Football continues to be a viable industry globally and several interventions are made everyday to brand it into a better product.
FUFA and Uganda Premier League also think in the same way and the discussions from the first Breakfast meeting this year held on Thursday at Imperial Royale hinged on this.
FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo who chaired the meeting gave an account of how far the StarTimes Uganda Premier League has moved, what challenges lie ahead and the strategies that must be taken.
‘I’m happy that we are having these engagements because it is at such meetings that we can generate good ideas and look critically at our challenges. Today’s discussion will dwell a lot on finding strategies on how to make our product(league) better.’ Said the FUFA President in his opening remarks.
‘We must have a common agenda and that is to create a commercial good. Football is business and our league has potential to become better if we lay out a clear strategy on how to improve.’ He added.
The President also indicated that it’s important to understand the challenges that the League faces and try to find solutions.
‘Until you have done the proper diagnosis, it’s when you can do prescription. So we need to do self reflection. Do we have a common goal as clubs or we have multiple goals?’
The key challenges that were highlighted in the meeting included funding, technical, infrastructure and officiating.
KCCA FC Chairman, Martin Sekagya noted that there must be emphasis on product development and embracing the new trends to suit modern times.
‘It is important that we are discussing strategy here because it’s very key in developing our product. But as a league in conjunction with FUFA we must make deliberate research. For instance are we looking at embracing technology? Football is not only consumed at the stadium. Have we looked at how we can tap into the virgin market?’
AIGP Asan Kasingye, the Police FC chairman noted with concern the challenge of officiating, asking for a reflection into the growing concern.
‘It is a growing concern that almost every match day, we have a challenge with our referees. We are talking about making a better product but shall attain this with the match officials not improving. I request FUFA to make deep investigations and make interventions in as far as refereeing is concerned.’ He said.
SC Villa Acting President, Eng. William Nkemba asked FUFA to think about the return of the FUFA Junior’s League so that football doesn’t miss out on the young players who are now redundant.
‘We appreciate that the league returned but it’s also important to highlight that the Junior’s League has been ignored. We may create a gap that can kill the young talents coming up.’
Wakiso Giants FC Director, Musa Ssebulime noted that the use of foul language at stadia from fans could be a potential threat to new fans and called upon clubs to make interventions.
‘I’m happy that we are talking about making the league better to attract more fans and in the end make better value. However, there are clubs with fans that have persisted with the habit of using obscenities and foul language at games. We want to have kids cultured in supporting our local clubs at a tender age but can we achieve this if such incidents are still happening?’ He asked.
FUFA 3rd Vice President, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi indicated that the turn over of human resource such as coaches, CEOs and Chairpersons at clubs could be a challenge in having continuity thus dragging progress.
In his closing remarks, FUFA President revealed that the Federation will make interventions going forward. Some of these include setting up a business committee to looking at the commercial end of the game, technical committee to address areas to do with the sport and FUFA facilitating of club officials to make visits abroad and learn from others.
Club Officials that attended the FUFA UPL Breakfast Meeting
1: James Kizza-URA
2:Sebulime Musa-Wakiso Giants
3: Martin Ssekajja – KCCA FC
4: Kayondo Henry Titus – Kyetume FC
5: Hon Mwine Mpaka-Mbarara City
6: Bamwenda Godfrey- Kitara FC
7: Isaac Mwesigwa – Express FC
8: Njuba Simon Peter – Vipers SC
9: Barente Ronald – Bul FC
10 : Mathias Mugwanya – Soltilo Bright Stars
11: Ayeet Paul – MYDA FC
12: Col J M Ssemanda – UPDF
13: AIGP Asan Kasingye – Police FC
14: Mugerwa Hassan – Busoga United FC
15: Sebasaba Edison – Onduparaka
16: Eng. William Nkemba – SC Villa
17: Hassan Lule- Wakiso Giants