Friday June 27 2014

Lessons to learn from the World Cup

Lessons to learn from the World Cup


By Fred Muwema

Wishful thinking and day-dreaming have probably never killed anyone but they have certainly never taken any country to the World Cup. As a country, we have been restricted to wishing and dreaming as we perennially fail to make it to any premium football showpiece on the continent at the world stage and yet the reasons for our systemic failure at legal regulation and organisation, lack of facilities and finances are ever present but ever ignored.

The bigger problem is that we keep doing things in the same amateur way but expect different results and when we fail to progress, we just talk, talk and do more taking without taking any corrective action.

The 2014/15 National Budget allocated only Shs7b to all sports in the country. I am sure football alone will be lucky to get a slice of Shs700m out of that budget. With this kind of paltry finance, we may just continue to watch rather than participate in the World Cup.

If government committed an amount of money for every financial year for the next 10years to a football pyramid of well managed and interconnected football leagues in the country, the Uganda Cranes will definitely get well-nourished with new and fine talents who might just have a chance to play in the 2022 World Cup. The good performance of teams at the World Cup is built on many things but sporting excellence, facilities and finances standout.

There is evidence that strong and well-resourced domestic leagues will always produce quality players for the national team whether they play locally or in foreign leagues. In the Super Eagles, First team at the World Cup, apart from Peter Odemwingie and Victor Moses who were born and breed in Norway and England respectively, the rest of the Nigerian players cut their football teeth playing in Nigeria Domestic League which is the best league in Africa.

Costa Rica which is performing very well and recently dumped Italy out of the World Cup has nine players from its domestic league with Bryan Ruiz who scored their winning goal against Italy playing in the now relegated Fulham in the English Premier League.

Our leaders must stop getting lost in the match day pomp and ceremony that greets them at Namboole Stadium when the Cranes take on an opponent. Namboole is not the beginning and end of football in Uganda. They must look beyond the sporting performance of that day and enforce policies that modernise the game and make the league clubs and the National team more attractive and economically self-sustaining .Our leaders should learn something from World Cup this time round.