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Uganda Cranes need government help

Milutin Sredojevic, Coach of Uganda leads his team through warm up during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 17 January 2017
Milutin Sredojevic, Coach of Uganda leads his team through warm up during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 17 January 2017

Moses Magogo, the president of the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA), has called on government to take more care of the national team if they hope to build on recent successes.

The Cranes qualified for their first Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 38 years when they reached the finals in Gabon in January, and also won the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup back in 2015.

However, they have made headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, with highly sought-after coach Milutin Sredojevic resigning last week as he is still owed around $64,000 in wages and bonuses.

Magogo also reveals that they have not paid full win bonuses to the players who picked up a 1-0 away win against Cape Verde in a recent 2019 Afcon qualifier.

"We have several programmes to attend to and the cash flow is spread out," he tells KweséESPN. "We only managed to pay them half of what they are meant to get.

"We have explained that when we get more money they will get paid."

Each player reportedly receives $2,500 as a winning bonus for qualifiers for big tournaments like Afcon and the World Cup, as well as a $500 appearance fee.

Magogo wants the government to take care of the national teams like it is done in countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon, adding: "I think we are really doing well considering the circumstances."

Uganda's state minister for sports, Charles Bakkabulindi, says the government is ready to take up the role of hiring and paying for the national coach.

"We want to be in charge of hiring the national coach right from advertising through the proper procedures and also discuss the remuneration," Bakkabulindi told KweséESPN, adding that they were in no position to pay Sredojevic.

"The Federation has been pushing us to cater for the national coach, but we could not do that when we are not the ones who hired."

However, Magogo reasons that the government cannot hire a national coach because they do not know what kind of coach the teams need.

"It would be good for the government to come out and decide how much they can pay for the coach, and they discuss with him and agree in the initial stage. [But] hiring a football coach is not like hiring an office assistant."

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