It is possible that Walusimbi and group are self-seekers, out to topple Magogo, replace him with one of them.
By David Mukholi
Something is not right with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA). A group of former national players led by Dan Walusimbi have in the past month raised fundamental issues about the management of the football body which is headed by Moses Magogo.
On at least two occasions the group has stormed FUFA House in Mengo in Kampala in a bid to oust Magogo whom they accuse of mismanaging FUFA. Their move, coming at the time when Uganda Cranes under Magogo's reign qualified for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after 38, years seems like a futile attempt to get into the limelight. During their days they sparkled at home, but flopped in all their away games. Their losses kept Uganda out of the continental showpiece. In other words, they flopped and, therefore, should not be making noise about FUFA and Magogo.
It is possible that Walusimbi and group are self-seekers, out to topple Magogo, replace him with one of them ahead of AFCON. If this is their intention, then the timing is wrong. Having worked hard, Magogo cannot let go now. He will fight tooth and nail to stay FUFA president; maybe his ambition is to stay on until 2029, according to his supporters, among whom some could be more of hangers on. Whereas it is true that Magogo has made significant contribution to football, Walusimbi and company could have genuine grievances.
This week, Walusimbi dragged the Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He accuses the international football body of recognising Scoreline Investment, formerly trading as FUFA Limited, as the national football association. If the former national player has his facts right, then there are several questions that need to be answered for Ugandans to understand what is happening and how football is managed?
How can FIFA recognise Scoreline Investments as the national football association? Who misled FIFA? And what was the intention?
In one of the raids on FUFA House the former national players in the company of John Baptist Ssemanobe, former FUFA president, claimed Scoreline was the company managing the FUFA technical centre in Njeru, Buikwe district. This raises more questions about how a centre built using FIFA funds to develop football in Uganda is under the management of Scoreline, Should FUFA not be in charge?
What is the relationship between FUFA, FIFA and Scoreline? Who are Scoreline's shareholders? Under what arrangement is the company managing the centre?
In some circumstances, it is not wrong to source out the management of such a facility, but the questions is how were the bids invited and was the selection process^ competitive and transparent?
Not only has Walusimbi and company questioned the legality of FUFA, but also the ownership of FUFA House in Mengo Kampala. The building houses FUFA offices and was constructed from a FIFA grant meant to develop football.
If Walusimbi is to be believed, then the ownership of FUFA House has been transferred to Nkwanga Construction Company. So, what has a construction company got to do with football in Uganda? How can FUFA House, the home of football associations in Uganda, be under the construction company? Who owns this company? If it is true that it owns FUFA House, how did it acquire the ownership?
As per the sports Act, FUFA is required to register with the National Council of Sports (NSC). But FUFA is not registered as claimed by Walusimbi and group. So, is FUFA above the law or it does not exist? FUFA exists because it has a president, a chief executive officer and a management structure. Its existence can also be ascertained in its bid to promote football and managing the Uganda Cranes. This also triggers more questions. Is it in FUFA's mandate to manage Uganda Cranes? Is the team a recognised entity? On several occasions, President Yoweri Museveni has facilitated the team by providing it with money. Who manages and accounts for this money? Is it FUFA or the Uganda Cranes? What about the gate collections? How much is raised? What is Uganda Cranes' share? Or how much of this money is used to fund the national team? Why is it that years ago the team never depended on bailouts as today?
FUFA has launched a sh6b fundraising drive to facilitate the team to Gabon for AFCON in January. If raised, in addition to sponsorship from Airtel, NIC, Nile Breweries and Bank of Africa and anticipated contribution from the President, it could amount to large sums. And if it is true that each team that qualifies for AFCON gets $1.5m then Uganda Cranes has more than enough it needs for the campaign.
The big question is what is the NCS doing about FUFA's unclear status?