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Fufa’s patronage approach killing domestic football

Albert Einstein’s famous quote that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a true depiction of the current state of Ugandan.

In a country where the domestic top-flight league has long been written off for some years, some deluded people in Fufa were expecting a miracle at the African Nations Championship (Chan). And that is after Uganda qualified for the tournament after eliminating bogey nations like Somalia and Burundi.

Ugandan football is just too rotten to produce serious results at an international level and the level of mediocrity exhibited by the players is actually a reflection of the expectations of the managers and administrators. It is an open secret that to be summoned to the national team, some players have to part with something.

Others often use their closeness to the powerbrokers to find their place in the team. It is this patronage that continues to wreak havoc in the team to the extent that even coach Johnathan McKinstry is not in charge. For instance, Hamid ‘Midi’ Juma, the head of the Fufa committee that monitors and supervises the national team, offers little apart from being the conduit between players and the coach.

A renowned football politician and diehard of Moses Magogo, he has never played or coached the game. Yet for some reason, he keeps that position ahead of young technically astute people. For one, Magogo never appoints people on competence because he sees them as threats to his popularity.

He prefers the yes-men who will simply dance to his tunes without questioning anything. Surely, what can Midi help McKinstry to improve the team in this modern age of the game? The patronage in Fufa extends to who plays for the national team.

Brian Aheebwa had shone as a bright light in a dull Uganda Premier League and showcased his potential in the friendly games before Chan but when it came for him to prove his potential at the big stage, he was sidelined for ageing players.

On the surface, it may look as if Fufa wanted to win at all costs but in reality, this was done for patronage, where some players in good books of power were given preference to youngsters.

When the team embarks on a fresh campaign, Fufa will use the same template of patronage and will convince Ugandans that the time is now to win the Africa Cup of Nations. Either Fufa takes us for granted or football stakeholders are just gullible.

The author is Nyamityobora FC president


0 #1 Eric L 2021-02-05 14:48
Very revealing observations.
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0 #2 Anthony ADIMA 2021-02-07 09:16
Am very grateful to Ben Missaga for pointing this out.

Summons to the National team have never been on merit. It's only players from the VVEK group that are a lwsys summoned.

Even those without game time. And also players whose club hierarchy have connections with the powers that be.

There are players in the so called see small teams but have had much more impact in the league in their positions than those that were summoned. Fufa should get updated as and start using Data Analytics to summon players.
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