Africa is a sports-loving continent. The continent can boast of many large stadiums in terms of landmass and capacity.
Below is a rundown of the top 9 largest stadiums in Africa:
FNB Stadium, South Africa – 94,736
Africa’s largest stadium is FNB. The full meaning of the FNB stadium is FIRST NATIONAL BANK STADIUM. It is a dual-purpose stadium for soccer and Rugby. The stadium has also been nicknamed “Soccer City” and “The Calabash”. It is located in Nasrec in Johannesburg the capital city of South Africa. Since its opening in 1989, the stadium has undergone renovation just twice. It has a field size of 105m by 68m.
Borg Al-Arab Stadium, Egypt – 86,000
Africa’s second-largest stadium is located in Egypt. It was built as part of Egypt’s bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which ultimately took place in South Africa. The venue also goes by the names El Geish and Alexandria, the latter denoting the port city which it is located close to. Unlike most stadiums in Africa, Borg Al-Arab was built for one purpose: football. The stadium has a capacity of 90,000, but has historically hosted a fraction of this number, which is why it has never served as the home of any local football club. It does, however, host games played by Egypt’s national football squad, and has also hosted several important football matches, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Egypt and Congo, which drew a record 86,000 spectators.
Stade Des Martyrs, Democratic Republic of Congo – 80,000
The third-largest stadium on the African continent is located in the city of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originally known as the Kamanyola Stadium, it was built in 1994, and has a capacity of 80,000, which is more than Europe’s tenth largest stadium, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, can hold. The venue was billed as a crowning achievement of the then ruling regime of Mobutu Sese Seko. The stadium currently hosts two local football clubs, AS Vita Club and DC Motema Pembe. The national football team also plays its home matches at this venue. In fact, the first match played at the Stade des Martyra was a friendly match between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.
Cairo International Stadium, Egypt – 74,100
Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is the home of Africa’s fourth largest stadium, Cairo International Stadium. The venue has a capacity of 74,100, and was opened in 1960. When it opened, however, it was called Nasser Stadium, after then Egyptian President, Gamal Abd Al-Nasser. The stadium serves as the official home of Egypt’s national football squad. In 2005, it underwent extensive renovations in preparation for hosting the African Cup of Nations football tournament the following year. The stadium is not the official home of any local football club, though it does host significant football matches involving local teams like Al Ahly and Zamalek.
Stade Mohammed V, Algeria – 67,000
Officially inaugurated on august 21th 1983 for the 9th edition of the Mediterranean Games by his Majesty the late King Hassan 2, the Mohamed V complex was home to the biggest events and sports competitions organized by Morocco. The renovation of Mohammed V Sports Complex, a mytical stadium of the city, aims to restore the brightness of its former days to raise it to the level of the stadiums that are recognized by higher authorities for the organization of international competitions.
Mogadishu Stadium, Somalia – 65,000
Mogadishu Stadium, the biggest Sporting facility in Somalia. The stadium was initially constructed in 1977 to host various sporting activities, presidential addresses and other national events.
However, the civil unrest in the 80’s and 90’s resulted in Mogadishu Stadium being used as a military base by various armed factions.
Many attempts to upgrade Mogadishu Stadium proved abortive, including an artificial pitch that FIFA financed. Mogadishu Stadium continued to suffer from infrastructure deterioration.
Eventually, help started coming in 2018 after the official handover of the stadium by the African Union Mission in Somalia. The soldiers had been using the Mogadishu Stadium as a military base since 2011. The Somalia Government began renovating the stadium in conjunction with Chinese officials.
Stade 5 Juillet, Algeria – 64,000
Stade du 5 Juillet,1962 (English: July 5, 1962, Stadium). July 5 Stadium, as you probably thought, wasn’t named after the opening date. However, July 5 Stadium was officially open on July 17, 1972. It is one of the largest stadiums in Africa. July 5 Stadium can contain 64,000 people, and it is in Algiers, Algeria. It houses a field of area 105m by 68m. This beautiful stadium has been renovated several times.
Ellis Park Stadium, South Africa – 62,567
Ellis Stadium is the 8th largest stadium in the whole Africa. South Africa has many large stadiums in which Ellis Park is the second largest. Due to sponsorship reasons, Ellis Park is referred to as Emirates Airline Park. It is one of the multi-purpose stadiums in South Africa.
Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Nigeria – 60,491
The largest stadium in Nigeria, Moshood Abiola national stadium, is the 9th largest stadium in the whole of Africa. Recently, it was renamed after one of Nigeria’s political legends Alhaji Moshood Abiola. However, it remains popular as Abuja Stadium. It is in the capital of Nigeria, Abuja. This 60,491 capacity stadium was opened in 2003. Although Abuja Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, it’s mainly used for soccer.