What you missed at the Fufa assembly

Fufa President Moses Magogo (3rd L) poses for a photo with some of the delegates and Excom members. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

The eight Regional Football Associations (RFA) will get Shs50m each which tallies to Shs400m.Eight Special Interest Groups (SIGs)  will each get Shs20m making it Shs160m annually. The cash struggles of the 16 Fufa Big league sides have also been raised with each bagging Shs25m which translates to Shs400m.

At the swanky Acholi Inn Hotel in Gulu City on a sunny Saturday, all the participants at the 98th Fufa Ordinary General Assembly agreed in tandem to uphold the integrity of sport and start thinking out of the box in the biting economic times.

Like Fufa President Moses Magogo, guest of honour, the State minister of Sports Peter Ogwang reiterated how excellent governance and deep financial investment are critical to building sustainable and rewarding sports sectors in Uganda with football taking the lead.

As the Fufa delegates started getting the feel of the moment and just an hour away from lunch, Magogo dropped the bombshell that must have caught those in attendance including Ogwang and National Council of Sports (NCS) General Secretary Bernard Ogwel, unawares.

Kobs out 

The much anticipated Afcon/Olympics qualifiers for Under-23 (Kobs) against Guinea due this month was called off due to financial constraints on a day head coach Micho Sredojevic was testing his charges against a Northern Select side at Pece Stadium, a stone throw away from Acholi Inn. 

"The Executive Committee took a painful decision to withdraw the Under-23 national team from the Afcon/Olympics qualifiers  (against Guinea). This was the best decision for the game of football  because there are no resources.

" The sanctions we will get will be big but we considered the next generation and chose to give the chance to the under-20 team that is going for the Afcon qualifiers in Sudan. It is very regrettable," Magogo told the convocation.

In a haste response, Ogwel acknowledged the current financial predicament bedevilling the nation characterised by high inflation rate and budgetary cuts.

"As you all know, the cash flow system has not been coming through.The Finance Ministry has cut 80 percent of the budget that feeds the 51 federations because they consider sports as consumptive rather than productive. That is the unique situation we are in. All said, we hope the money will come next week but I can't guarantee you it will be the whole Shs17bn (allocated to football)," Ogwel expounded. 

The former Fufa administrator added; "It is saddening that the team has been withdrawn but we think as a government if we had been given much time we would have got the solutions because this (the Under-23 team) is the future of our country."

His boss Ogwang spoke more about the future than the current remedy.

"As the newly appointed Minister in charge, I set out to achieve three milestones; an increased funding of the sector, the amendment of the sports law, and establishment of sports facilities across the country. This will be the lasting solution to all this," he revealed.

Fufa finally open cash taps

Upon the increment of the sports budget from Shs27bn to Shs47bn and obviously the Fufa allocation swelling to Shs17bn from Shs10bn, the football stakeholders hoped for more.

It hadn't materialised until  the assembly where it was announced that all Member associations (MA) will get increased funding from Fufa starting the next financial year (January 2023). A total of Shs2.5bn is set to be shared out according to Magogo.

The eight Regional Football Associations (RFA) will get Shs50m each which tallies to Shs400m.Eight Special Interest Groups (SIGs)  will each get Shs20m making it Shs160m annually. The cash struggles of the 16 Fufa Big league sides have also been esied with each bagging Shs25m which translates to shs400m.

Fufa's new baby, Fufa Drum tourney, has also not been left out with each of the 16 province teams set to earn Shs20m bringing the total to Shs180m. The 100 football districts have been given Shs100 to share out while the 10 Women Super League clubs will each get Shs30m. Their counterparts in the Women Elite league (16 clubs) will receive Shs10m each. The notable increment, by 400 percent, has been registered in the StarTimes Premier League where the 16 clubs will each pocket Shs50m. The Shs800m cash bailout is independent of other prie monies and sponsorship fees. Magogo clarified that the Fufa Executive will be tasked with monitoring the money and warned it must be used for entirely 'footballing duties'.

Kyetume get breather

The UPL currently has 15 clubs after one of the new entrants Kyetume was locked out for failing to meet the club licensing requirements. The punishment harshly threw them to the third tier (Regional League) which they protested to Fufa and through Courts of law. 

"The Executive Committee accepted Kyetume, a team that sportingly fought to come to the UPL but failed to meet the licensing rules, to play in the second division other than the third that the rules sent them. For football reasons, we gave them a chance to fight for the top flight league again," Magogo noted.

At the summit, it was also decided that most of the local aspiring coaches that struggle with English language be given a chance to study in Luganda, Swahili, Runyakitara and Luo not to lose out on their potential.

Saving Shs2bn

Annually, Fufa revealed they have been spending close to Shs2bn on domestic and foreign travel costs. To eliminate the middleman and make it easier for the daily travels, Fufa has hatched the Fufa Travel Bureau agency, to start next year, that will cater for domestic and external travel arrangements of the players, administrators, match officials and Ugandans from other walks of life.

"We will not have cases of referees finding difficulty travelling to all matches across the nation," Fufa publicist Ahmed Hussein said.

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