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Ezra rewards Cranes stars with sh178m

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th September 2007 03:00 AM

MICHAEL Ezra delivered on his promise to reward the Cranes stars with $100,000 (sh178m) for the September 8 Nations Cup victory over Niger at Namboole Stadium.

MICHAEL Ezra delivered on his promise to reward the Cranes stars with $100,000 (sh178m) for the September 8 Nations Cup victory over Niger at Namboole Stadium.

By Fred Kaweesi

Africa Nations Cup
October 12

Togo v Mali
S. Leone v Benin


MICHAEL Ezra delivered on his promise to reward the Cranes stars with $100,000 (sh178m) for the September 8 Nations Cup victory over Niger at Namboole Stadium.

A quickly organised hand over ceremony, without the knowledge of soccer governing body FUFA, took place at Sheraton Hotel and was attended by three South Africa-based professionals Timothy Batabaire, Denis Onyango and Geoffrey Sserunkuuma. Their return air tickets were also paid for by Ezra.

FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa however sounded despondent for not being invited for the function.

“As much as we appreciate what Ezra has done for Cranes, I am not happy with the way the function was handled,” Mulindwa complained.

“Calling players from abroad is the responsibility of the federation and we should have been involved but we were not. I am only learning of the ceremony from other people.”

FUFA revealed last week that they spent sh1.8b in total to fund Cranes training and preparations over six months.
Kaizer Chiefs star David Obua and Geoffrey Massa, who turns out for Jomo Cosmos were unable to secure permission to leave their respective clubs.

All the 16 players on the Cranes team that faced Niger made off with $5000 (sh9m), while coach Laszlo Csaba picked $15,000 (sh26m).

Assistant coaches Polly Ouma and Jackson Mayanja were rewarded with $2500 (sh4.4m) each. All money was paid in cash.

The European-based legion of Ibrahim Sekagya (Austria), Nestroy Kizito (Serbia), Abubaker Tabula (Sweden), Andrew Mwesigwa (Iceland) and Noah Kasule (Armenia) had their share wired to their accounts.

Cranes assistant captain Batabaire was elated. “Ezra has completely changed the face of Ugandan football. There were times when Ugandan players were a laughing stock but that will certainly never be,” Batabaire said.

“What we (Cranes) can only wish for him (Ezra) is wisdom and guidance from God. He and FUFA president Mulindwa have helped the team and Government should emulate them.”

Ezra announced his arrival in Ugandan football in October last year after bailing Cranes with air tickets worth over sh60m before their trip to Niger. Uganda last participated at the finals held in 1978.

Ezra rewards Cranes stars with sh178m

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