By Louis Jadwong
Parliament last week passed a new law that provides for dual citizenship. The Uganda Citizenship and Immigration Control (Amendment) Bill 2008 that awaits Presidential assent will give Ugandan sport a great opportunity to field many of her sons and daughters living abroad in international competitions.
What the law will give Ugandans abroad is flexibility; a choice and more opportunities. It will also give other sportspersons a chance to run or play football for Uganda without fearing to lose their parent citizenship.
Savio Nsereko, for example, a few years ago sought to play for Uganda at junior level. Faced with the option of renouncing his German citizenship for a Ugandan passport, the midfielder abandoned the idea.
What was Uganda's loss became Germany's gain, with Nsereko emerging the player of the tournament at the European U-19 Championships last year.
He has since moved to Premiership side West Ham and the opportunities Germany offers compared to Uganda made it difficult to court and return him to his land of birth.
The new law will make it easier for soccer governing body FUFA to convince Nsereko. Like Mali's Freddie Kanoute, Nsereko has only played for Germany at junior level and FIFA laws allow him to feature for Uganda at senior level if he chooses.
Athletics has suffered the most, and it should now be easier for many talented runners living at the border to elect to run for Uganda. Sports will surely be the first to welcome the new law.
Dual citizenship: Savio can still play for Cranes