There has been attempt by many analysts, scholars, academicians and commentators to diagnose the problems engulfing sport in this country or should I say football to be specific. I am sure everyone has heard enough of that. In the process we have discovered hard realities and I will attempt to revisit a few as I contemplate the way forward.
For the last 49 years, Uganda has lived without an enabled sports law. The 1964 NCS Act required the minister of sports to draw regulations for the operationalization of the act and these have never been drawn. Uganda remains an island as all former British colonies that had a similar law like Tanzania (1976), Ghana (2011) and Kenya (2012) have since amended their colonial sports laws to suit the times. The current act is now obsolete as sport has since changed from recreational and amateur to professional. The way forward is enacting a new law after thorough consultations and employing experienced and professional sports law experts
League football which is a fundamental to football development was built on a sand foundation. There was no organic formulation of football clubs. It was the league then clubs instead of the other way round. The short cut of using institutions such as coffee, Nile etc as football clubs exposed this structure. Only Express and SC Villa were built as football clubs that can sustain the pressure of the modern game. The recent upheavals have exposed the clubs more as the veil was lifted only to find skeletons of their former might. There were no known owners, no constitutions, no quality personnel and no direction and consequently multiple decisions were being made by everybody. The way forward is rebuilding football clubs. Fans belongingness, geography, demographical classifications ought to come out to shape the identity and culture of clubs. The various FIFA/CAF/FUFA education programmes and club licensing agenda should provide a solution to this problem
FUFA has always been the white chicken and various changes of faces have not taken this notion and belief away. Perennial failure to qualify for the finals of AFCON and WC is observed end itself and as incompetence and the head hunting begins. It has also been proven that irrespective of National Team Success and fans turn ups thereat, the other football competitions have suffered. FUFA has not been fair to itself by keeping so much information away from the public. A way forward is a comprehensive strategy, dedicated work force, and competence ahead of patronage. FUFA should take lead to mend fences as football needs everyone but those sitting on the other side should be willing to pick the olive branch as well.
Never in the history of the game has the media ever been torn apart like now. Editors, writers, presenters and officials of the Uganda Sports Press Association have taken ultimate positions to use their pens, keyboards and mouths to shoot for the side they sympathize with. It has been proven that irrespective of the propaganda machinery, facts will remain facts and lies will remain lies. The way forward is to pick up the pieces of the aftermath of the war and take on professional ethics. The current USPA executive has an option of what kind of legacy they will leave behind. One of 2 leagues of journalists or one that learns from past mistakes and takes the direction of teaching and enforcing ethics and integrity
Corporate Companies desire to transmit their brand messages to masses using football. Despite the storm, MTN, Nile Breweries and NIC kept with the National team while Bell and Super Sport did not announce quitting. This shows that football has the ability to attract even more sponsorships. It is a lesson to all that sponsors are better to pay and receive their buy than meddling into the football politics using the monies as bait. Only football under FUFA, CAF and FIFA can provide the value for money to sponsors while enhancing development of the game. Football has its peculiar regulations and only when they are observed can we have sustained relationships. As a way forward, let the sponsors come out to finance the league recognised by FUFA, CAF and FIFA. This will realign everyone.
Everyone has been hurt and there are lessons that have been learnt. The game is for us all. Let everyone contribute to the game. There are many areas beyond FUFA to contribute to the game. Let institutions get ahead of individuals, let us accept to learn where we lack, let us live together even when we disagree. Let us stop playing “kifiriza” (destroyer role) for the generation after us. Let us abandon our extreme war and ego positions for the beautiful game. We can all be accommodated. Those who continue to sound the war drums are the enemies of the game and they will get fewer and fewer as reality settles in. Let us all condemn any protagonists hereafter. It is our game, it is our country
The author is;
Eng Moses Magogo