By Max Patrico Ocaido
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has received financial support of Shs1bn from government ahead of Uganda Cranes’ clash with the Black Stars of Ghana this Saturday.
Currently, the Uganda Cranes stand in the second position in Group E of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualification campaign with 7 points after a 1-0 loss to Egypt last month. Uganda stands a huge chance to qualify for the World Cup for the first time if they seal a victory against 3rd placed Ghana this weekend.
A few days ago, FUFA president Moses Magogo issued a statement highlighting that the sports federation was not ready for the World Cup on grounds that they have not received any financial assistance from government.
However, there is now a reason to smile after Minister of State for Sports Charles Bakkabulindi on Wednesday during plenary at parliament confirmed that government has earmarked Shs1bn for the national team in preparation for their remaining qualification games.
“FUFA has received money from government and I urge all MPs to come and support the Uganda Cranes as we take on Ghana,” Bakkabulindi said.
This was also triggered after Ajuri County MP Hamson Obua on Tuesday told parliament that there are fears that the Cranes are not prepared for the World Cup qualification games for being cash strapped.
As a result, Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni on that same day summoned Magogo and Bakkabulindi along with Permanent Secretary Alex Kakooza and other Ministry officials where FUFA presented a budget of Shs1.3Bn for the matches against Egypt and Ghana to cover amongst others players’ and coaches’ allowances, bonuses, air tickets, accommodation, practice match (Madagascar) and other related costs.
Whereas Cranes yesterday lost to Madagascar in their warm up match, Magogo is confident that this financial advancement has become a morale booster.
“I am very excited that the government has answered our call for the support to the Uganda Cranes and this cash will clear amongst others the bonuses and allowances for the players and coaches,” Magogo said in a social media post.
He added, “I take the opportunity to thank HE the President of the Republic of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the magnanimity towards the Uganda Cranes. I further thank the Hon Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni for the support and procedural guidance, the Hon Minister of State for Sports Hon Charles Bakkabulindi, the Ministry of Education and Sports staff, the NCS and all other persons for their effort.
I have been assured by the players and coaches that as always, they will give their best for their country. Let us go and give the 12th player in support to the team. The Dream is Alive.”