The Uganda Cranes’ victorious team were on Monday afternoon handed $14,000 (Shs37m) in bonuses for winning the 13th Cecafa Tusker Cup.
The players, who refused to take $500 (Shs1.3m) and demanded $1,000 (Shs2.7m) on Saturday night, settled for what they got last year after winning the Cecafa Cup. Fufa president Lawrence Mulindwa handed over the money in cash to team captain Hassan Wasswa at a luncheon.
But the atmosphere and mood in the room where they were meeting at Hotel Sojovalo spoke volumes. They were a discontented bunch.
Each of the 20 players who featured for the Cranes in the just concluded tournament received $700 (Shs1.8m) in cash together with the technical staff.
Mulindwa was handed the trophy by Wasswa and thanked the players for having successfully defended the title in their own backyard. One player who sought to remain anonymous, since they aren’t allowed to talk to the media, revealed his displeasure to Daily Monitor.
“Why has the $300 (Shs810,000) been chopped off?” he wondered. It opens a can of worms in the way prize money and bonuses are paid to the national team.
Umony pleasantly surprised
Meanwhile, with Brian Umony trying to come to terms on how he won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, the Cranes striker says that every member of the victorious Uganda team deserved the award.
“To me, everybody on the team deserved the award,” reasoned the forward. “We played as a team and won as a team. So every player played his best.”
Umony, who played four games and scored three goals, was voted the player of the tournament but his choice raised eyebrows .
“That’s what everybody is saying; that l didn’t deserve the award but l think l deserved it,” said the former SuperSport and Portland Timbers player. For Cranes now, focus shifts to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.