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End of Year 2021 address by FUFA President

Dear Fellow Countrymen,

Dear Football people,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Those here, following on the Live FUFA Media Platforms and those who will receive my communication from all the available live and recorded media channels, I must start by saying;

Glory be to the Almighty Allah for the gift of life for those who are still living and Glory be to the Almighty Allah for the gift of life of those football persons who departed. May the Almighty Allah judge their earthly works with mercy.

I am here to address the Nation on the state of the game of football in our motherland Uganda. I wish to enlist the achievements, the challenges and forecast into the future.

1) Governance & Administration

Governance

Governance is a basic pillar for the proper functioning of the institutions like FUFA and industries like Football.

We have continued to improve onto our governance systems to ensure that the management and regulation of the game is undertaken prudently.

The 97th FUFA General Assembly in Mbale was organised in August 2021 and the members of FUFA elected the FUFA President, consequently a new 4-year mandate for the Executive Committee of FUFA began.

FUFA is a strong advocate of the enactment of modern National Sports Law and we shall continue to give our best to ensure that a new favourable law is done.

In the last 2 years alone, FUFA has undergone 5 successful audits thus;

Two (2) annual Statutory Audits

Two (2) annual FIFA central audits

One (1) forensic audit by the Ministry of Finance (as an extension of the NCS)

It is the responsibility of FUFA to protect the game of football and we have since improved on the awareness campaign and the judicial systems that are now faster and fair.

I have heard some people claiming that FUFA is fining and sanctioning different entities looking for money. We have installed competent and independent judicial bodies, supported them with two (2) fulltime legal professionals. The cases that are causing fines and sanctions are in the rules.

Going forward, we will continue to undertake more corporate governance practices and ensure compliance by our 34 members, support the Sports Bill, support the permanent and continuous rules review commission, perform internal audit on areas where FUFA funds are sent.

Administration

We have continued to ensure that FUFA retains its Staff in the competitive employment market and we currently have 64 fulltime staff. We have recently added one lawyer (Sheeba Ampaire) in the legal department and one IT Manager Winfried Nakanjako. The recruitment of the Professional Leagues Manager is currently on.

We have setup a state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure to continue to automate many of the football functions as we serve the football community. Our ICT Section is now headed by Winfred Nakanjako and composed of 3 other professionals.

The FUFA Estate that has expanded to Lugazi, Njeru, Hoima, Kadiba and the FUFA Complex has been managed well and the FUFA fleet and other assets have been maintained well too

The UPL and the eight (8) SIGs have shared premises in Mengo and the SIGs now have a fulltime Staff managing their joint Secretariat.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Sam Mpiima and Frank Ankunzire to oversee the Governance and Administration Focus Area.

2) Football Development

The future of football is a function of the development activities being undertaken today. Football Development is part of the FUFA Mission thus;

‘Develop, Promote and Protect Football for all’

Capacity Building

We pride ourselves as FUFA in educating the entire Human Resource required for the game. Apart from the COVID-19 distractions, we have undertaken training of Referees, Coaches, Administrators, Journalists, and many other persons that support the game of football.

We intend to even do this better going forward so that our courses are properly outlined as to when they happen and how to apply for those interested.

The long vision is converting the FUFA Technical centre in Njeru into; The Uganda Professional Sports Institute that will offer long term training of graduates and technical person as a career training and we are currently seeking for a license by the National Council of Higher Education.

FUFA has identified 10 active coaches and recently retired players that will be given the opportunity to be trained from the best available trainers and institutions in the world in order to create a pool of professional coaches for the various national teams and professional clubs

International Capacity Building

  1. Dr. Apollo Ahimbisibwe
  2. Dr. Sekajugo
  3. Mawanda Haruna
  4. Edgar Watson
  5. Humphrey Mandu
  6. Sekabira Abdul Lukoya
  7. Jamil Sewanyana
  8. Okello Dixon
  9. Mwebe Ali
  10. Ahmed Hussein
  11. Mike Letti
  12. Yusuf Awuye
  13. Musoke Esther
  14. Leilah Nankya
  15. Dick Okello
  16. Others

Youth

When we started the FUFA Juniors League (FJL) in 2015 and Odilo (Primary Schools Championship) in 2019, we had a vision and this has come to deliver various success stories. Our various national youth teams have progressed from one age-category to the next and continued to perform well in international competitions for both the boys and girls.

