It is more than a week since Moses Hashim Magogo assumed the Fufa presidency but it did not create the buzz that normally comes with such an elevation.
Understandably, it was overshadowed by The Cranes buildup to the World Cup qualifier against Senegal. I have no doubt Magogo has what it takes to fill the heavy boots left by Lawrence Mulindwa but he has his work cut out if he doesn’t reach out to every football stakeholder.
I got to know Magogo way back in 1997 through his critical articles about the direction of SC Villa, a club he supported. Later in 2000, while playing for Kinyara FC, Magogo started to actively participate in sports talk shows on radio.
That platform endeared him to the public and by the time he was elected the Fufa delegate for Lubaga, Magogo had cut out a niche as one of the most knowledgeable persons about football management. In no time, Fufa appointed him to run the Super League.
He regularly called to ask about a few events and results. I loved his zeal to learn about the past plus his detailed approach to compiling football statistics. However, it was until Mulindwa appointed him Fufa vice president [Administration], that Magogo became the central figure in Ugandan football management.
Much as Mulindwa called the tunes at Fufa, Magogo was the enforcer. His initiative of the Big League greatly improved competition in the lower divisions and saved us hockey score lines in the topflight. That said, Magogo cut out a figure of an arrogant bully who viewed things his way. He has been the central figure in administration wrangles.
Now that he has taken over the Fufa hot seat at the height of controversy and confusion regarding Fufa’s legality, I expect Magogo to seek dialogue with those in ‘opposition.’ The good thing is that Magogo has closely worked with some of his biggest critics and having been at the frontline in the battles, he is well aware of the root of the problem.
Magogo cannot afford to ignore his critics the way Mulindwa did. The latter’s big pockets could afford to facilitate his programmes. Without delay, Magogo should reach out to Uganda Super League Limited (USLL) and mend fences.
In this era of professional football, corporates find it difficult to associate with a body engaged in endless court battles. Then again, I still believe Fufa should not run the topflight league for one major reason that much as the federation can claim it is in the interest of football as a whole, the topflight should first serve the interests of the clubs involved.
Besides, Fufa has a lot of food on its plate. From the various national teams (including underage and women teams) to supervision of federation programmes to all football competitions, Fufa needs to delegate roles. Magogo’s term is four years but he should see to it that Fufa prepares a deliberate ten-year programme regardless of who will be Fufa president.
Magogo should see to it that he maintains The Cranes as a brand. This is gigantic challenge due to the fact thathis predecessor injected in personal money. So, what he has to do is to convince government on the importance of having the team at top level.
He should see to it that government picks the bills of the national team coach. He should also re-negotiate the previous Cranes deals which I think were poorly negotiated—but since some are about to expire, he should not negotiate at a “weak man’s” point of view, he should come out boldly and see to it that, the team benefits more than before.
Magogo should also ensure that structures work. This business of everything revolving around the Fufa president should stop.
I want to see each of the officials picked at his position given chance to work. But this can only be done, if Magogo and his executive pick right people in right positions.
I wish you well…
Magogo fact file
The author is Operations Director of The Observer Media Ltd.