Uganda’s Head of State Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni never disappoints with his humorous tales.
Again, he was at it on Monday as he hosted the Uganda Cranes back from Egypt where they exited the Afcon 2019 at the last 16.
The president, who has of recent extended maximum financial support to the Cranes and Fufa in general, said that even thieves suspend stealing for 90 minutes because of sport and sports brings unity.
Museveni extended $1m (about Shs3.7bn) to the team as token of appreciation.
He also gave a ‘huge’ token of appreciation to the Cranes on return from 2017 Afcon in Ganon despite not making it out of the group.
Uganda fell to Senegal 1-0 courtesy of Sadio Mane goal at the Cairo international stadium.
It was the first time Uganda gets to this stage in 41 years since losing to Ghana in the final in 1978.
The rather good Cranes Afcon tale however came with the resignation of Head Coach Sebastien Desabre, who guided the team to straight return to the continental showpiece.
See the president full speech:
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
I welcomed the National Soccer Team- The Cranes, from Egypt where they represented us so well. Making it to the last 16 out of the 53 countries is a commendable job.
When Uganda began recovering, we started sports Again. Government has not committed to supporting the national team seriously, but we have been doing it in a small way because we are dealing with other pressing issues like; security, education, health, roads, piped water, electricity, ICT.
However, this small push is already bringing very good results, when we start supporting it more, imagine what our sportsmen/women can do.
Because of their entertaining value, games bring unity. It’s not good for people to bring partisan politics in games, if you see anyone doing it, you know they are unserious. Drunkards enjoy games, thieves suspend stealing for 90 minutes. Games are good therapy for society.
However, in runyankore we say, “Buto ekorera bukuru”; literally meaning one should work for their old age when still young. So, our sports people must prepare well so that they don’t live miserable in old age.
Our sports people from the past have not lived a good adult life. I ask the players to remain disciplined, they should avoid alcohol and womanising.
I’m very happy that the Cranes went up to the last 16. I know we will perform better next time. I will organise 1m dollars with the government to distribute it among the players and officials. Of course, the officials will not get as much as the players.
Although we didn’t win all our fixtures, we made a good effort and achieved some reasonable success. I don’t know how Senegal got that goal. I see our players are all fit young people. All they need is more stamina.
I thank you very much and wish you good luck.