Following Uganda Cranes players’ decision to lay down tools due to unpaid emoluments, many Ugandans have expressed wild anger towards them, labeling them unpatriotic. Ugandans are right to blame them because they have listened to only one side, FUFA’s. The players will obviously not OPENLY tell their side given the way Timothy Batabaire and Posnet Omony ended their international careers for doing exactly that.I will choose to cut the boys some slack.
This is the truth.
When the boys qualified for the tournament, HE Present Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gave the team (Players, coaching support staff) Sh. 2billion to share out as a “Thank you package” for having qualified. The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) on their side designed a remuneration structure for the boys at the Finals. This structure had figures well pronounced for group stage wins, draws, knockout stage wins, daily allowances among others. These figures were agreed upon and a code of conduct was signed by the players. The boys did not disappoint in the group stages. FUFA didn’t disappoint either. They paid all the bonuses that they (FUFA) promised. If you have not seen the payment structure from FUFA, you definitely live under a cave.
When some senior players inquired about when they would share the president’s 2b “Thank you” money, FUFA told them that it is the money they are using to pay the bonuses and daily allowances. The players argue that these are two different promises and should be honored separately. They have got FUFA’s money and no one seems to be talking about Museveni’s money. FUFA argue that the president’s 2b is what is running affairs in Egypt. We all want the boys on the pitch, doing what they do best, winning!
• Why didn’t FUFA tell the boys earlier that their promise was premised on the president’s pledge?
• Let us for patriotism sake agree that the qualification bonus given by the president is what is running affairs in Egypt, what if the boys had lost all their group games, where would the money go.
• There are some players that participated in the qualifiers and didn’t make it to Egypt. How is their share computed?
• If the president hadn’t promised them this money, didn’t FUFA have a plan for the team in Egypt?
FUFA is using the payment structure of the promised bonuses to blackmail the boys. They know that 42 million Ugandans will call the boys greedy if they use this tactic and it has indeed worked for them. We now say the boys are unpatriotic. I find FUFA’s explanation a bunch of half-truths warped in a pack of lies. I repeat, I cut these boys some slack.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Africa Tembelea’s editorial stance.
Gilbert, is a GSM Engineer at Waveguide Technologies.