Cases of doubting ages has been dealt with using the MRI testing before joining the FJL and the database of the various players as they develop

It is therefore not by accident that the men’s National Teams of U-15, U17 and U20 have registered such international performances including the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations and qualification to the U20 FIFA World Cup (That was not organised because of COVID-19)

We have taken the decision to expand the FJL from 16 UPL-based teams to 12-team leagues in each of the 8 regions of FUFA thus bringing the number of teams involved to 96 teams and players to 2880 players (from 400 players).

We are commencing on registering and categorizing the football academies, reinventing the Schools of Excellence Programmes and also starting the competition of the Elite National Post Primary Schools Football competition which will be by invitation.

The Football Development Curriculum will finally be introduced and compulsorily followed by all the FUFA Registered Football Academies.

Women

More than 50% of the population in Uganda is female. It is therefore paramount that we attract the women folk into the beautiful game as players, coaches, referees, administrators etc

We have done tremendously well in creating an environment for more women into the game. FUFA currently has 20 fulltime staff including Director and manager positions.

We have also changed our statutes to introduce more women in the FUFA General Assembly without expanding it beyond the 88 Delegates.

We have conducted Women Football Competitions and given the girl child an opportunity to enjoy the game of football.

The National Women Football Teams have done very well and this has been by design. The current U20 that is in the last 8 in Africa were the champions of U17 (COSAFA & CECAFA) and were only 180 matches away from the FIFA U17 Women World Cup when COVID-19 kicked in.

We will continue to invest in Women Football and the feedback internationally and locally we have received for airing the Women Football live on Television has just encouraged us to continue.

Futsal

We admitted the Futsal Association of Uganda (FAU) into the FUFA Family and FAU has done tremendously well in organizing exciting competitions. We intend to start the National FUTSAL team going forward.

Beach Soccer

The Sand Cranes played for the first time at the Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal this year finishing at the Semi-Finals (Came 6 minutes shy of qualifying to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup).

The Competitions of Beach Soccer Continue and Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA) has equally done very well to organise the competitions. We intend to construct an international Beach Soccer facility.

Science & Technology

We intend to start the Science and Technology Section at FUFA . We intend to invest, introduce scientific and technological approach to football at the professional levels in Uganda.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Kalema Ronnie and Agnes Mugena to oversee the Football Development Focus Area

3) Football Competitions

Football Competitions are the face of the football organisation. The FA is judged by competitions and so are the clubs. This is where the external stakeholders get to experience and participate in the game of football prepared by the internal stakeholders.

1) Professional Leagues

Together with the UPL Board, Secretariat and the Clubs, we have organised the Uganda Premier League, FUFA Big League and the FUFA Women Super League.

We continue to strive to improve on the Governance, Sporting and Business approach to Professional Club Football

I commend the clubs, institutions and individuals that have committed their own resources to finance professional football. Professional Football is expensive and not sustainable if we don’t sell football to make the money to run it.

We have agreed at FUFA to create the Football Business Forum that will meet regularly to shape the professional football industry in terms of regulations, policies, programmes and advocacy for external stakeholders to financially support the game

Like earlier mentioned, we are in the process to recruit the Professional League Manager to undertake the FUFA functions in supporting the UPL and organizing the FBL and FWSL at strategic and operational levels.

We intend to revise and reload the FUFA Clubs Pro Agenda and the FUFA Club Licensing.

FUFA targets at least 50 Professional Football clubs that will be issued with a 2- or 3-year professional club certificate and we further intend to have at least 25 of these clubs as Community Owned-Clubs. This FUFA Community Clubs Programme will be launched soon.

2) Mass Competitions

We have had two (2) years without Mass Football Competitions at the Regions and in the districts. It is going to be tough to get back the 1000 Football Clubs we had in the country. However, we are more determined than ever to ensure that every boy and girl child in each homestead in this country has an opportunity to play football. We will soon role out this programme

We also intend to revise the rules governing the;

  1. Status and Transfer of Players
  2. Training Compensation
  3. Scouting
  4. Intermediaries

3) Refereeing

Refereeing is a key role in the development of the game

I must commend the referees and the persons making them for the thankless job they are doing. Yes, they are human like each one of us and therefore they make mistakes just like the administrators, coaches and players do. In a game of football many mistakes are made by administrators, players and coaches for the result to end the way it ends. Normally excuses are found in referees, I am very proud of certain decisions that have correctly been made by referees without the assistance of Technology in the games like Vipers SC vs. KCCA, SC Villa vs. KCCA this season.

Elsewhere technology is applied and referees are found to have been wrong in the first call.

Unfortunately, we shall not play the game of football without referees. Many times, a football team loses a game many days before the match and referees are just an excuse.

