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FUFA Cup of Hope Returns to bring smiles and hope to Luzira Upper Prison inmates

It was all smiles and jubilations in the Luzira Upper Prison as inmates welcomed their favourite visitors from FUFA at the FUFA Cup of Hope finals 2023.

The FUFA Cup of Hope is annual football tournament that is organized and sponsored by FUFA as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the Luzira upper prisons section for inmates who play in teams christened with names of clubs that play in the Uganda Premier league. The tournament had been halted by the Covid 19 pandemic and only returned this year after the situation normalised.

Presently there are 10 teams; URA, Express, Bright Stars, Blacks Power, Villa, Vipers, Azam, KCCA, Onduparaka and Proline. This year’s edition kicked off on May 1st and was concluded on May 28 with Proline and Onduparaka facing off in the final that was graced FUFA President Hon Magogo Moses Hassim and a delegation that he led that also included former Uganda Cranes stars who are part of the President’s XI and two former inmates who went there to give testimony as well as offer hope to their colleagues.

The FUFA delegation comprised of 2nd Vice President Darius Mugoye, ExCom member Ronnie Kalema, FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Big League delegate Hassan Kirunda, National Teams manager Patrick Ntege, Commercial Director Fred Kumakech, Events Manager Leilah Nankya, Events officer Phoebe Kutamba.

These were received by the Officer in Charge Upper Maximum Prison Senior Superintendent of Prisons Mbaziira Bryan Corr who then introduced them to the Regional Prisons Commander – Commisioner of Prisons Ms Nabunya Stella who commended FUFA for the generous and humble gesture that supplements their efforts of holistically rehabilitating the inmates by using football.

“I want to welcome you to Luzira and especially thank you for the support you render to Luzira Upper prison. I only wish you could make it at least 2 times every year and possibly extend it to other correctional facilities because we have several in the Kampala extra region including; Kampala remand, Kigo prison, Kitalya among others because recreational activities is one way we use to rehabilitate the prisoners and football is the most popular sport.” Commissioner of Prisons Stella Nabunya remarked.  

Officer in Charger SSP Mbaziira was full of praises of the FUFA President for his interest and commitment in the tournament.

“To understand the value of a smile is when you give it to someone who has nothing left to give. Thank you FUFA team lead by Hon. Magogo, Uganda cranes Ex Internationals, thank you Uganda prisons staff and most importantly thank you dear inmates for playing very well and keeping the discipline. Sports excellence is all about discipline.” He stated.

In his remarks FUFA President reaffirmed his and the federations commitment to continue supporting the tournament as away of giving back to the community.

“It is in our objectives and part of FUFA’s CSR to make sure we give back to the vulnerable members of our communities and may need hope. The FUFA Cup of hope is on our annual calendar in May and we will continue supporting the development of referees, coaches, administrators among others such that we develop capacity amongst you to enable you manage your own football.” – FUFA President stated.

“You may be here for many different reasons, but we believe one day you will go back and reunite with your families and the communities. Our purpose of coming here is always to keep that hope alive, when you are here it is not the end. You have people praying and wishing you utmost wellness. Finally, I want to thank management of Uganda prisons and you people for accepting our suggestion of changing the names of your teams from foreign clubs to our local clubs.” He added.  

The President XI played a curtain raiser match against a select side from Upper Prison – Upper Stars that ended in a one-all draw before Proline Upper Prison took on and defeated Onduparak 2-0 in the finals of FUFA Cup of Hope 2023.

FUFA President handed over an assortment of equipment; 4 sets of jerseys, 10 ball and a pump, 2 pairs of goalkeepers gloves, a first aid box, referees equipment(cards, whistles,stop clock), 2 sacks of sugar, 2 sacks of rice and 2 goats donated to the inmates of the Luzira Upper Prison handed over to the officer In Charge SSP Mbaziira together with Upper Prisons Sports Association Chairperson Ambrose Turyasingura

Thank you for Supporting Football.

The FUFA President also expressed his appreciation to the management of Uganda Prisons Services for their love and support for football through their two sister clubs.

The other thing I want to thank Uganda Prison service for their love for football. You own two football clubs; Maroons FC that plays in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League and She Maroons a women’s football club that has been promoted to the FUFA Womens Super league on and has also qualified for the finals of the FUFA Women’s Cup to be played on June 10th in Kumi against Uganda Martyrs Lubaga WFC. These are very competitive clubs that contribute to the development and promotion of the game.

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