The Budget Committee for the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda on Friday paid a visit to the FUFA Complex in Mengo, Kampala.
The courtesy visit was aimed at learning more about the activities of the Football governing body in Uganda and how the game of football is administered and governed.
FUFA President, Hon. Moses Magogo Hassim took the Budget Committee through a series of activities, including a presentation on FUFA and it’s development programmes.
“We think that Parliament is an important player in our activities. Understanding FUFA is very crucial because very many times people don’t know who we are,” the President indicated.
“Many people at times define us by the Uganda Cranes but FUFA runs 9 National Teams and different domestic Competitions. We are private in nature, comprised of 34 Members, spread across the country.”
The President then expressed the challenges that the football industry faces and why Government must offer support in averting them.
“Football has moved from just being a sport but rather a business. Therefore, we not only fall under the sports industry but cut across other sectors such as health, tourism and investment among others. Challenges such as the sports law, funding, infrastructure and policies need the hand of government.” He explained.
He also stated that FUFA contributes to the National Treasury through paying taxes and thus more investment into football would widen the country’s tax base.
“Recently, URA listed FUFA a big tax payer. We pay over one billion shillings in taxes annually. So more investment into this sector would generate more revenue to the Government.”
The Committee was then taken on a guided tour of the FUFA Premises, including offices and 102.1 FUFA fm Studios. They later also had a tour of the Kadiba Training Facility in Mengo that is still under construction.
FUFA 1st Vice President, Justus Mugisha who is also the head of projects and infrastructure at the Federation believes the visit by the Budget Committee means a lot in taking the game closer to Parliament and Government in general.
“This is a great opportunity for football to get to places where decisions are made. And we are blessed that the Committee Chairman and FUFA President sit on the Budget Committee of Parliament.”
Hon. Patrick Isiagi Opolot, the Budget Committee Chairman who is also a Member of Parliament for Kachumbala Constituency lauded FUFA for the strides made towards growth of football in the country.
“I must confess that football has developed and made strides under the leadership of Hon. Moses Magogo. The fruits are evident and the success achieved in recent times is not by accident.” said Isiagi who served as the FUFA treasurer in the early 2000s.
He also thanked FUFA for taking the initiative to put up different projects, especially the Kadiba Training facility.
“I’m very excited to find that FUFA through FIFA funding is in the process of developing a stadium. There is no way sports can develop without infrastructure and with such projects, the future is definitely bright. We shall also make efforts to push government to embrace this good cause and maybe have the such facilities across the country.”
Hon. Michael Lulume Bayigga, a member on the committee was impressed with how FUFA runs its activities and promised to advocate for more support through Parliament.
“Today’s visit to FUFA has been an eye opener for most of us. We have come to learn that football is a big investment area and if supported well could be of value to the country. Therefore, as a Committee we shall go back to Parliament and make a case for football and Sports in general to have more attention in areas of funding and infrastructure.”
Such visits are deliberate efforts that FUFA makes to reach out to both external and internal stakeholders of the game of football.
Budget Committee Members that visited FUFA
Hon. Patrick Isiagi Opolot – Chairman
Hon. James Kaberuka Ruugi – Kinkizi West
Hon. Pascal Mbabazi – Buwekula
Prof. Elijah Mushemeza – Mawoggola North
Hon. Gyaviira Ssemwanga- Buyamba County
Hon. Paul Omara – Otuke County
Hon. Maxwell Patrick Akora – Maruzi
Hon. Amos Kankunda – Rwampara
Hon. Wilfred Nuwagaba – Ndorwa West
Hon.Moses Aleper – Chekwi
Hon. Donald Katalilwa Byabazaire – Mwenge South
Hon.Brenda Namukuta – District Woman Representative, Kaliro.
Hon. Michael Lulume Bayigga – Buikwe South
Hon.Dennis Nyangweso – MP Samia Bugwe Central
Hon. Geoffrey Ekanya – Tororo
Hon. Annet Mugisha Katusiime – District Woman Representative, Bushenyi