Cracks amplify FUFA’s woes

Kampala, Uganda - An almost dysfunctional league, court battles, inflated managerial egos at the top of Ugandan football has characterized the country’s soccer atmosphere in recent years.

Now there is the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) finals taking place in South Africa where the national team, the Cranes are participating. Before a football was even kicked, the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) honchos were at it again…stealing headlines for all the wrong reasons; actually personal vendetta. 

Going for each other’s throats as well as pointing fingers at whoever they feel could be standing in their way…then the resignations have come in.

The high profile resignation of Rogers Mulindwa, FUFA’s publicist brings to the fore what hushed voices have always whispered…an internal war amongst these soccer administrators. After fighting off whoever they felt was interfering with their ‘thing’, they are now turning the guns on each other. 

Just as his ascension to the FUFA presidency was controversial, Eng. Moses Magogo, has seemingly succeeded in courting controversy; right from his days as the FUFA Competitions Committee Secretary. 

According to people who have known him for long, Magogo has always cut a figure of a no nonsense, tough talking leader who always believes he has answers to everything.

In his resignation letter, Mulindwa accuses Magogo of deliberately distorting what the federation had built over the past eight years.

An agitated Mulindwa while speaking to a local radio station put out a strong warning saying, “Unless he  (Magogo) changes the way he is managing FUFA, he will totally collapse. He has absolutely diverted from what we first agreed on way back in the Lawrence Mulindwa led regime. All he is doing are signs of a falling government.”

However some soccer pundits argue that the stepping down of Lawrence Mulindwa as FUFA president last year and Rogers’ resignation is just the tip of the iceberg. 

They claim that in-fighting, accountability issues and greed amongst the top brass in the federation is the problem and that is why the issue of domestic football is yet to be addressed. 

Rogers Mulindwa who is also on the CAF and CECAFA Media Committees cited conditions he termed as ‘unbearable’ and ‘unfriendly’ to favour his continued working with the Ugandan federation.

On the radio interview last week, he bemoaned the ‘unavailable information’ despite being the person responsible to unleash the message to the different media groups and the general community.

 “Every time I sought clarification on the different matters within the federation, I could not get the information. Therefore, I cannot continue to work under that kind of environment”, said.

Mulindwa also castigates Magogo for being dictatorial to declare himself the Chairperson of the Sponsorship and Television Committee.

“He used that position to influence a clause that whoever brings on board a sponsor gets 20 percent commission. That implied, for the Airtel Sponsor he lured through his personal company (Pearl Sporto), he earns a cool Ush800m ($308,000) per year. Can you imagine all this?” he questioned. 

Pearl Sporto is also said to be the company that has been printing all the home games matchday tickets of the Uganda Cranes as well as organizing air travel for fans going for the national team’s away engagements. 

Then there is that television money from Rwanda friendly Game (it ended 0 – 0).

“We got a local television station that agreed to show the game with a certain amount. When I asked the president about that money, I did not get a satisfactory answer. This is being unaccountable, and I cannot continue to work under such conditions of failure to account for funds received”, he concluded.

Though Mulindwa accuses Magogo of distorting what they put in place, in some footballing corridors, it is said that they are leaving behind chaos. 

The trio, Magogo and the two Mulindwas were in the same administration which resulted into the country having two parallel leagues, more court battles that crippled football activities, defunct women football, and numerous failures to qualify for continental tournaments. 

Ugandan football has over the years has been characterized by infighting, formation of rival camps and power struggles. Could Rogers Mulindwa be headed in the same direction? 

Is he coming out of the administration so he can prepare himself for the big office in years to come from the outside? 

One thing that the resignation of Rogers Mulindwa points to for sure is the that new battle lines have been drawn by these two former friends. As it has been we wait to see how further events unfold.