All-Africa Games and African Championships Ugandan Badminton Bronze medalist Edwin Ekiring has decried government priority for football and Uganda Cranes, that has in-turn led to utter neglect of other disciplines.
The former Africa number one is not pleased with the continued wait for fulfillment of pledges after President Yoweri Museveni promised to award Ugandan athletes who won international medals.
In a message in 2012 following Stephen Kiprotich’s gold medal win at the London 2012 Olympics, the Head of State revealed he would undertake efforts to give monthly stipends of Shs 5 million for gold medal winners, Shs 3 million silver and Shs 1 million bronze.
Even after Commonwealth Games in Australia in April last year, The President stressed how efforts to have arrears cleared were underway but up to date, Ekiring – who now lives in Netherlands – says he has never received a penny.
“I performed better than any other Ugandan athlete in these last years,” Ekiring told Kawowo Sports.
“But I have not received anything from Ugandan Government while they promised to all Medal winners and now Uganda football team Received US$1 million from Ugandan Government for their second round Performance in the Africa Cup Nations.
“To me I see it as double standard to other athletes whose performance was much better than that of the Ugandan football team on continental level.
“Don’t get me wrong Ugandan Football team did perform good in Africa cup nation but they did not win the Nation cup. What about other Ugandan athletes who performed much better than football team but they have never received anything from the Ugandan Government despite the promises.”
The badminton ace has won five bronze medals in the Badminton World Federation International Series (men’s singles) and two bronze medals in men’s doubles since the stipend’s pledge was made in 2012. In 2015, he won bronze at the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville.
Ekiring was one of the 14 players selected for the Road to Rio Program, a program that aimed to help African badminton players to compete at the 2016 Olympic Games. He also featured at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.