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Magogo speaks out on FUFA money

Magogo speaks out on FUFA money

Many questions have been asked on how FUFA spends its finances and why it failed to pay the coach and players’ bonuses. New Vision talked to FUFA president Moses Magogo.

How is FUFA doing?

We are moving according to plans. We believe we are doing well despite the circumstances in which we operate. In terms of delivery of objectives of the voters we can say we are over 95% with the year to go and we are ticking off.  We have strengthened the institution of FUFA in terms of self-governance, in terms of infrastructure and in terms of facilities and the human resource.

We have improved on the revenue streams and at the same time managed the existing revenue prudently and also created relationships with people outside the institution. There were many factions within FUFA but as we see today there is almost no battle. In a number of areas we have technically improved the game itself—the national team qualification (for African Cup of Nations, AFCON), under 17 League, women, beach soccer etc.

How did we do it such that in 2019 we repeat it and it becomes a culture?

It’s how much we invest as a country into sport. If we don’t invest as a country from the tax basket we reap what we sow. We can have a qualification like this one where people have sacrificed but at the end of the day it’s not sustainable arraignment. We have qualified such that we can be listened to because nobody was listening to us.

The budget for sport is 0.06% and it does not go to FUFA. It goes to national council (of sports), physical education department and at the end of the day when you look at what would have come in the budget to FUFA is sh4m. Sh4m can’t even buy one ticket for Luwagga Kizito to come and play match.

Whatever we have been getting from government has been on President Museveni’s budget of State House, but that should not be the way we operate because you can’t plan on that money and without planning everything else becomes expensive. Secondly, government must provide infrastructure because sport requires infrastructure. Even the little grounds we have been sold off.

But you said it would take Uganda some years to qualify for AFCON, so were you surprised when we qualified recently?

I wasn’t surprised and you must remember when I said that. I qualified myself statement with eight pillars that we need to address. And whereas we have not reached the maximum of each of these pillars there has been something done in each of these pillars. For example, we said without government support you can’t qualify.

 

But we have seen that out of the six matches we played we got support for one and half matches and we won that game away in Comoros by government support. So hadn’t we received it at all probably maybe we would have still been on the same story. It was not by accident. At least internally we knew our game plan. Externally, yes, people looked at the project of 2019 which is still a project ongoing but there was a strategy internally that we were executing

Do you agree that top among the reasons for Cranes’ dismal performance has been repeated cases of financial indiscipline allegedly by top FUFA officials?

We need to look at the other countries that normally qualify for Africa Cup of Nations finals (AFCON) and ask what they do before you can look at Uganda. Out of the 15 countries that have qualified for AFCON only Uganda is not financed by government. And then we are talking about financial impropriety. Loot at even our neighbours—Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan—their national teams’ expenses are fully paid for by government but they have not qualified. And when you come back to our federation and say, “You who have qualified have misused your own resources which you generate.” Are we the best institution in generating resources that our neighbours can’t do? Would that be the comparative?

Two, look at our sources of revenue. Everybody looks at the gates in Namboole. For every time you see that stadium 25% of those people have not paid for some reason and it’s our culture and we are comfortable with it. Almost 10,000 people in that stadium don’t pay and what are the deductions that come off the money of those who have paid? You will pay for the stadium because it’s not for free, only this game of Comoros could be sh100m, you will pay VAT (18%) and you will pay for the Police.

Now we have not even touched the other expenses about the match and you will do that for every game you are playing whether there is any collection or not. Since I have been in office the Cranes have played 76 international matches and we have got funding from government on seven occasions. If it has not been financial prudence, how have we been able to undertake 76 matches? Definitely by using money we earn from other sources.

Why don’t you pay players bonuses?

I get shocked every time somebody asks that question because I don’t know why we don’t conceptualize this question when we are asking it. We are talking about sh1b. Tell me one institution in Uganda that can release sh1b overnight? We get sponsorship from Airtel; some of the strongest institutions we talk about, it comes still in two parts every after six months. Yes the players will be paid their money and they know when they will be paid and they are not even complaining about it. We are engaging government because it can afford to pay that money.

And what about coach Micho?

Which country a federation pays the coach? All the countries we see around but they are not even posting any results the coaches are paid for by the governments. Why is it very okay that in Uganda actually the federation must be paying the coach?

Two, the coach has been here for 39 months; he has been paid for 36 months and this federation has actually attempted to pay the coach to the point that it’s only three months outstanding. We are very positive that there will be something coming out of the discussions we are having with the government on paying him. Still the federation will pay him if we don’t get support. However, we are doing it at the expense of development.

And before the game we would have paid the coach throughout because we were clearing everybody but we sat down and the coach took a decision. We said if we do not play Kenya—and that friendly of Kenya cost us about sh150m—we could have paid the coach and he has zero arrears. But we were preparing that team to win and qualify.  So even the coach said: “You know why, I rather qualify than being paid and the team has not qualified.”

But why did Micho come out publicly to complain that FUFA owes him areas in salary?

Our coach has a challenge to manage success. We all have our own way we express emotions and that why the federations decided to accept emotions at that time. He understands the situation of the federation and I don’t think anywhere he has faulted the federation. He understands how much we go through.

Yes he said: “I rather sacrifice until the match is played but maybe when we win the match there will be the country to appreciate and say okay these guys who have won the match what can we do for them”. That does not mean when everybody is quiet and happy the man who has bills that he has to pay should not be looked at. I sympathise with him.  Now in two weeks we are going to Ghana; where is that money coming from?

What about money you get from FIFA?

