KAMPALA- When Cranes ended a 39-year Afcon drought, it was almost improbable at the time to think there could be a better calendar year for football.
That was in September 2016 when Uganda reached Gabon 2017.
But such has been the progress the game has undertaken this year that qualification for next year’s Afcon is now a footnote in the list of achievements.
Fufa President Moses Magogo observed how ‘Uganda had now demystified qualification’ in his end-of-year address on Thursday.
“It is a measure of how fast we are moving that reaching the Africa Cup of Nations is now viewed as a habit,” Magogo noted.
“We have made back-to-back qualification without conceding a goal and no other country in Africa has achieved that.
“But as Fufa, the bigger accomplishment was succeeding in convincing government to offer us a Shs10b budget for the Uganda Cranes. Part of this money has been used to run and fund other national teams and Fufa programmes.”
He added that in previous years, more than 70% of the federation’s income was being spent on the Uganda Cranes.
The net result of improved funding, according to Magogo, has seen the U-17 team qualify for the 2019 finals to be staged in Tanzania next year.
But Fufa also scored at Caf level after Uganda were awarded the right to host the 2020 Caf Beach Soccer finals.
“To be recognised among the big boys on the continent shows that we have the ability to host major tournaments. It is why there is need to develop infrastructure to enable us table future bids for hosting Afcon itself.”
Magogo did acknowledge that the lowest point of 2018 was failure of the U-23 team to advance in the Afcon qualifiers. The team was upset by South Sudan.
Other notable accomplishments were Uganda Cranes and Dennis Onyango being nominated for Caf awards, extension of the federation’s offices in Mengo, starting work for a modern training centre at Kadiba and land for the Fufa Stadium in Lugazi.
KCCA’s advancement into the Caf Champions League group stages was a milestone that showcased how far Ugandan football had come, Magogo opined.
Way forward for 2019
*Improve judicial system
*World Cup U-17 qualification
*Contribution to the national sports law
*Installing a new unit at Fufa for compliance
and internal audit
*Beach Soccer and Futsal development
*Sports Science and Technology
development, support to nationwide regions
*Equipment and infrastructural development
*Electronic document center at Fufa
*New competition in primary schools
*TV production for Fufa events