Ahead of the impending Fufa polls, the magic number on every candidate’s mind is 45.
Of the 88 Fufa delegates who elect the Fufa president, a successful candidate needs at least 45 votes to be assured of victory.
Another fact is that the current Fufa regime led by Moses Magogo is very unpopular with the biggest voting block called Uganda Premier League clubs.
These 16 clubs have made no secret of their disdain for Fufa’s continued mistreatment when it comes to sponsorship as well as denying them a voice in the Fufa executive.
Already, we have in place a UPL board that does not reflect the will or interest of clubs (No single club chairman sits on it) as well as the third Fufa vice president in charge of UPL clubs, Florence Nakiwala, yet she does not represent a single club. Even as she goes about lobbying clubs to return her, it is clear her stay will further take football into the doldrums.
As if that squeeze on UPL is not enough, Fufa is now going for an all-out purge to destroy UPL influence in Ugandan football through the upcoming polls.
The federation has also never shied away from this because UPL clubs are its biggest threat. This is being done through introduction of clauses in Fufa and UPL statutes.
For instance, whereas UPL is an entity that is supposed to lobby on its own, Fufa has diluted this authority by ensuring clubs will not have the power to elect the vice president in charge of UPL.
Instead, that mandate has been put to the floor, meaning that a representative of women’s football will determine who represents UPL clubs on the executive.
I can safely say the UPL board has been reduced to working as a clearing house for Fufa’s needs. But however much Fufa suppresses the UPL clubs, the end of Magogo and company is nigh because the clubs have unlimited potential to influence other delegates.
And those other delegates are not as daft as Magogo wants them to believe through giving them Shs 1m every AGM before demanding it back as nomination fees of Shs 200,000 and Shs 500,000 for those vying to become delegates and regional chairpersons respectively.
Here is a man who allocates himself a budget of Shs 200m annually for his personal disposal but wants delegates to believe he has their best interests yet giving them peanuts.
In the prevailing circumstances, the best candidate will be the one that promises to overhaul the Fufa structure that has a handful of haves at the top and the have-nots who do the donkey work. Each segment has to be independent and lobby for its interests instead of lumping everyone into an amorphous structure.
This is the only way people running Fufa will be accountable to stakeholders on top of attracting serious investors in the game.
The author is Nyamityobora FC president.