We will however continue to assess the performance of referees and apply different corrective measures where they do not interpret and apply the laws of the game. We will protect them against any form of unregulated attacks

‘There are TV matches we choose for central review and analysis.’ ‘Referees are called to give their second opinion’ affects the next matches.

Players, Coaches and Clubs have official channels to present their dissatisfaction with performance or match officials and FUFA will listen to them. Public complaints about referees before during and after the matches they officiate shall cause disciplinary action.

We intend to acquire Equipment and Technology and improve on the welfare of the referees. For example, as we speak, there are no outstanding dues to UPL and FBL referees. Zero balance.

We intend to further automate Competitions functions and create a match day centre.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi and Rogers Mulindwa to oversee the Football Competition Focus Area.

4) International Football Competitions

International football competition is the way national and club teams engage internationally and it is important for the development and opportunities for the players and coaches. This is where players may be rated and eventually bought for better leagues and clubs

National Teams

Qualification to continental tournaments

As a comparative, from 1978 to 2013 (Uganda qualified) for 5 continental finals in 35 years)

From 2013 to date (Uganda has qualified for 10 Continental finals in 8 years) including the World Cup for the first time that was not organised due to COVID-19

We have played 288 international matches since 2013 to date and matches in 2021 alone.

The Uganda Cranes is undergoing a transition and this happens to all football teams. The results may not be immediately what we want but it happens to all teams after a generation of players gives way which is just natural anyway. We thank all those players who have made this country smile in unison but we have a duty to create another group to even further the dreams of those before them.

Along the way we changed head coaches letting go of Jonathan McKinstry and bringing back Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic. Credit to FUFA that the previous coach has nothing outstanding with FUFA and we wish him well. It is not normally the case with many federations and clubs.

The U20 (Boys) and U20 (Girls) will pursue the dream to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games.

The CHAN Team will pursue qualifying for the next edition and do better to get out of the groups, AFCON 2023 (Cote Devoir) and AFCON 2025 (Guinea).

All blending and building up to qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup in US, Mexico and Canada as the ultimate

We will continue to enter all available international competitions for men, women, youth, beach soccer and futsal

Representative Teams

We continue to support our representative teams into international competitions. Have supported with the air tickets to Lady Doves, Express FC, URA FC and and previously Proline FC, Vipers SC and KCCA FC.

Congratulations Express FC for emerging CECAFA Kagame Club Cup Champions overthrowing KCCA FC who are the previous winners. It means Uganda is holding back-to-back CECAFA club competitions for the very first time.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Dr. Ahimbisibwe Apollo and Mr. Dan Obote to oversee the International Football Competitions Focus Area.

5) Finance

Everything that ought to be done requires financial resources. All the good ideas and plans come to nothing without money and this is the bitter truth. Some people have lazily branded FUFA and my person to be more interested in money than the sport. How contradictory! How do you run the programmes without resources?

All FUFA Revenues are managed centrally through processes of budgeting, recording, accounting, reporting and audit.

We have been able to undertake all the various support programmes because of the improved revenues from the annual turnover of about 600m in 2005 to about 4bn in 2013 and almost 40bn in 2019. This has since been affected by COVID-19 as our revenues have now dropped to about 25bn over 2021.

We continue to prudently manage the available resources through forecast, budget discipline and internal audit.

We have installed improved procurement processes and computerized our recording and reporting of financial transactions. We have full time experienced professionals managing the finance department.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Darius Mugoye and Mr. Ariga Rasoul to oversee the Finance Focus Area

6) Marketing, Events & CSR

Football activities require resources and most proven source of funds for football is commercialization of the rights of football. Marketing helps to create the brands, position them and sell them to get revenues. We have improved a lot in terms of brand building and revenue generation, the game is a bottomless pit that even requires more when you generate more.

We have maintained a good relationship with our sponsors. We thank Airtel for having been with us and fulfilled all their obligations to us despite the COVID-19 Challenges. We also thank Nile Breweries, BIDCO, NIC Holdings, Ecobank, Crown Beverages, StarTimes and Pilsner.

Merchandising (Jumia), our Uganda Cranes authentic replica jerseys are now sold online. This has eased the way our dear fans purchase the jerseys. We intend to improve in this area for better service delivery and brining on board more products.

