President Museveni has rewarded the national team, Uganda Cranes, with $1m [about Shs3.7bn] following their participation in African Cup of Nations [AFCON] in Cairo Egypt.
Museveni on Monday welcomed the National Soccer Team 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, Museveni said.
“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.”
He said sports people from the past have not lived a good adult life. He asked 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.”
Museveni said although Cranes didn’t win all fixtures, they 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.”