FIFA money is conditional grant for development. You can’t touch it and use it. Actually the regulations have just been changed. FIFA money was not supposed to be used on national team at all. So I get emotional on the matter of impropriety when in the circumstances of such meager resources we have been able to deliver. By the way, all other projects are moving without government support and we are also paying taxes.

 

There is no single project that has stalled and at the same we have achieved what we have not achieved for almost 40 years.  By the way that ball Farouk Miya used to score is not used anywhere and we pay sh100, 000 in taxes at the customs when it is imported. The referees don’t cost us less than sh70m only one game whether we play Egypt and we collect sh3m. We are paying over sh1b annually to FUFA staff.

So have you been sufficiently making accountabilities for these funds?

But we have never failed to account for the money. This question keeps coming up; I don’t know what answers I am going to give for people to understand. Accountability is done by any institution and there is a procedure of accountability. But there is always a financial year where it starts and ends. Ok and when the financial year has ended the staff prepare their accounts and they are proved by management and general assembly though audit. 

Auditors come here and look at every receipt, every voucher to approve that indeed these expenses were done. The moment this has been done we publish our books of accounts and put them on the noticeboards and share them with different stakeholders, including the government. I want to learn how accountability is done elsewhere. It’s just a smokescreen that has been put in the face of the people.

Every year we prepare audited books of accounts explaining our income, expenditure, creditors and the balance sheet which is the financial position of any institution. But when the game ends in Namboole somebody says these people don’t account because they have not told us how much has come out of the game.

 

And I ask: Which institution does its business like that? We account for every shilling and FIFA looks at our audited books of accounts and it gives us a certificate of accountability every year. What money haven’t we accounted for? Somebody will ask you about the Comoros game; even if I came out and told you this is how much. Do you have the access to the receipts, to the vouchers, to the tickets? It’s only the auditors who have those authorities to do that.

So should we hope all we go well?

The only way this whole issue can be solved is only by government intervention in terms of money. But I want to allay fears that we shall play at Gabon. Yes we have shortfall, we may not put up a decent performance because of haphazard preparations because we should prepare in the circumstances.

Is it because of corruption that government is reluctant to give you money?

No. I have not heard about that excuse. We have engaged government; it’s only that there have been other priorities. It has been a priority issue. In any case every single shilling we get from government we account for it and it’s easy. There is nobody in this country today who can waste a single shilling and the various institutions that exist do not take up this person. It can’t be a coincidence. If it is not working for football, it is not working for athletics and boxing.

And FIFA looks at our audited books of accounts and it gives us a certificate of accountability every year. What money haven’t we accounted for? Somebody will ask you about the Comoros game; even if I came out and told you this is how much. Do you have the access to the receipts, to the vouchers, to the tickets? It’s only the auditors who have those authorities to do that.

Some supporters, who didn’t watch the Comoros game but had tickets, have sued you demanding over sh15m in compensation. But why did you print more tickets than required?

Are you sure it was more tickets? This matter is before court and we will definitely file our defence and the matter will be solved. However, when there are many people in the stadium–and nobody can prove that incidentally apart from using eyes and think–it does not necessarily mean that actually more tickets were printed because there are so many routes that can be used by people to access that stadium.

For example there was a man who was caught by the security on the day (SFG) coming through the manhole entering the stadium. He was arrested. That is evidence that people access that stadium through very many routes.  I don’t know now which ticket he was using, printed by FUFA and is going through a manhole.  

I even took Andrew Kaweesi (police spokesperson), who was in charge at that time, after being tipped off by the concerned fan  to a policeman who was collecting sh2000 from every person getting inside the stadium. Now how are you going to count those people and the tickets they were using? Three, in the same stadium the gate was broken and people came inside the stadium. How are you going to count them? We need also to look at what happens at the gate. It’s not only FUFA that manages the gate; there are different parties and they must look at the tickets. And our FUFA people inclusive beat the system. Instead of using the tickets for some reasons they find their way inside the stadium.

How is Namboole Stadium?

That facility called Namboole is a disaster waiting to happen and it’s not within the control of FUFA or within its means. It was not completed as a facility and actually it shouldn’t be used. With Uganda going to AFCON the popularity of that team has gone up so having the capacity of 40,000 for a stadium is no longer possible.

 

The best thing we need to do is we need 60,000-sitter because every Uganda would want to get in. Two, the external perimeter fence of Namboole is weak and can be brought down by a few people. Now that is dangerous. 

Three, there are no sit-numbers if that facility had sit numbers and every ticket has sit number where would those that go through manholes sit? The sits in the stadium are done in a way you can’t share them. Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda have these sits. Four, we can’t play at night. The lighting system can’t support television. It’s just a miracle that we were able to change this game from 8pm to 5pm.

Look at the people who invaded the pitch, it’s not allowed and every match we are paying a fine of not less than $10, 000 by fans who jump. In other stadia you can’t jump, the moment you jump you jump into a tunnel.  We also need more than four gates to avoid congestion and people with tickets can access the stadium. There are also no electronic counter systems. We can’t manage that facility without CCTV. So it’s a wakeup call to look at very many things and we are engaging government to invest more money and make that stadium safe.

By the way, your term ends in September next year. How many years do you want to be at the helm of FUFA?

It’s not about how many years. I think the question should be: What do you want to do? If I do that in one day, that is good enough. I want to contribute to the turnaround of this industry such that we have a professional environment at the top and the mass environment at the bottom. My dream is to professionalize the game. It may not even come in my lifetime, but I want to put some blocks in place so that whoever comes cannot destroy what I have put in place but can only construct to continue what I have put in place.

This post was syndicated from The most recent articles . Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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