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FIFA Secretary General urges Uganda to fast track new Sports Law

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura and Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga. PHOTO via  @fatma_samoura

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Secretary General of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), Fatma Samoura urged Parliament of Uganda to fast track amendments to the Sports Law.

Samoura made the statement when she paid a courtesy call to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga on Monday afternoon.

She noted that the government of Uganda pledged that it would amend the National Council of Sports Act, 1964 by 2018 but this has not been done to date.

The government has in the recent past promised to bring the Sports and Physical Activity bill to Parliament so as to repeal the National Council of Sports (NCS) Act and address deficiencies in the management and administration of the sports sub sector. Cabinet is yet to approve the bill.

NCS is mandated to administer the sports sub sector which includes monitoring operations and also extend government funding to various sports associations and federations.

The Federation for Uganda Football Associations – FUFA is among the 48 sports associations and federations currently recognized by NCS.

Now, Samoura says that the current law is a challenge because FUFA’s legal status is not compatible with FIFA regulations. Therefore, amendments to the sports law will address the challenge, particularly the steps FUFA will be required to take to register its affiliation with FIFA

She says that her visit is an opportunity to remind officials about the need for a new sports law.

The Speaker, Kadaga says that  she will ask the new sports minister, Hamson Obua on the progress of the bill and when it will be brought to Parliament for further scrutiny and enactment.

Kadaga said that she was excited to meet Samoura in person, having watched her on TV giving interviews on her job as the first African and first female to hold the position of FIFA Secretary General.

Kadaga lauded FIFA for extending $6million US dollars (approximately Shs 22 billion) annually to FUFA, but also urges FIFA to consider funding more infrastructure projects in Uganda especially stadiums to promote football at the grassroots.

FUFA  has been receiving Shs 10 billion annually from government since July 2018 as the most funded sports association in Uganda.

Samoura also praised Kadaga and government of Uganda for supporting football.

Samoura, who hails from Senegal, was elected  FIFA Secretary General in May 2016. She is visiting Uganda on the invitation of FUFA to witness the launch of FUFA extended headquarters and also projects such as stadiums in Lugazi, Lungujja and FUFA Technical Training Centre, Njeru.

FUFA President, Moses Magogo informed Kadaga that Samoura will commission the FUFA headquarters, and also lauded FIFA for supporting the development of football in Uganda.

Samoura will inspect, evaluate and commission FUFA projects financed under the FIFA Forward Programme including the headquarter expansion. The headquarter expansion project commenced in 2018 as a result of the FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s visit to Uganda in 2017.

Her visit comes a month after FUFA President Moses Magogo returned to office after two months of suspension from all football-related activities. FIFA also fined him Shs 37 million for his role in the resale  of 2014 World Cup tickets.

She however declined to comment on the impact Magogo’s suspension and plea bargaining has had on FUFA- FIFA relationship.

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