Uganda’s U-20 football – Hippos returned home on Tuesday afternoon to the news that each of the members on the team would earn a bonus amounting to 14, 800,000 for a spirited fight that propelled the youngsters into the final of the continental final.
Despite a 0-2 loss at the hands of Ghana’s Satellite; Supremo – Moses Magogo was satisfied with The Hippos’ performance. Magogo, just like many of the other managers at Mengo – the Fufa seat – could be overheard consoling themselves – claiming that the ‘boys were better but couldn’t have managed a man’s side in Ghana; and as such during a party to welcome them back home – held at the Imperial Golf View Hotel – Entebbe – the Fufa boss was more than happy to announce that each member would be rewarded with $4,000.
The final played in host nation – Mauritania at the weekend saw The Hippos resisting all forms of assault but the Ghanaians youngster repeated what their grandfathers did to Uganda in the infamous 1978 Afcon final in Kumasi.
But as The Hippos returned on Tuesday, Fufa was quick to officially a bonus of $160,000 towards the contingent for an outstanding performance, according to the federation’s Communication Director – Ahmed Marsha.
Ghana’s Daniel Afriyie destroyed The Hippos’ hopes of emerging victorious with a brace – scoring a goal in either half of the game.
“Fufa has offered $160,000 that is to say $4,000 to each of the 40 members of the Uganda U20 team who were at the U20 Afcon tournament in Mauritania,” read a message on the federation official twitter handle.
.@OfficialFUFA has offered $ 4000 to each of the 40 members of the Uganda U-20 team who were at the #AFCONU20 tournament in Mauritania pic.twitter.com/mhbjj4kKDi
— FUFA (@OfficialFUFA) March 9, 2021
The Hippos’ performance in Mauritania would mean that Uganda would have qualified for the first ever World football Cup finals but Fifa’s recent cancellation of the youth tournaments quashed the country’s chances of making history.
Fifa in December 2020 announced that the 2021 U-17 and U-20 World Cups had been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Fifa U-20 World Cup would have been the 23rd edition of such competition but the biennial men’s youth football championship was cancelled for the first time since its inception in 1977. Indonesia would have hosted this championship for the youth from May 20 – June 12.
The Hippos’ head coach Morley Byekwaso last week ‘sent’ frantic messages to Fifa – saying the global soccer governing body should exhibit exemplary efforts to ensure that tournament is staged.
He reasoned that staging the tournament would reinstate the youngsters’ fading hope towards the game.
“Fifa needs to stick to the(ir) principles and find a way to play the tournament,” Byekwaso – repeatedly emphasized.
“We have been fighting so hard to reach the World Cup but if we miss out on this chance the boys are going to grow, get older and go into the other age brackets.
“This means that our players will miss out on such a golden chance to play against teams likes of Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Norway, and England,” he added.
He noted that interacting with such teams would uplift the players’ morals towards the game.