Byamukama

FUFA Executive member and marketing director Rogers Byamukama has told Pepper Sport that comparing football to boxing in terms of numbers and impact is a no topic to debate because football is far ahead world over. This arises from a petition to National council of sports (NCS) by Uganda boxing federation (UBF) President Moses Muhangi against FUFA’s quest for Shs10bn from the Shs17bn NCS budget for 2018/19. Byamukama explained that the money in contention (Shs10bn) was a directive of the president His Excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 2nd/01/2018 when he invited the football (Cranes) and netball (She Cranes) national team for a dinner at his country home in Rwakitura, Mbarara. The president wanted to send off the Cranes team to last year’s CHAN and also congratulate the She Cranes upon their winning of the African title. According to Byamukama, the president asked for both football and netball budgets and when tabled, he promised to work on them –hence the supplementary directive to ministry of finance since the line ministry had no budget.  “He (Muhangi) says, in his document to NCS, that FUFA wants Shs10bn from the 2019/20 budget and you wonder how he even knows how much will be allocated to sports in a yet to come financial year when the current financial year is yet to expire. “The Shs10bn budget includes the national team travels, team bonuses, head and assistant coach salaries, monthly salary of 50 Cranes players (Shs1m each), team travel and the Fufa Drum tournament. FUFA was part of the budget negotiations with the ministry of finance and we (Fufa) were given our Shs10bn as directed by the president. But NCS had been allocated Shs2bn only –which we as Fufa opposed. With further negotiations, the finance ministry added Shs5bn –which added up to Shs17bn in total as NCS budget –with Fufa (Shs10bn) as a priority for funding and the budget was passed in parliament of Uganda,” explained Byamukama. He advised Muhangi that instead of attacking Fufa who have worked their way to achieving the contested feat, he should organise attractive boxing tournaments and also submit UBF activity plan to NCS to justify the funding he seeks like Fufa does. “Boxing had almost no activity in the recent past. however, NCS has funded their tournaments after Muhangi brought back the rhythm. Muhangi should not think of NCS funding his federation’s budget, no! Fufa’s budget is Shs34bn and government contributed less than 30% of which is strictly on the national team. Government funds national teams as a supplementary and talent development is done by federations. Let Muhangi organise sustainable, consistent and attractive competitions to attract more government funding and sponsorship from the private sector, rather than attacking a brand of Fufa whose brand equity is far beyond,” added Byamukama. In regard to contested Fufa success, Byamukama lectured Muhangi that success comes with brand equity and impact. Uganda qualifying for AFCON gives government more PR and visibility globally than an international boxing medal. “He does not want to admit but that is the truth. In terms of numbers, I am shocked that he debates this. A football team travels with a minimum of 35 but boxing, as an individual sport, a team of one boxer can represent the country wins the medal. And this exactly shows how the budget can’t be same. We have many professional players, who bring in foreign exchange, foreign teams and fans bring in foreign exchange and pay for Visa fees, we pay 18 VAT on every game, we employ youths directly and indirectly and we also command private sector investment in sports because of the popularity; that is why he (Muhangi) mentions numerous Fufa sponsors. When we visit or hosts teams from abroad, the country bi-lateral relationships are strengthened and that is why the Fufa Drum was sponsored by the head of state to engage more youth because football is the only sport played everywhere and anywhere across the country. That is what is called success and not medals from invitational tournaments,” added Byamukama, who urged Muhangi to learn from those he wants to pull down, and also work together with other federations to cause improved sports funding from government rather than fighting with other focused federations. 

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