Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino is expected in Uganda on a two-day official visit this weekend.
The visit will commence on the 25th February 2017 and eclipse the following day.
He is expected to make key note addresses to the adhering football family and key stake holders, visit FIFA funded initiatives, engage with local communities, visit grass roots football projects and as well have a word or two with the elite clubs in the country (all depending on the time available).
For obvious reasons, there was excitement when the news of Infantino’s visit first filtered through last week as the confirmed by the FUFA president Moses Magogo who was at the time in Doha for a FIFA Workshop.
When Kawowo Sports, as usual, broke the news to the masses, I was thrilled and overwhelmed by the number of phone texts, calls, e-mail and whats up messages confirming whether the news was true.
With authority, I answered in the affirmative to one of my ardent followers Michael Bissussa, a taxi driver at Entebbe International Airport and elaborated the purpose of the visit.
As I returned home after the day’s work in the capital city, Kampala, I reflected deep in my heart the analytical thesis of the head of world football to CECAFA’s most successful football country.
First, the CECEFA region remains a gold mine of talent, blessed with lots of un-polished diamonds like my ‘former friend’ Milutin Sredejovic terms the amazing football crop.
In my mind’s eye, I envisage Infantino’s visit as a complete blessing not only to Uganda but the entire East, Central and the Great Lakes region.
I am 100 percent sure, foresighted football CEO’s, Technical managers have prepared a proposal or two that the boss of world’s football will take home.
The visit will cast Uganda in the limelight once again following the recent return to the Africa Cup of Nations after 39 years of diligence in the qualifiers and back room planning.
Most important of all, Infantino will be interested to know how the different FIFA Development Programmes have been implemented in Uganda and the region at a whole.
For starters, such programmes are aimed at helping developing countries to establish infrastructure and facilities to boost the growth of the game as well as creating long lasting and sustainable income generation activities.
Poor football infrastructure has been a stumbling block for the country’s development in a long time.
Uganda needs at least three other ultra modern sports facilities like the Nelson Mandela National Stadium for instance to be granted hosting rights of an international tournament as CHAN and AFCON.
With FIFA’s blessings (financial and otherwise), there is potentiality to surge forward.
Infantino’s visit further is intended to spread the vast wings of the world’s football body with sound presence to member associations.
I am sure, he would love to discuss one issue or two with the political arm of the Uganda Government especially with President Yoweri Museveni, the sports ministers and other key stake holders in football as sponsors, fans, players, club officials and other FUFA partners.
This will be the first official visit by any seating FIFA President to Uganda.
You are welcome home Mr Infantino. Karibu