Action from Senegal vs Zimbabwe in the first game Credit: CAF

The on-going Africa Cup of Nations is so one-sided that it can easily be called West and North African Cup, with the likes of Ethiopia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Malawi being guests.

It is absurd that the combination of Cecafa and Cosafa, which have a combined total of 25 member countries, could only afford to qualify four teams to the Afcon of which only Malawi made it past the group stage.

What’s more, the tournament has exposed the gulf in class between Francophone and Anglophone countries.

I put this down firstly on the colonial mentality. For instance, whereas the French assimilated their colonies and inculcated a football culture in them, the English didn’t. Just look at the leagues in both countries.

The Ligue may not be as strong as the Premier League but it has nurtured thousands of African players by giving them a chance to learn football basics under the French youth programmes right from a young age. It is these players that often shine at Afcon.

On the other hand, the British system does not provide such opportunities to people from former colonies and even the few that break out prefer to associate with the British at the expensive of their native African countries. 

Even the African star players in the Premier League are mostly French-speaking.

From a Ugandan perspective, our failures are beyond just being Anglophone. Whereas the corruption in Ugandan football is well-documented as the major setback, patronage has emerged of late to dent our football progress.

For instance, have you ever wondered why we are always building a national team? This point to a lack of talent coming through from the youth ranks. 

At the on-going Afcon, every team has at least three teenagers with some as young as 16 years yet at SC Villa, for example, we have exciting 21-year-olds but have been deemed to be too young to play for the national team. What kind of hypocrisy is this?

Meanwhile, have you ever asked yourself who even heads the country’s youth programme? Such incompetent people are normally put in those sensitive positions under patronage.

There are dozens of able people to do those roles like Andy Mwesigwa, a person who has already proven his worth in grooming youth and can be a real-time inspiration for any ambitious footballer. Or even Hassan Wasswa, a person who has seen it all and can guide a youngster to a professional mind-set.

Unfortunately, the Fufa hierarchy overlooks such people because they can outshine the people at the top.  In fact, this is so because most of the top-level administrators in Fufa have never played the game or even invested in it.

We will continue to be mediocre until this trend is reversed

IMMANUEL BEN MISAGGA

1st Vic President SC Villa, Mobilization and Fans Affairs

Immanuel Ben Misagga

Immanuel Ben Misagga is a former SC Villa president

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4 Comments

  1. It’s only God to help but if people can’t step aside to let others do what they have failed, we r gonna be crying year by year.🤦🤦

  2. I think my brother Missagga is just hell bent on bashing FUFA whenever the opportunity arises. Whereas he has documented the reasons for Uganda, does he want to tell us that those are the same reasons for South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Tanzania etc? We are always being told that football in Tanzania is at a high level, why is it that Tanzania did not even qualify for AFCON? How come Malawi and Zimbabwe whose ‘best’ players ply their trade in South Africa and Tanzania? The dynamics of African football stretch further that just poor management at FUFA. Even before the current FUFA administration that he seems to loathe so much came into office, Ugandan football was in the toilets as the saying goes. As I sign off, it is high time the governments of East, Central and Southern African countries got directly involved in football management. They dont necessarily need to run the game. They can provide such things as legislation, incentives, human resource, refresher courses, training incentives and so on. These are things that the West and North African countries do that the East, Central and Southern African countries do not do.
    Ben started off well but as usual emotionally delved into his favourite – bashing FUFA.

  3. Mr. Missaga, please take off your player agent glasses.

    What kind of colonial mentality is this?
    Instead of building your own structures and facilities, you want your young ones to go to Europe so the colonialists develop them for you?

    This is modern day slavery. Have you seen the French national team? They take the best and leave the rest for you.

    The French hoodwinked poor Francophone Africans that they were French citizens meanwhile, they are robbing them blind through the CFA and the most valuable resource, humans.

    The few African leaders that try to save their people from the French are either killed or overthrown. Look up Thomas Sankara, Koudou Laurent Gbagbo, Gaddafi, e.t.c…

    Even former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter tried to help Africa on this issue (for CAF votes but nonetheless).

    Talking of personal gain, your view on this topic is clearly clouded by your player agent glasses which undermines the otherwise strong points you made at the end.

    Just calling a spade a spade.

  4. Te problem is administrative. Right at the start of the qualifiers it was visible we presented a very lousy Team. I mentioned from the first game we were just Joking– Non of the the former AFCON guys was invited apart from Okwi Emma. That shows how unserious we take soccer in this country. Magogo and his generation are a big shame

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