MPs Irked By Huge FUFA Budget

A section of legislators are concerned that the government is funding the Federation of Uganda Football Associations-FUFA to the disadvantage of other sports associations.

The MPs raised concern after the State Sports Minister; Charles Bakkabulindi presented a statement on government funding to the football and netball national teams in African Nations Cup-AFCON and Netball World cup respectively.

In his statement, Bakkabulindi indicated that the government advanced FUFA Shillings 9.4 billion to facilitate the national football team, the Uganda Cranes in the recent Africa Cup Nations-Afcon campaign.

He also said that government, through the National Council of Sports-NCS, advanced Shillings 2.4 billion to the National netball team, the She Cranes for buildup games and participation in the Netball World Cup.

The Team completed seventh out of the 16 teams that participated.

The Shadow Sports Minister, Allan Ssewanyana asked Parliament  to consider increasing funding to the  sports sub-sector despite the huge allocation to FUFA, which will receive Shillings 10 billion out of Shillings 26 billion allocated to the National Council of Sports to among others fund all 48 national sports associations.

He also called for investigations into the corruption allegations within FUFA, which he says is one of the reasons Uganda Cranes decided to strike during Afcon, two days before the knock out game against Senegal.

Bakkabulindi explained that Uganda Cranes players went on strike on July 2nd and July 3rd over unpaid allowances of US$ 6,000 after qualifying for the knockout stage.

He told the House that FUFA officials insisted that they had paid the players all their dues and that the claim of US$ 6,000 was unfounded.

However, Ssewanyana said that there must be a probe on why there was a strike and accountability on FUFA’s huge budget.

He later withdrew the statement after failing to provide evidence of MPs who connive or received kickbacks from FUFA after the Bukedea Woman MP, Anita Among asked the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah to intervene.

However, other MPs led by the Otuke County MP, Julius Acon and West Moyo County MP, Tom Alero Aza agreed with Ssewayana, noting that  it was ironic that despite getting the most funds from government, Uganda Cranes players went on strike over unpaid allowances.

Acon however noted that players must be informed of how they will be paid before traveling for competitions while Alero demanded for accountability of FUFA’s accounts.

Aza noted that FUFA receives funds including Shillings 739 billion from the Confederation of African Football (CAF),  Shillings 5.5 billion from FIFA, Shillings 10 billion from the government of Uganda and donations from  sponsors including corporate companies.

The NCS Acting General Secretary-Dr. Bernard Ogwel recently told Uganda Radio Network that the sports sub sector requires an annual budget of Shillimngs 189 billion so that at least each of the 48 national sports associations receives a minimum of Shillings 500 million. 

He added that the government is planning strategies to fund associations equally in the near future to stop the bickering over funding disparities.

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