Rugby

No cash hope for Team Uganda as Glasgow Games draw nearer

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Rugby Sevens players Jasper Onen, Emmanuel Ecodu, Benon Kiiza, Eric Kasita, James Ijongat and Alfred Bijik take part in training yesterday. The team will travel on Sunday without pocket money. PHOTO BY Ismail Kezaala 

By SANDE BASHAIJA

Posted  Thursday, July 10  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Soccer. Federations given post-dated cheques that will mature after teams have left for Glasgow even though the money was supposed to be released months ago for preparations.

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Kampala.

It’s now certain athletes will head to Glasgow, Scotland for the Commonwealth Games on Sunday without pocket money.
“There is no hope we’ll get the required funds from government before Saturday,” Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) president William Blick told Daily Monitor yesterday.
“We wanted to pay allowances before departure but I doubt it will happen.” Ambrose Tashobya, Uganda’s chef de mission to the Games, said last week they had, through the Sports Ministry, pleaded with President Museveni for assistance.
However, Tashobya left with an advance team to Glasgow on Tuesday without any feedback about the required Shs356m. Tashobya’s four-man team is already in Glasgow but without enough contingency money, according to Blick.
“I wonder how they are surviving because they are supposed to stay in a hotel and pay $5,000 (about Shs12.5m) to access the Games Village. They also need to purchase equipment for some disciplines like racquets,” Blick explained.
Uganda is sending 64 athletes to the event rolling off on July 23 but there are very few medal hopes owing to the confusion that has rocked preparations. Last week, it emerged the National Council of Sports (NCS) had sat on the Shs254m meant for federations to prepare their teams.
On Saturday, federation heads were invited to Lugogo to pick the money but were only handed post-dated cheques. Some federations didn’t even get the cheques.
“We were given a cheque of Sh7.5m which matures next Monday yet the team leaves this Sunday,” Uganda Rugby Union (URU) official Yayiro Kasasa revealed yesterday.

sbashaija@ug.nationmedia.com