The third Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) – Uganda Premier League (UPL) breakfast meeting was convened at Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday, 8th August 2021.
The well attended meeting was graced by FUFA top brass led by the FUFA President Hon. Magogo Moses Hassim, FUFA Executive Committee Members, Club Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers, UPL Board Chairman Arinaitwe Rugyendo and his board members, Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin “Micho” Sredejovic, FUFA Secretariat staff, special guest Timothy Batabaire (former Uganda Cranes and SC Villa defender) as well as the media.
The FUFA President fronted the element of protection of the football brand by all means in a bid to lure partners and sponsors who would finance the game on television.
‘FUFA has an agenda of protecting the interests of all the members. Football is a game of stakeholders (internal and external). Everybody has a role and our roles are different. Let us have the fans registered however little they may be for all the clubs (institutional and community) noted Hon. Magogo.
The FUFA President elucidated about the future of the game in Uganda with a strategy to score a hattrick through professionalization of the league, mass football promotion and earning from the game.
‘As we look at the future; we want to score a hattrick – Making a professional league, every child born in the country must have a chance to kick a ball (mass football) and seeing success for Ugandan players in their respective clubs and on the national team. We must package well our football because football money comes from television since the money from rich men and FUFA is limited. We are at our strongest as football in terms of the people, technology and the conducive environment. It is not the time for fighting because UPL needs very strong clubs’ he added.
Rugyendo lauded the FUFA leadership for acceptance to organize such forums as he called upon the football fraternity to forge measures of living with the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘I recognize the efforts of the FUFA President and team in organizing this meeting. Such discussions are intended to see the game move forward as they see football development and reforms in laws of football that govern the game. The COVID-19 pandemic affected the way of running the game with stadiums closed without fans. The economy is limping. We lack ambiance, thrill, home advantage and the costs of implementing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are too high.’ Rugyendo stated.
He also hinted about several issues affecting the 16 members of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League;
‘There are some issues from members concerning compliance of COVID-19 SOPs, FIFA COVID-19 relief fund, biased officiation and negative energy from members’ he added.
The 3rd FUFA Vice President, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi reiterated upon the background of these meetings dating as far back as 2020.
She called for more cooperation and teamwork effort as means of taking the beautiful game miles ahead.
‘Football is now more of cooperation, consultation and building teamwork. Clubs have concentrated on inner capacity. There are a couple of proposals as completion of FUFA clubs’ SACCO initiative, joint media visits, and inclusion of the FUFA Big League clubs in such forums’ she stated.
Former Uganda Cranes and SC Villa defender Timothy Batabaire was guest speaker calling for infrastructural development.
‘This is a room of wisdom. Uganda has rich talent but we miss the greatest ingredient of infrastructure. Also, football clubs should have more fans than supporters as it is the case in South Africa. Let us protect what we have. We can disagree along the way but at the end of the day, we shall all celebrate. Let us share the gold medal (football) and we shall reap’ Batabaire remarked.
Uganda Cranes head coach Micho asked for open cooperation amongst all the clubs as the country plots for qualification to the FIFA World Cup finals.
‘I am a member of this football institution of UPL. Let us all have open cooperation. The technical part will follow all your work. The FIFA World Cup dream is a realistic journey’ Micho stated.
UPL Chief Executive Officer Bernard Bainamani, club officials all had rich discussions that were documentated and will be reviewed from time to time for the right implementation.
Newly promoted clubs, Arua Hill SC and Tooro United FC were also represented.
Hassan Lule (Wakiso Giants Chairman), Suubi Kiwanuka (Express Board Secretary), Hassan Takoowa Mugerwa (Busoga United Chairman), Joel Aita (Arua Hill), Shawn Mubiru (SC Villa CEO), Ashiraf Miiro (UPDF CEO), Musa Ssebulime, Patron Wakiso Giants), Sabasaba (Onduparaka CEO), Mathias Mugwanya (Soltilo Bright Stars CEO), Michael Wandera (Tooro United Chairman), Simon Peter Njuba (Vipers Sports Club CEO), Henry Mayeku (URA Football Club CEO), Asan Kasingye (Police Chairman), Martin Ssekajja (KCCA FC Chairman), Ahmed Kongola (BUL Football CEO)