KAMPALA -The Federation of Uganda Football Associations –Fufa operated on a deficit of Ugx1.5b in the last financial year, due to the government’s regulatory body – the National Council of Sports –NCS’ refusal to release all the funds appropriated to football body, parliament heard on Thursday.
Moses Hassim Magogo – the Fufa Supremo told Parliament’s select committee inquiring into the operations of NCS that his body received only Ugx8.5b under unclear circumstances..
The committee, which Speaker of Parliament, Annet Anita Among commission followed inconsistencies in appropriation of funds to the sports sub-sector. The MPs questioned the criteria in appropriating money to different sports federations.
In the financial year 2021/2022, Fufa was allocated a budget of Ugx10b, but Magogo told the committee that although the expenses had been ring-fenced, NCS only released Ugx8.5b.
“Whereas the Ministry of Finance released 100 per cent sports funding for financial year 2021/2022, Fufa did not receive the expected Ugx10b as directed by the Treasury to NCS. Council used its own prioritisation and paid Fufa only Ugx8.5b,” reported Magogo, who is also the MP representing Budiope East, Buyende district.
Magogo narrated that when tasked Dr Bernard Ogwel to explain – the NCS General Secretary said that the money had been used to prepare for the Commonwealth Games, yet, according to him, the Ministry of Finance had already released to Council Ugx7.1b to cater for the Birmingham event.
In regard to the current financial year 2022/2023 budget, Magogo said that Fufa as of December 8 had received a total of Ugx2.878b in two instalments. He said that Council first disbursed Ugx400m on August 29, 2022 while an additional Ugx 2.478b was received on October 28.
Magogo explained that for Council to apportion a budget to the football body, a work plans and related cost estimates for the upcoming financial year had to be submitted, around the month of September.
“Since the financial years 2018/2019 to 2021/2022, Fufa has a communication of Ugx10b ring-fenced from the Secretary to Treasury and the work plans have been always submitted to fit in that amount,” added Magogo.
He explained further that for the current financial year 2022/2023, the football body has a letter from the Clerk to Parliament to the NCS indicating the resolution of Parliament, which designated Ugx17.131b as the appropriation for Fufa – to which a fitting work plan had been submitted.
The Select Committee Chairperson, Laura Kanushu directed Fufa leadership to submit the work plans, employed staff lists and other documents regarding financing from government.
Relatedly, Magogo told the select committee that the absence of adequate infrastructure is affecting the growth of football in the country. He said that for the past two years, Namboole Stadium has been closed, forcing them to hire St. Mary’s Stadium – Kitende to host national team activities at a cost of Ugx80m for each appearance.
The committee is expected to interface again with Council officials after meeting managers of different federations.
However, while appearing before the committee on Tuesday, Dr Ogwel said that Council apportions funds through resolutions on prioritisation of ‘niche or priority sports,’ which have a comparative advantage for Uganda.
The country currently has a total of 51 registered sports federations, but many according Sports Minister, Peter Ogwang are merely extant on paper.
“The National Council of Sports formulated funding guidelines to streamline support extended to the different federations or associations.
“Whereas some preliminary work has been done, the conclusion of the funding guidelines is awaiting the input of the Attorney General since 2019,” said D. Ogwel.
He further explained that Council on February 10, 2021, formulated interim funding guidelines to strengthen the criteria currently used for the allocation of funds under a scale of preference that ranks major games as first priority, followed by qualifiers, ranking of a particular sports federation, compliance to statutory provisions and requirements like accounting.