Kampala- The marriage between telecom giants Airtel and Fufa is here to stay. Yesterday at Serena Hotel, Airtel showed their total satisfaction in their four-year association with Fufa as Uganda Cranes sponsors by pumping another shs10bn in the national team over four years.
The first pact between the two parties in 2013 saw Cranes earning Shs1bn per annum as Fufa chose to switch from MTN to Airtel. The contract has now risen to Shs2.5bn a year.
“The sponsorship signifies an opportunity to support the nation’s best football team and to celebrate Uganda’s rich and competitive culture, as well as love for the beautiful game. “We remain committed to the development of Ugandan football right from the grassroots community level all the way to the international scene,” Airtel Uganda Managing Director, VG Somasekhar revealed.
State sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi witnessed the signing of the new deal and called on Airtel and Fufa to extend the sponsorship to Cranes feeder tournaments at the lower levels.
Apart from the Cranes, the sponsorship package will be spent on the Fufa Juniors League, Airtel Fufa Awards and the Uganda Cranes regional tours.
“We commend Airtel for giving more than the usual 300m because football deserves better and sponsorship is not free money. As a football entity, we must position ourselves to benefit more from the corporate company sponsorships,” a delighted Fufa President Moses Magogo remarked.
In his speech, Bakkabulindi had called for openness and accountability in the deal and Magogo gave him assurance.
“The sponsorship money is put in the basket for Uganda Cranes and the accountability first comes through Cranes’ good performance which comes after better preparations,” the minister remarked.
“Our objective is following our five-year plan that ends in 2021, we would like to go back to Afcon using the experience of the 2017 edition, we want to start a strategy of qualifying for 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Magogo stressed.
To Magogo, the contract renewal was a sign of confidence from their sponsors that also include Nile Breweries Limited, Eco Bank, BIDCO and National Insurance Corporation (NIC).
Cranes skipper Denis Onyango who represented other national team colleagues alongside midfielder Hassan Wasswa, revealed the onus is now on them to perform to greater heights.
“The deal is good for Fufa and players. The money will help the team travel well and do timely preparations.”