Last year, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) initiated monthly breakfast meetings with Uganda Premier League Clubs as a way of bridging the gap between the two bodies.
The first meeting this year was held on Thursday at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala with club officials sticking their emphasis on the quality and competence of match officials appointed to handle games in the top tier league.
Whereas the theme of the meeting was hinged on finding strategies to create a better football league brand, the recent incidents happening in the league took centre stage.
FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo who chaired the meeting in his opening remarks tasked football administrators to jealously protect the game from vices and desist from making emotional statements that ruin the game.
We all have emotions, football is a game of emotions and mistakes at the same time, and indeed there was a mistake that everyone saw committed by the referee and that is why even the red card was rescinded,” Magogo commented in regard to the game between Vipers SC and Police FC played last week at St. Mary’s Stadium.
He had an indirect message to Police FC chairman AIGP Asan Kasingye who was in attendance about his rants on social media.
It should be noted that Kasingye went all out on his Twitter account to show discontent about match officials for sending off goalkeeper Derrick Ochan.
“But one of our club chairpersons comes out and fails to control the emotions, the challenge we get is that we have a product. We are forgetting about the bigger product, how are we communicating to the intended buyers of this product? Magogo stated.
Kasingye in his defence responded by indicating he cannot look on as the game is being put into disrepute. He asked FUFA to make further investigations rather than blaming him.
“I have been in football for many years. I have served as Police FC chairman for ten years now. I don’t think you have seen me come out in this way. It’s good we are talking about having a better product but how are we going to have it with such incidences happening?” he posed a question.
Other clubs officials who echoed about the same issue included Vipers SC CEO, Simon Peter Njuba who called for FUFA to set up a code of conduct for club officials while Kitara FC chairman Godfrey Bamwenda also complained about officiating.
FUFA Referees Committee Chairman, Ronnie Kalema was put on the spot to answer some of the questions and concerns posed.
He noted that some of the mistakes are genuine but they will self-reflection to improve where need be.
However, the main items that were discussed included finding ways of creating a better football industry.
Magogo noted that to find permanent solutions, the prevailing challenges must be conceded and find ways to overcome them.
“It’s until you have done proper diagnosis that you can do prescription. So we must know the challenges we are facing now.”
FUFA revealed three areas where they will put emphasis going forward. These included;
Taking Club Officials for visits
FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo noted that Club officials need to learn from other clubs that are doing well especially in Africa and they implement some of those items here.
“To become better, we need to learn from the best. As FUFA, we shall facilitate club officials to go for trips and visits to some of the best clubs on the continent. We need to learn what they are doing right and we feel club chairpersons need to know these aspects,” he said.
Setting up a business committee
Football is a business and a commercial sense must be attached to it. It’s on this note that FUFA together with UPL will set up a business committee.
“We shall constitute a business committee to look at how the game can generate revenue, especially for our league,” Magogo indicated.
“This area looks at the sport itself. We need to look at where we are lacking in terms of technical abilities, the coaching systems, and approach, talent identification, infrastructure and equipment among others.”
The names on the aforementioned committees will be shared at a later date to come out with best approaches to find solutions to different challenges.