KAMPALA – Members of Parliament have on Tuesday, July 30, called for equal funding for the She Cranes arguing that their male counterparts the Uganda Cranes receive more government support.
The call follows the recent commendable performance of the two national teams at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt and the Netball World Cup held in the United Kingdom (UK).
The Uganda Cranes advanced to the knock out stages of the AFCON 2019 tournament, while their female counterparts, the She Cranes finished seventh in netball’s global rankings.
Uganda Cranes received UGX 10 billion from the government, while the She Cranes were only given UGX 1 billion.
The MPs proposed equity in financing and support towards the national teams, saying that the She Cranes are neglected in favour of Uganda Cranes.
The legislators also recommended an upgrade of the existing facilities to train the International players to enhance the teams’ chances of better performance.
Hon Sandra Alum Ogwang said that the support given to the She Cranes is still wanting.
“In the era of gender equity, as the captain of a netball team in Parliament, I would like to see more support given to the ladies just like it is the case with the men,” said Sandra Ogwang.
The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Aol Betty Ocan, raised concerns over what she termed as ‘continued marginalization of women’ despite existence of policies which promote gender equality.
“The way the She Cranes were treated was not right. This should not continue, policies have to be respected,” said Hon Aol.
Hon Denis Hamson Obua advised government to invest more in netball, football, athletics and boxing.
“Why wouldn’t we prioritise where we have comparative advantage in the world. We need to fund these various disciplines in time,” said Hon Obua.
Hon. Tom Aza Alero called for motivation of the players for better performances.
“The problem is not funding. The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) receives adequate funding from government and even corporate organisations. There is need for cohesion, cooperation and unity between FUFA and government,” remarked Hon Alero.
Following the incident in which the Uganda Cranes players protested against bonus payments during their AFCON stint in Cairo, the legislators blamed it on poor planning.
MPs concerns on sports in the country followed a statement by the Minister of State for Sports, Hon Charles Bakkabulindi, on the participation of the national football team at the continental showpiece n Cairo, Egypt and the national netball team at the netball world cup in Liverpool, England.
Hon Bakkabulindi admitted that funding for the netball team is still low but hastened to add that government is considering increasing it.
“Government will work towards addressing the shortage in funding of the netball team. It should be noted that there is general shortage of resources for sports activities,” said Hon Bakkabulindi.
The Sports Minister welcomed a move by the Shadow Minister for Sports to investigate corruption allegations against FUFA.
“Sports involve lobbying from various supporters. This is not corruption. If you are carrying out an investigation, investigate facts. We will wait for the evidence,” said Hon Bakkabulindi.
He appealed for support towards the sports sector, noting that Uganda is gifted with great talent.