By James Bakama
World Cup qualifier
Saturday, 10pm (Ugandan time)
Senegal v Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni’s offer to transport soccer fans to Morocco has awakened several Ugandans to the fact that a passport is something one should always have.
A big number of the fans chosen to travel to Marrakech for the make-or-break World Cup qualifier against Senegal could miss out on the trip for lack of travel documents.
Museveni, eager to have Uganda advance in the qualifiers of football’s top competition, last week offered sh559m so that 154 fans travel to the Moroccan tourist city to support the Cranes.
There are however fears that several of local football’s well known fans could miss out on tomorrow night’s flight because of lack of passports.
While some fans simply had no idea that passports would be required, others assumed that temporary travel documents like those common within East African Community members states, could be used to enter the North African state.
“We used these papers to enter Kenya for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in 2011, so why not also Morocco?” one fan questioned Federation of Uganda Football Associations officials.
But even for those fans who have passports, there are still issues.
Several fans were bitter on Wednesday on being told that they would have to part with $120 (sh312,000)to cater for a visa, internal transport from Casablanca to Marrakech and stadium entry.
Registration of fans is being handled jointly by FUFA and the Education and Sports Ministry.