Kampala, Uganda – Members of Parliament have asked the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) to arrange special exams for football players who missed them while on international duty.
The legislators made this call as they paid tribute to the Under 20 football team, the Uganda Hippos who were runners-up in the recently concluded African Cup of Nations held in Mauritania.
Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa who moved the motion to pay tribute said that government should reconsider and allow some of the players who missed their Ordinary Level Exams due to their participation in the tournament.
Basalirwa said that Uganda which was making its debut appearance performed tremendously given it was a new entrant to the tournament.
“It certainly is not a walkover for a team that was making its first appearance and had to wrestle some of the best football teams on the continent; we ought to give credit,” he added.
Lugazi Municipality MP Isaac Mulindwa supported the proposal asking the Minister of Sports to invoke his powers so that the team players who missed their exams are able to do them.
“These young people were out there on state duty; the least you can do as the government is grant them an allowance to sit their exams,” he added.
Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said she received appeals from the parents of some of the players who missed their exams citing a disturbance in the normal academic calendar due to COVID-19.
She said that the normal programming of the exams had to be moved to March this year which coincided with the football tournament.
Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon appealed to the government to nurture talent by establishing football academies so that the national football teams can scale greater heights on the international scene.
“The fact that these children have managed to put up a star performance goes to show that they can do exceptionally well if they are provided with proper training facilities,” he said.
The Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyinji termed the parents of team players as brave and bold for allowing their children to represent their country at the international stage.
She called on Parliament to push for more funding of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and the line ministry so that they can develop infrastructure to nurture sport.
The Uganda Hippos beat giants like Gambia, Tunisia and Morocco on the way to the finals and also produced the tournament’s top scorer in Derrick Kakooza.