Over the weekend, Moses Magogo, the Fufa president, told the media that he intends to represent football interests in parliament while at the same time serving as Fufa president.
Magogo, who was disgraced in 2019 for stealing World Cup tickets meant for Ugandans and suspend-ed for two months by Fifa, tried his luck in politics and emerged as the new Budiope East MP in the recent elections. In his eight-year tenure, Magogo has president over the fall of domestic football to the extent that the Uganda Premier League has become a laughing stock.
Whereas he has somehow managed to maintain the profile of The Cranes with back-to-back qualifications to the Africa Cup of Nations, the reality on the ground is tear-jerking. Fufa gets about Shs 10bn annually from the National Council of Sports not to mention Fifa grants and sponsorship packages worth more than $1m but there is hardly anything tangible to show for apart from end-less workshops and seminars to talk shop.
Football investors have dried up after being frustrated and running of the sport has been left to a small clique Magogo loyalists. It is for this reason that I find it weird for Magogo to claim he joined parliament to promote football.
For a man who has presided over the death of domestic football, it was only logical for him to quit Fufa and concentrate on representing the people of Budiope instead of lying to the public that he is going to front football issues in parliament.
For starters, there are several genuine football MPs in parliament; people like Mwine Mpaka, Allan Sewanyana, Bernard Atiku and Patrick Isiagi, among others, who personally inject money to keep the sport alive through clubs, unlike Magogo who reaps from the sport.
So, for Magogo to state that he plans to serve as MP while at the same time he is Fufa president is simply greed reigning over common sense. His tactic is simple; make football so unattractive to investors and have no threat. Have praise singers and rule comfortably.
So, it is high time government interested itself in how football is run in the country or else The Cranes will continue to mask the rot so much so that by the time government wakes up, it will be too little too late.
Promotion of football has to involve developing a new policy to throw out jobseekers in the game. Government needs to use football as a tool of mobilising youth into a collective group. Anything short keeps us in football mediocrity.
The author is Nyamityobora FC president