The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and Uganda Premier League clubs met again on on Thursday, June 18.
This was the second time in less than two weeks that the two parties were meeting at the FUFA Complex in Mengo, Kampala.
The meeting was also a continuation of the previous session held last week on 10th June, 2020 and it centered on the review of the 2019/20 season and the proposed FUFA Competition reforms.
Several issues were raised ranging from club licensing, the communication gap between FUFA and the Clubs, the challenges that clubs face and their proposed stand in regard to the FUFA Competitions reforms.
What they said during the meeting
Moses Magogo, FUFA President
“FUFA believes in dialogue and debate. It is okay for us to disagree.
“We can come out to such meetings and fight but when we leave here, we must protect the image of the game. We are open to criticism and it is only through dialogue that we can solve some of these challenges.”
UPL board chairman, Arinaitwe Rugyendo.
“We are here because we are family. Families that talk together, dialogue together and disagree on principle together, definitely stay together.
“We are here to dialogue, to speak candidly about this brand and chat a way forward.
“Where we have flexed muscles, we must reconcile, improve where there are challenges and forge a way forward for the betterment of the league.”
FUFA 3rd Vice President, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi.
“We have to accept that the only way we shall move forward is through open dialogue. FUFA is willing to give the platform and clubs must present all the challenges without fear.
“For instance, clubs are saying some regualations regarding infrastructure are strict. How do we address that?”
Bernard Atiku, Onduparaka FC Patron.
“I thank FUFA for allowing us to debate. It’s only in an environment like this that we can relay the challenges. We can either agree or disagree but I believe this is a good platform for both the clubs and the FA.’ He said before adding. ‘We should be looking at professionalisation but we cannot if we don’t have an enabling environment.”
Bright Stars FC chairman, Ronnie Mutebi
“When we come to such meetings, we have many issues but we must leave with a bit of diagnosis. Looking at issues with political ammunition but rather deliberate, find solutions and avoid reacting to situations.”
Mbarara City FC chairman, Hon. Mwiine Mpaka raised a concern about the medical insurance with reports that it is only limited to covering typhoid and Malaria.
This was however, responded to with FUFA President insisting they agreed on comprehensive insurance covering injuries and thus will do a follow up.
Busoga United FC chairperson, DinahNyago called for improved communication and good will between FUFA and clubs.
Magogo also made clarification on a number of issues such as sources of FUFA funds, FUFA support towards clubs and COVID-19 relief plan.
About the 10bn support from Government
We understand the cry by clubs seeking for help and some asking the Government support of 10 billion shillings to be diverted towards helping clubs. First of all, we must know that government appropriation of funds Is done by Parliament. We all know that however much you want, you can’t channel government monies from the initial agreement.
Secondly, whereas we are speaking about 10 billion shillings, for those that have worked with Government know that the approved budget is never released at once. Additionally, Government has made budget cuts and as a matter of fact, we have not received a single coin for the 4th quarter.
It is also a fact that the national team will have engagements in the near future. So how shall we handle the team if these funds are channelled towards helping clubs?
FUFA Support towards clubs
It is not true that FUFA doesn’t in any way support clubs. We pay 128M in prize money, we foot medical insurance bills worth 400M for players and last season we paid over 600M in Air tickets for KCCA FC and Proline FC who were competing on the continent. The Juniors League is also supported by FUFA.
Unless if clubs want to tell us, we are not spending on the right items but as FUFA, we believe this is our contribution to clubs.
We also extended food relief to clubs in the Uganda Premier League, FUFA Big League, FUFA Super League and FUFA Women Elite League.
There has been a misconception that FUFA received COVID-19 relief funds from FIFA which is not true. It is a fact that FIFA gives us financial support to cater for our operations and the last batch was supposed to come in July but because of the current situation, FIFA decided to send this earlier.
FUFA had outstanding arrears that we had to clear. We paid all internal football family members to zero balance.
What I should communicate maybe is that there is an intervention from FIFA that we expect soon. The FIFA Council Meeting will take place on 25th June 2020 and one of the items on the agenda is COVID-19 relief plan. We hope this will helps us to address the issues that the clubs are raising.
About the proposed FUFA Competition reforms, the clubs made their presentation through Aggrey Ashaba.
Some of the issues that clubs want to be incorporated include; stadium funding, increase in prize money, governance re-calibration, creation of chairmen’s forum, commercialization model of the league and refereeing reforms among others.
It was agreed that there will be more engagements with other key stakeholders to come up with a conclusive approach on the proposed reforms.