when Algeria played against Serbia in 2010. The stadium features a playing field measuring 105m by 68m and has undergone multiple renovations.

5. Stade du 5 Juillet√
Stade du 5 Juillet. PHOTO/Internet

6. Ellis Park Stadium (Capacity: 62,567)

Ellis Park Stadium, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, serves as a stadium for rugby union and association football. It famously hosted the final of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, won by South Africa. The stadium was modernized in 1982 to accommodate 62,567 people, and it now hosts both football and rugby matches, as well as open-air concerts.

6. Ellis Park Stadium√
Ellis Park Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

7. Moshood Abiola National Stadium (Capacity: 60,491)

Formerly known as Abuja National Stadium, it is situated in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. This stadium is not only a home for the Nigerian national football team but also a centre for various social, cultural, and religious events. It features two overlapping spectator tiers with the lower tier accommodating 32,000 seats and the upper tier with 28,000 seats.

stade 7
Moshood Abiola National Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

The lower tier also includes 56 corporate suites and a presidential lounge for 50 guests.

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8. Moi International Sports Centre (Capacity: 60,000)

Commonly referred to as Kasarani Stadium, it was constructed in 1987 for the All-Africa Games in Nairobi, Kenya. This multipurpose complex is the largest stadium in Kenya and offers various facilities, including modern changing rooms, shops, restaurants, internet hotspots, and conference rooms.

Moi stadium
Moi International Sports Centre. PHOTO/Internet

The sports complex also includes a competition-size swimming pool, an indoor arena, and a 108-bed capacity hotel.

9. Estádio 11 de Novembro (Capacity: 50,000)

Named after Angola’s independence date, Estádio 11 de Novembro is a multi-use stadium in Talatona, Angola.

10 Africa’s monumental stadiums
Borg El Arab Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

It was completed in 2010 ahead of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. Unfortunately, during a crowded match in 2018, five people were reportedly killed due to a tragedy during exit, including two children.

10. Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Capacity: 49,000)

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, located in Gqeberha, South Africa, hosted matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the third-place play-off. It serves as the home ground for Chippa United Football Club and previously for the rugby union team Southern Kings.

nelson mandela stadium
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. PHOTO/Internet

The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 49,000 and features amenities like ramps for wheelchair access, VIP/VVIP lifts, and multiple service lifts. Plans for four additional lifts are in the works, along with 32 turnstiles and colour-coded gates for spectator access.