Donald Rukare, the President of Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), believes that the level of the game in the ongoing Futsal Premier League was much higher than he had expected.
Rukare, who was a semi pro swimmer for his entire active career, was among the guests that attended the league action last Saturday at Old Kampala arena.
“The level I have seen here in futsal is higher than I have ever imagined. There are very skilful players and I am happy for the organisation,” he said.
Asked whether futsal has the potential to achieve Olympic standard, Rukare said the future was bright.
“I hope so. It is very quick and exciting. It should be able to get players on board,” Rukare said.
Futsal is part of the Youth Olympic Games but just about 18 countries in Africa play the sport and only Uganda in East Africa.
The next edition of the Games will be held in Gangwon province, Korea. The qualifying roadmap is yet to be released.
But Rukare, also an advocate who teaches law at Uganda Christian University Mukono, believes there is room for improvement through inclusion.
“I have loved futsal and instantly became a fan. I think there is so much potential. But one key area is to bring women and girls on board,” Rukare said.
Although Uganda has a functional league since 2018, there is yet to be any activities for women.
Hamza Jjunju, the chairman of the Futsal Association of Uganda (FAU) says there are plans to promote gender equality in futsal starting with schools.
“Our immediate attention is on school-going girls and the plan is to involve them first as we build enough players for the national teams,” Jjunju said.