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Woodball Federation in UGX 500m debt after hosting world cup

Uganda Woodball Federation President Mark Paul Kayoing and collegues

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda Woodball Federation (UWF) is stuck with a debt of 500 million shillings after hosting the 2nd Beach World Cup Woodball championship.  

Uganda emerged second after Chinese Taipei, after winning six gold medals and four silver medals at the event that ended on Friday.  

The Uganda Woodball Federation President, Paul Kayongo says that the body is stuck with debts that were accumulated from hosting the event. 17 countries participated in the tournament.

He is however optimistic that government will pay the debt after it committed to finance the international event.

Kayongo says that in 2018, the federation informed the government that it had beaten Taiwan in the bid to host the World Cup.     

Last November, the International Woodball Federation General Assembly announced that Uganda would host the event from May 25th to 31st 2019.

Kayongo says that after that announcement, they submitted a budget of 900 million shillings to the governing body, National Council of Sports-NCS.    

However, by beginning of this month, the government and the federation had slashed the budget to 400 million shillings.

Despite the budget cuts, the federation received shillings 50 million out of shillings 400 million expected from government through NCS.

Kayongo says that besides the funds, the federation received 8 million shillings from the office of the mayor of Entebbe and shillings 80 million from the Chinese embassy in Uganda. 

According to Kayongo, the federation was able to host the World Cup by also borrowing to supplement the shillings 138 million received from government and well-wishers.  

However, Kayongo says that some unexpected costs were incurred during the tournament such as topping up US 20 Dollars as accommodation fees for seven international officials at the Peniel Beach Hotel, Entebbe. 

The Acting General Secretary for National Council of Sports, Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel contradicts Kayongo’s statements.  

Ogwel says that due to delays by the government to release the funds for the event, NCS borrowed money to avert what he called the “woodball crisis” and bankrolled shillings 182 million to the Federation of Woodball on May 25th, the opening day for the World Cup.   

He says out of the shillings 182 million, shillings 82 million was earmarked for the preparation and preparation of the Uganda National Woodball team that had 32 participants, four coaches and the technical crew.     

Ogwel says government is processing payment of shillings 412 million to the federation in fulfilment of its commitment to finance the international event.

Ogwel says that the government was not informed before the federation placed its bid to host the World Cup, but it nonetheless committed to finance the international event since it would promote the sport in the country as well.   

However, a cross section of Ugandans who spoke to URN don’t know about the sport. It was introduced in 2006 by Kayongo and Uganda is ranked number one in the African continent.

Kayongo admits that the sport is not as popular as football, netball and other ball games played in the country. However, he says that the federation plans to hold regional wood ball development programmes, train instructors and also establish a standard woodball course and club house to improve awareness of the new sport.   

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