In what will go down as a successful convention between the clubs in the top flight division (Uganda Premier League) and the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), finally there could be light at the end of the tunnel.
With a rather positive cause of action, there were healthy debates and definitely some fruitful deliberations to report home, at least for now.
Unlike the first meeting on 10th June 2020 where a couple of clubs opted not to attend, the second meeting a week later had full representation of all the teams at the newly opened FUFA Executive Complex.
With smiles from a couple of club chairmen or their representatives, UPL Board members and FUFA officials, at some stage, the mood in the meeting room was rather brooding.
Speaker after speaker, the ideas shared and the tone at which they were expressed was rather encouraging and conducive for mediation.
Clubs packaged a detailed catalogue of polite requests, must-dos and worthy suggestions for the good of the beautiful game, going forward.
UPL Board Chairman Arinaitwe Rugyendo submitted a full report that highlighted the due purpose of the meeting, the board etiquette, proposed FUFA reforms and the way forward.
Rugyendo in his remarks spoke Latin at some stage; “Marcet Sine, adversario virtus” meaning “Valor becomes weak without an opponent or a person tends to fade away with a challenge” translated to imply that challenges should not be feared.
Football, world over, is facing unprecedented challenges and the people who are hit most are both the players and club administrators. But, football is not alone. Every sector has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. This calls for concerted effort, dialogue, self-reflection, information debate, genuine and sincere conversations about how to solve these challenges and protect the game in Uganda. We are a family. Families that talk together, dialogue together and disagree on principle together, definitely stay together. We have had a fight and flexed muscles, this needs to stop. We need to improve upon the communication and need to polish up what is not in palatable ways.Arinaitwe Rugyendo, UPL Board Chairman
Several issues were raised by the clubs included lack of budget support towards league development, limited effective representation of clubs at FUFA Executive level, reforms being proposed by FUFA (reducing the UPL clubs from 16 to 12), lack of consultative leadership on the side of FUFA, cancellation of the 2019/20 league season without the involvement of the clubs and double standards in the application of FUFA Club licensing rules.
KCCA Vice-Chairman Aggrey Ashaba, speaking on behalf of the other clubs used his parent team as the vivid case study to present the issues being expressed at hand.
Using two life stories basing on Johnson Spencer’s selling book, “Who Moved My Cheese?”, and that of phone company Nokia, Ashaba highlighted how leaders ought to prepare for the uncertain future ahead of them.
His preparation hinted on the challenges of clubs with KCCA as a case study as regards the increase of sponsor’s money to clubs, prize money, player sales, match day revenue, stadium hire, merchandise sales, season ticket and the like.
Ashaba also called for the grading of matches for proper planning when making fixtures, hinting on the pros and cons of reducing the clubs from 16 to 12, starting of the club chairmen’s forum, governance recalibration and the commercialization business model of the league entity.
In response to the queries, the FUFA President Moses Magogo vowed to improve upon the communication, front the club licensing tools and clubs pro agenda, called for more empowerment of club CEO’s as well as defending the beautiful game at all times.
Everyone is a communication agent. Communication is effective when there is information as well. FUFA believes in dialogue and debate. It is okay for us to disagree. We can come out to such meetings and fight but when we leave here, we must protect the image of the game. We are open to criticism and it is only through dialogue that we can solve some of these challenges.Moses Magogo, FUFA President
Mbarara City’s Mwine Mpaka had concerns about the medical insurance given to clubs by AAR which allegedly limits treatment to malaria and typhoid.
URA’s Moses Kaduyu pointed to the age cheating vice in the FUFA Juniors League and Kyetume’s Ruben Mubiru Kaggwa called for further orientation of the newly promoted Uganda Premier League clubs as well as clarification of the third Vice President’s position, representing the clubs on the FUFA Executive.
Ronnie Mutebi, chairman of Bright Stars believes that the outcome of the meeting will be determined by the actions thereafter.
“We had a fruitful meeting with FUFA after they accepted a few mistakes done and where clubs should improve. However, we shall gauge the outcome from the actions that follow thereafter,” Mutebi told Kawowo Sports after the meeting.
Clubs were also reminded that the Shs 10 Billion budget from Government to FUFA for the Uganda Cranes can not be diverted on request of the clubs.
The atmosphere was conducive. We had a fruitful meeting. This kind of meeting was long overdue. This is the way to go. Football should be done in a consultative manner and this is a good mark. Busoga United is looking forward for a new season.Diana Hope Nyago, Busoga United
We boycotted the last meeting because it was on short notice. We sat as clubs and agreed on some of the issues that FUFA wanted us to address, at the center was issue of reforms. We have had good interactions from the meeting. Our chairman of UPL finally spoke the same language as we spoke and communication flow was promised to improve.Bernard Atiku, Onduparaka
- Moses Magogo – FUFA President
- Justus Mugisha – FUFA 1st Vice President
- Darius Mugoye – FUFA 2nd Vice President
- Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi – FUFA 3rd Vice President (Via Zoom) – Represented Express FC
- Hamid Juma – FUFA Executive Committee/ Chairman FCC
- Rogers Byamukama – FUFA Executive Committee/ Former Chairman FLC
- Rogers Mulindwa – FUFA Executive Committee/ Chairman FLC
- Arinaitwe Rugyendo – Chairman, Uganda Premier League Board
- David Serebe – Vice-Chairman, Uganda Premier League Board
- Fred Guy Kawuma – Member, Uganda Premier League Board
- Peter Kibazo – Member, Uganda Premier League Board
- Humphrey Mandu – Member, Uganda Premier League Board/FUFA Deputy CEO
- Bernard Bainamaani – CEO, Uganda Premier League Board
- Ronnie Mutebi – Chairman, Bright Stars
- Bernard Atiku – Patron, Onduparaka
- Dinah Nyago – Chairperson, Busoga United
- Ronald Barente – Chairman, BUL
- Mwiine Mpaka – Chairman, Mbarara City
- Hassan Lule – Chairman, Wakiso Giants
- Ruben Kiberu Kaggwa – Chairman, Kyetume
- Aggrey Ashaba – Vice-Chairman, KCCA
- George William Mulindwa – Chairman, Vipers
- Hannington Muwanguzi – CEO, MYDA
- Moses Kadhuyu – General Secretary, URA
- ASP Francis Kidega – CEO, Police
- Decolas Kiiza – FUFA DCEO-Football
- Hajati Aisha Nalule – FUFA Competitions Director
- Ivan Bayige – FUFA Club Licensing Manager
The meeting was key. A lot was agreed upon and all clubs were now well represented. Reforms were talked about and the reflection of the 2019/2020 season and both sides agreed to put right what needs to be put right. Generally, there was harmony.George William Mulindwa, Vipers Sports Club