The She Cranes finished seventh among 16 teams at the 10-day Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, but feel short-changed for their hard work.
The ladies settled for Shs132m instead of the Shs348m that was budgeted for before the world showpiece.
According to Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) World Cup budget of Shs2.1b, each player was supposed to receive Shs29m ($8,000) allowance, however, they settled for Shs10m each.
However, treasurer Yusuf Kamulegeya said of the Shs2.1b, UNF only received Shs1b.
“We had outstanding debts, paid for transport and accommodation, among others,” he told Daily Monitor. “If the government gives us more money, players will get more.”
Government gave Shs10b to Fufa for Cranes 2019 Nations Cup campaign compared to the Shs1b to the She Cranes, which players deem unfair.
At Afcon, Uganda progressed to the knockout stage after beating DR Congo 2-0, drew 1-1 with Zimbabwe and lost 2-0 to hosts Egypt in Group A. The boys received a winning bonus of Shs14.7m ($4,000) per game and Shs7.3m ($2,000) for the draw. They also received Shs22m ($ 6,000) for reaching the Round of 16 and payment delays caused a mutiny in the camp. When President Museveni hosted them in Entebbe after the tournament he committed an additional Shs3.7b ($1m) to the players and technical team.
But when Janet Museveni, the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports hosted the She Cranes, at Nakasero she offered each Shs1m. “While in Liverpool, we heard the President had given more money to our counterparts [the Uganda Cranes] yet we starved for three months in camp before government gave us just a portion of the World Cup preparation budget,” complained a senior player who preferred anonymity.
“It’s as if Afcon is more important than the [netball] World Cup. It’s so disgusting.”
The She Cranes beat Samoa 69-48, Scotland 52-43 in Group D to progress to the second preliminary stage. They beat Trinidad & Tobago 57-54, lost to South Africa 67-40, Jamaica 61-48 and Malawi 55-44 before beating Zimbabwe 58-47. For this each player received a winning bonus of only Shs920, 000 (£200).
During their three-month preps for the world event, the She Cranes received allowances of Shs30, 000 for a month before it was reduced to Shs10, 000 in addition to commuting 40km from Kyaliwajjala to Nakirebe daily in the last week of training. Meanwhile, the Cranes camped in Dubai ahead of the Afcon.
However, hope springs eternal for the ladies, that if they too meet the President, he will give them a fair and deserving handshake.
FULLY FUNDED UGANDA CRANES
Afcon budget: Shs10b received
Win per match: Shs14.7m per player
Draw per match: Shs7.3 m per player
Advancing to last 16: Shs22m
President’s offer: Shs3.7b
original she cranes budget
Full budget: Shs2.1b
Player’s payments: Shs369.6m
Payment per player:
What they received
Total Received: Shs1b
Total payment: Shs120m
Payment per player: Shs10m
First Lady’s offer: Shs1m per player
Shs920, 000 per player (£200)
Additional reporting by Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi & Innocent Ndawula