FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo has commended the performance of the National Women football team Crested Cranes in their double header clash against the Harambee Starlets of Kenya.
The spirited display by the Crested Cranes saw the FUFA President release a detailed programme of what is in stock for the players.
FUFA President wants to see the Crested become a regional power house just like the Uganda Cranes (male team).
The FUFA Pesident made the commendations at a post-match dinner organized at Kati Kati restaurant to appreciate the team.
The Crested Cranes played to a goalless draw against the Harambee Starlets on Sunday at the Star Times stadium a result that saw them eliminated at the first round stage of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Qualifier Ghana 2018 on a 1-0 aggregate.
The Crested Cranes lost the first leg in Machakos.
FUFA President’s statement
‘I wish to congratulate everyone involved right from my Executive, the staff at FUFA, the coaches, players and the fans for the impressive performance. It is true we have been eliminated from the Women African Cup of Nations qualifiers but I must mention that knowing where we are coming from, we are very much proud by the performance exhibited.’
‘In 2013 we made an unpopular decision to withdraw the team that had won against South Sudan by 22 goals. This was because we realized we didn’t have a proper National team, we were not yet there in terms of strength’
‘We decided to start the league (FUFA Women Elite League), the cup (FUFA Women’s cup) and the rest of the things we are doing that have increased access for the girls to play football week in-week out. Today we are proud that a national team can be generated’
‘At the end of last year we decided that now it was time to get back to the continent and we were drawn against Kenya which has been so many miles ahead of us in terms of women football. Last year they were at the AWCON finals playing amongst the top 8 teams on the continent. Last week they were in Zambia for a friendly and won 3-0 so really they have been a much stronger opposition but we were only separated by a stroke of luck and I am thinking that as a country we must be very proud of the progress we are making’
FUFA’s Strategy on women football
The FUFA President further reiterated to the players what FUFA’s strategy about women football.
‘We have a strategy as far as women football is concerned. We did not only create the competitions, we also allowed more women representation in football administration. If you were aware before we could have zero women in the General Assembly which is the Parliament of football in Uganda. Today we can have a minimum of 4 and as I speak now I think we have more than 4, when it comes to the awards at the end of the year the top female player just like the male player gets a car. All these are initiatives to ensure that women football in this country grows and gets better’
This year we have engaged in international tournaments, we are going to take part in CECAFA Women championship in a period of less than a month. Rwanda is organizing the tournament and now I have the belief we can go and compete for the Championship.
As the Federation we shall continue to facilitate the team (Crested Cranes), the conditions may not be the best but I promise you the team will get better with time. We must put this game out there for people to buy it so that people start giving it priority and consideration. It is still a challenge to convince everybody that we have a National women team, a league and maybe a girl who plays football just like a man. This is slowly changing, on social media the talk has been about the National team going to play.
Regional tours and international games lined up
The FUFA strategy has put in plan regional tours for the Crested Cranes.
‘At a later moment we shall be engaging the National team to go to the different regions to play games to sell the team as people get to know you’
‘We are going to be engaged in some international friendlies. It is part of our strategy and has been written down and allocated resources. We don’t gamble with the things we do. Whatever we have talked about for those who have followed us we deliver’
‘Our objective is to play some international games, not only in Africa but maybe as far as Europe. What is important now is if you are privileged to be called and be putting on the National jersey just understand that it is a privilege because there are thousands of girls who would have wanted to be here so just thank God, use it with both hands and continue working hard’
‘You can only get better by working hard or even harder. Women football has taken off and now we have seen some of our own going to play professional. We want to see you earn money out of playing football and what FUFA has so far done is providing you with a platform to play’
On behalf of her teammates, skipper Hasifa Nassuuna thanked the FUFA President, Executive and FUFA staff for the opportunity given to them to play in an international competition regretting their inability to go as far as they could have wished but promised to do better in future engagements.
‘I apologize on behalf of the players for failing to eject Kenya. We promise to bounce back better next time. Keep giving us the opportunity to play international football’ said Nassuuna.
The dinner was attended by the two FUFA Vice Presidents Justus Mugisha (1st VP), Darius Mugoye (2nd VP), Executive Members-Agnes Mugena (Chairperson FUFA Women football Committee), Hamid Juma (Chairman FUFA Competitions Committee), Ronnie Kalema (Chairman Uganda Football Referees Committee), Chris Kalibbala (Chairman FUFA Football Development Committee), Rogers Byamukama (Chairman FUFA Marketing and Communications Committee), Edgar Watson (FUFA CEO), Margaret Kubingi (Chairperson Uganda Women Football Association) and Rosebell Rwamuyamba (Woman Referee Delegate to the FUFA Assembly).
The entire Crested Cranes Technical team and players also attended the dinner.
MAIN PHOTO: The FUFA President inspecting teams before kick off of the Uganda vs Kenya match at StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo.