In Summary
  • It was at the tail end of 2015 that Fufa president Moses Magogo convinced all and sundry that plans for the crumbling infrastructure were not caught in a gathering haze. Fufa, Magogo revealed then, would apply and, from the looks of it, obtain Fifa Goal Project V. A ferocious appetite for construction of infrastructure in five football regions would then ensue.
  • Empty promise? It was at the tail end of 2015 that Magogo convinced all and sundry that plans for the crumbling infrastructure were not caught in a gathering haze. Nothing has materialised and a couple of years later, the grand promise has morphed into the archetypal Orwellian windmill.

Sporting infrastructure in Uganda is the equivalent of the windmill in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Put plainly, there is complete unanimity that a building with distinctive vanes will make life better.

But while the windmill serves as a symbol for the dreams of the people, a dearth of planning applications means that, once it eventually falls through, the outcome will always be someone else’s fault.

If this sounds chillingly familiar, it is because, as your columnist earlier proffered, sporting infrastructure in this banana republic and the Orwellian windmill are cut out of the same stretch fabric.

It has not taken Sébastien Desabre long to notice how the two are joined at the hip. In a wide-ranging interview with NTV a little over a fortnight ago, The Cranes coach (whom some believe is passionate to the point of absurdity about free flowing football) said poor pitches have enforced Ugandan players’ functional style. The pitches, he added, seem to work relentlessly to discredit the “good work” that coaches plying their trade in Uganda put in.

Some observers would no doubt be quick to conclude that the last remark smacks of Desabre showing a mastery of backroom politics.

It was, however, telling that the remark was delivered hours after the Frenchman watched Masavu FC and KCCA FC play out a barren stalemate at the Fisheries Institute. The atrocious surface in Bugonga reportedly forced both sides to intersperse their play with route one football.

Well, at least in the assessment of Desabre. He further told NTV the penny will only drop and his attack-minded philosophy catch on when proper, well-manicured pitches dot Uganda.

If Desabre has his way and Fufa makes good on its profound declaration on football infrastructure (remember it?) then Ugandans should brace themselves for free flowing football. But sadly the circumstances of breathing life into the country’s dilapidated football infrastructure remain muddled.

It was at the tail end of 2015 that Fufa president Moses Magogo convinced all and sundry that plans for the crumbling infrastructure were not caught in a gathering haze. Fufa, Magogo revealed then, would apply and, from the looks of it, obtain Fifa Goal Project V. A ferocious appetite for construction of infrastructure in five football regions would then ensue.

“We are in the final stages of acquiring land in the regions of Kampala, Eastern (Jinja), Buganda, Western (Ntungamo) and North East (Soroti),” Magogo wrote in his end of message back then.

A couple of years later, the grand promise has morphed into the archetypal Orwellian windmill. Shame!