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Fufa, USL have played their part, onus now on govt

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Kabenge (L) and Magogo at a previous function. They two have, if only for a while, shelved their differences. FILE PHOTO 

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Posted  Thursday, March 27  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Comment. We can run, we can hide but we cannot escape governance issues, an area the central government has gravely let sports down. Government has played so much hardball you wonder whether it has got any toes left

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KAMPALA.
We can rave on about the admittedly gaping holes in Fufa and Uganda Super League’s (USL) MoU regarding topflight football forever. I mean, they are enormous.

The chillingly cold silence by both Fufa and USL regarding Maroons’ fate, for example, must sound like a tune of an estranged spouse on the side of the 2013 USL champions by now.
Fufa - or Fufa Limited’s - dealings with a Kavuma Kabenge they banned for 11 years without necessarily lifting the suspension could well be taken for an ‘admission on the part of Mengo that there was never a ban at all in the first place’.

And, consider Fufa’s incorporation as a limited company being subject of a court ruling (USL are the petitioners), which in itself leaves the aforementioned truce somewhat illusional, and you have some not so good-looking scrambled eggs.

Yet you cannot help but appreciate that at least Moses Magogo, the Fufa president, and USL chairman Kavuma Kabenge finally brought some brains with them to the negotiating table.

That they at least temporarily suspended their well-documented egos and got something to give a semblance of working relationship which, if followed to the script, will see the Uganda Premier League (UPL) kick off in August without any rival competition, is a positive step in itself, especially for a couple that once saw one walk out on another at a radio show.

Of course it goes without saying that one common denominator – broadcast sponsors SuperSport (it is at this point you visualize money) – are the main reason for this marriage of convenience for, each will smile in some way to the bank. This does not concern me much as long as the footballers benefit along the way.

As explained in preceding paragraphs, the shortcomings are aplenty but we cannot help but acknowledge that in these long, weary, drawn out battles, two major protagonists have at least played their part by talking and agreeing to something, however, freaky it may seem.

You see, we can run, we can hide but we cannot escape karma. We cannot escape the governance issues that cloud our sport and are the fundamental cause of these sporting problems we have ping-ponged over years.
And it is in this area you could argue government has gravely let football and sports as whole down. Government has played so much hardball you wonder whether it has got ay toes left.

Of course USL saw loopholes in the formation of two Fufas, a factor not helped by government’s reluctance to draw regulations since 1964 when the archaic existing Sports Act came into place, and were always going to call on them in the event Mengo frustrated them. And here we are.

Dragging
It is now almost two years since the Education Ministry gave ultimatums for only one topflight league running in the country and new sports regulations being issued. Not even Court orders, first issued sometime last year for the ministry to have issued the new guidelines, have yielded anything.

In a February 19 ruling in which he found State Minister for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi guilty of contempt of court for aiding Fufa Ltd activities, Constitutional Court Judge Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire – expressing disappointment at the ministry for failing to issue the said regulations, wrote:

“The Attorney General in light of the (court) order could have, when advising the Minister of Education and Sports, also seen to it that the statutory instrument under section 10 of the National Council of Sports Act was made, after all the draft was already ready and on court record; but did not.

“This, in my view, has led to an escalation, hence these proceedings. I have already directed that this (issuing of sports regulations) be done in earnest.”
A month and seven days on and still nothing official regarding the new Sports Act. I gather that the final draft of these regulations is currently at the Justice Ministry for fine-tuning. Actually, it has been there for two weeks now.

A source involved in the process tells me no progress has been made because “the people supposed to fine-tune the document have been out of the country but are now back and should finish it this week.”
You see, it has been ‘this week, and next, and the next after next’ for some tiring time, now. The truth is we all need to feel we are taking the right direction.

And that direction will remain directionless for as long government keeps quiet in the middle of a storm. Their hide and seek in this matter has rather gone stale and they can only act now by issuing the regulations as soon as yesterday.

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