If there is something football administrators can learn from medical practitioners, it should be the urgency with which to address a disease at the point of symptoms.
And that is what Uganda Cranes officials will need to look into instead of relaxing after Cranes players opted not to take $500 each (Ushs1.3m) as bonuses.
Cranes successfully defended their Cecafa Tusker Cup after beating Kenya’s Harambee Stars 2-1 in the final at Namboole Stadium on Saturday to pocket $30,000 (Shs76.8m) as prize money.
One player who asked not to be revealed told Daily Monitor yesterday that when they went back to their hotel after the match, Cranes manager Crispus Muyinda called a meeting to give them their bonuses.
“We went into the meeting and Muyinda was giving us $500 each,” said the player, adding “We stood firm as a team and refused the money. Imagine we played all six matches and spent three weeks in camp without getting our bonuses and they are giving us this little.” Another player on the team chipped in: “If they are money-hungry, they should take the money but we are not ready to take $500.”
“We decided as players that they should give us $20,000 to share and they remain with the $10,000,” added the player, who sought to remain anonymous.
Efforts to reach Muyinda for a comment were futile as his known mobile number was off.
Cranes media officer Fred Katende Malibu was quick to say when contacted that no player has been paid yet and nothing like a rejection of the bonuses happened.
“We didn’t give them money yesterday (Saturday) because it was very late but Fufa is orgainsing a luncheon where they will be awarded,” said Katende.
Last year when the Cranes won their 12th Cecafa title, each player was given $700 (Shs1.8m) as a bonus.
Meanwhile sources have revealed to Daily Monitor that the players of Tanzania and Zanzibar received decent packages for their efforts. The Kilimanjaro Stars and Zanzibar players received $500 each for every victory. Rwanda players, who exited in the quarters, pocketed $1,000 (Shs2.6m) for every win.