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Fufa wrangle: government should provide leadership

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations is again embroiled in a leadership wrangle. Former footballer Daniel Walusimbi says the
group he leads, which includes former Fufa bosses and former national team captains, is the rightful association to manage football in the country.

Recently, Walusimbi and his group raided Fufa headquarters in Mengo with a view to evicting Moses Magogo’s administration. Some of Fufa’s property was vandalized and the police had to intervene to restore order.

Walusimbi’s group has now dragged football’s world governing body, Fifa, to the international sports arbitration court (CAS), for recognizing Magogo’s ‘illegitimate’ administration.

This kind of confusion is not healthy for Ugandan football and the government needs to intervene and provide leadership.

First, the national football team, The Cranes, has just qualified for the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in 38 years. The last thing the manager and players need is a distracted team at Mengo.

Secondly, Walusimbi’s group did not spring out of the blue. Rather, it is a product of rules governing national sports associations – as laid down by the National Council of Sports.

Because the Fufa leaders refused to follow the law and register, Walusimbi and his group followed provisions in the regulations, registered, and obtained a Trusteeship Incorporation Certificate (TIC). Former lands minister Daudi Migereko tried to cancel the TIC but was overruled by the High court.

So, we now have a clash between the people with the legal mandate to run football and those with the political backing to remain in office. This is unfortunate, and if we were a country governed according to the rule of law, the government would be looking to enforce court decisions.

Granted, the situation is complicated and could have far-reaching implications for the much-loved game. In that case, the education and sports minister and National Council of Sports should quickly step in, talk to the two factions, and offer leadership on the legally-sustainable way forward.

We should not wait for the situation to get out of hand before taking action. Leadership is about the minimum this football-loving nation expects in a situation like this.

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