As expected, issues concerning finances during these grey days that have engulfed the entire world due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are of keen interest.
This was exactly the case as the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) engaged the Uganda Premier League stakeholders during the inaugural meet.
The two and half hour meeting was held on Monday, August 24 at May Apple Hall, Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The federation top brass team was led by the president Moses Magogo.
He was flanked by members of the FUFA Executive, Uganda Premier League board chairperson Arinaitwe Rugyendo, the board members, club chairmen, Chief Executive Officers (CEO), other officials as well as the media members.
For a better part of the presentations, the main focus was on the financial matters.
These rotated around the COVID-19 relief funds from FIFA and CAF as well as the StarTimes sponsorship money and the planned loan scheme (for infrastructural development and football projects).
As we FUFA, we had a promise to initiate FUFA-UPL breakfast monthly meetings, we have delivered. Let us remain supportive as we continue to involve the different parties. We all have a common agenda which is sport. There is a lot of value addition. We must protect the brand of the UPL, it is a baby we must protect at all times. FUFA is in control of these funds (COVID-19) funds. The objective is to compensate losses by making payments directly to the club accounts. We also have to ensure that football eventually resumes since you are aware that there are 22 unfinished matches that have to be completed before the season new season resumes in October 2020.Moses Magogo, FUFA President
Bernard Bainamani, the CEO of Uganda Premier League, explained that the 2019-20 football season as a unique one where force majeure element (Coronavirus pandemic) brought an abrupt end of the Uganda Premier League. Therefore, the final batch of the sponsorship money by StarTimes was held back and delayed until now.
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The 2019-20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League was unique in such a way that the Coronavirus pandemic caused an abrupt end of the season. This brought a situation where the remaining patch of the sponsors’ money has not been paid and there is a fraction is being discussed.Bernard Bainamani, CEO Uganda Premier League
Decolas Kiiza, the FUFA Deputy CEO – Football, noted that they are engaging the Government upon the systematic return of football following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) set by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).
There is need to return to the fields of play by yesterday rather than tomorrow. FUFA continues to engage Government through the National Council of Sports and Ministry of Health on how football can best return, even without fans in respect of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s).Decolas Kiiza, FUFA Deputy CEO – Football
Reactions from some Club Officials
This is a big challenge that we have to face as UPL. We must take a strong stand as one entity and bargain for the best.Shawn Mubiru, CEO Sports Club Villa
There is need to call for re-negotiations between the UPL and StarTimes until the best position will be reached.George William Mulindwa, Chairperson Vipers Sports Club.
This was really a good breakfast meeting because the ideas and real issues within the clubs are being discussed. We ask the Federation to release the COVID-19 money and as well continue to engage the league sponsors (StarTimes) for the remaining monies.Diana Hope Nyago, Chairperson Busoga United Football Club
We politely ask FUFA for an allowance to allow KCCA and Vipers to start preparation for the CAF engagements which will be happening before the end of the year.Moses Kaddu, Administrator KCCA Football Club
We need the real value for money as clubs.Hassan Lule, Wakiso Giants Chairperson
As community clubs like MYDA, the loan scheme money is welcome to help us in the restart of competition.Peter Emojong, Chairperson MYDA
The second meeting will be held on 28th September 2020.
Attendants of the 1st FUFA – UPL Breakfast Meeting
Eng. Moses Magogo (FUFA President), Justus Mugisha (1st Vice President), Darius Mugoye (2nd Vice President), Edgar Watson (Chief Executive Officer), Humphrey Mandu (Deputy CEO – Services), Decolas Kiiza (Deputy CEO – Football), Denis Lukambi (Head of Legal), Aisha Nalule (FUFA Competitions Director), Esther Musoke (FUFA Marketing Director), Ahmed Hussein (FUFA Communications Director), Ivan Kintu Bayige (FUFA Club Licensing manager), Swalley Kenyi (FUFA Member Associations Officer), Sadam Bulega (FUFA Marketing Assistant), Arinaitwe Rugyendo (UPL Board Chairman), Fred Guy Kawuma (UPL Member), Bernard Bainamani (CEO, Uganda Premier League), Gordon Mundeyi (Communications and Marketing Officer, UPL), Alex Luganda (UPL Legal officer), Diana Nyago (Chairperson, Busoga United), George William Mulindwa (Chairperson, Vipers), Kiryowa Kiwanuka (Chairperson Express – Via Conference), Hassan Lule (Chairperson, Wakiso Giants), Ronnie Mutebi (Chairperson, Bright Stars), Ruben Mubiru Kaggwa (Chairperson, Kyetume – via Conference) Shawn Mubiru (CEO, SC Villa), Moses Kaddu (Administrator, KCCA), Fahad Lumu (CEO, Police), Ashraf Miiro (CEO, UPDF), Ahmed Kongola (CEO, BUL), Ceaser Lebeja (URA)