Rugby Cranes line-up for the anthems before the Elgon Cup first leg at Legends Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
[/media-credit] Rugby Cranes line-up for the anthems before the Elgon Cup first leg at Legends Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

For representing the nation in the first leg of this year’s first leg of the Elgon Cup, the 23 players who featured received 150,000 shillings from the Uganda Rugby Union.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the union, through general secretary Godwin Kayangwe, revealed that the 150,000 given to players is what they are entitled to and the union cannot afford more than that.

“The truth is the match day allowance as of current policy for a home game is UGX 150,000. A few years ago, the match day allowance was USD 100 dollars when the exchange rate was UGX 2,000 to the dollar. However, because of the unfavorable exchange rate (heading to UGX 4,000), it was not prudent to maintain the allowance pegged to the dollar. After all, the sponsorship funds we receive are in UGX,” read part of the statement from the union.

The union also revealed that they have big challenges organizing the home games and keeping the team in favourable conditions ahead of the international engagements.

“Organizing an event of the magnitude of Elgon cup is a monumental challenge. Besides looking after the players’ welfare, other expenses include security, air tickets, accommodation, medical, entertainment, not to mention the training allowances for players (over 50 have been training since January). The URU strategy is therefore to create partnerships that create a very enjoyable Rugby experience that can get more people to watch and more sponsors to fund the game. By doing this, we will be in a stronger position to improve the players’ welfare,”

It should, however, be noted that the players still have outstanding transport allowances that the union is yet to remit.

The Maths

One would be right to say the Uganda vs. Kenya game was well attended by fans from the countries.

An ordinary ticket went for 20,000 shillings on match day but was earlier sold at 15,000 for those who bought it online before June 10.

The players’ allowances summed up to 3,450,000 shillings. That is money paid by about 173 people who bought ordinary tickets for the game on Saturday.

Before this campaign, national team players were entitled to 100USD for home games and 200USD for away encounters.

The dollar is now in the region of UGX 3550 in Kampala. If the union had maintained the 100USD for every player, the players who lost 18-23 to the Kenya Simbas would have pocketed at least UGX 355,000 hence costing the union UGX 8,165,000 for the whole group. Is that too much to ask for?

The union and Legends Rugby Club have never come out to clearly reveal how the money from the gate collection is shared between the two parties.

The Rugby Cranes face the Kenya Simbas in the first game of the Africa Gold Cup in Nairobi.

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