In order to fully comply with the regulatory requirements and also to ensure proper governance setup, FUFA has incorporated a company called;

FUFA Media Services Ltd. The company will operate the;

  1. 102.1 FUFA fm
  2. FUFA TV
  3. FUFA Online Commercial Media Channels ; The objective is to add value to the commercial rights and also generate revenues from the media rights of FUFA Competitions, Activities, Events and Programmes. This is also intended to create more value for the other sports disciplines

We have consistently and instantly delivered the FUFA Awards for the last 6 editions. We have offered

  1. a brand-new SIMILAR car to the best Male and Female footballer of the year since 2015.
  2. the logbooks to the winners in each of these editions.

Awards by nature are subjective opinions and many times they evoke emotions of supporters of winners and runners up.

We will continue with our professional organisation of events and engage in CSR activities.

7) Communications

Communication is very important to tell the story from our perspective. We have setup a vibrant communications department engaging the internal and external stakeholders using the various technology and means. We have acquired full time professionals.

Our digital numbers have gone beyond one million aggregate being the number one most followed sports brand in Uganda.

102.1 FUFA fm has been revamped and upgraded in studio setup and technology. It will give a better radio signal reception and wider coverage when this exercise is complete. This will go a long way in providing value for our listenership and advertisers. The 102.1 FUFA fm project was set up with bonus from the 2014 FIFA World Cup given by FIFA to Member Associations.  

FUAF TV –we are in advanced stages of setting up FUFA TV which will be a turning point in Ugandan Sports broadcasting. This will provide high quality sports content for sports audiences and a platform for value added partnerships for corporate and other sponsors. The TV will carry both Free to Air and Pay per view content with a wide variety of bouquets to meet the needs of the intended consumers. We expect to generate revenue to be ploughed back into the game of football for the good of all stakeholders.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Byamukama Rogers and Mr. Mulindwa Rogers to oversee the Marketing, Events, CSR and Communications Focus Area

8) Hardware (Infrastructure, Facilities and Logistics)

Infrastructure and Projects

Refurbishment of FUFA Headquarters

There has been a lot of work done. The FUFA Complex has been improved. The old building which was actually leaking at the time of renovation has been redone. We have refurbished the Old FUFA House and created more office space by adding another floor to create more office space. It is now a four storied building renamed the Football House.

Kadiba Project 

We have continued with construction works on the Kadiba Stadium Project. With expected FIFA funding coming through, we should be able to have a playable football ground soon and the rest of the facilities ready for use in due course.

The Future FUFA Stadium in Lugazi

The other FIFA funded project, the future 20,000 seater FUFA Stadium in Lugazi is yet to take off but preliminary work has been done. It is a project that should excite every Ugandan when we roll off.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Mugisha Justus and Mr. Ankunzire Frank to oversee the Hardware Focus Area

9) Stakeholders and Innovations

Stakeholders (Internal and External stakeholders)

This game is for people, it is done for clubs, institutions and it is very important that we understand the role of every stakeholder but also take various innovations to ensure the game serves people. The Government plays a key role in providing a good environment to play football and supporting National teams with finances.

Insurance

As you are aware, we started medical insurance for all players in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League. As we speak, we have extended this to include players in the FUFA Women Super League. The objective is to cover all professional Leagues including the FUFA Big League but for now we are only working with the resource envelope available but in the near future, that will also be added.

Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

We have intentions to work with people with disabilities as one of our CSR starting next year because the game of football covers everyone. Therefore, where we have the opportunity to have a project to work on, we shall do so.

FUFA Foundation

We are starting the FUFA Foundation next year to ensure that our Corporate Social Responsibility activities are undertaken by the foundation.

FUFA SACCO

As we speak, the FUFA SACCO has grown to the tune of UGX 300M. These are contributions by different employees of FUFA and generated this money which is being lent out to Members. I would like to commend the management of this SACCO under the guidance of FUFA 2nd Vice President.

Social Security of active players

We need to find a way to address the issue of life after football by footballers. We shall have engagement with different stakeholders to see how this comes to reality and find solutions to this  challenge. 

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I have appointed Mr. Mugoye Darius and Mr. Ochom Richard to oversee the People ware (Stakeholders) focus Area.

Conclusion

Football has the biggest opportunity to make lasting changes. Football has the caliber of people required to make the necessary changes. With the current and former FA Presidents, Chairmen of UPL Clubs and Former GS as members of Parliament and Cabinet and the general goodwill exhibited by the decision makers of this country, it cannot be better than now.

We have acquired the necessary contacts football just dreamt of. We now sit on the table that takes decisions for this country

Football or generally sports has now demonstrated the socio-economic value addition to the country and it is the time long term challenges such

The Law

Infrastructure

The Funding

It is our Game, It is our Country.

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