FIFA Secretary General fans calls to amend sports law

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The Federation of International Football Associations(FIFA) Secretary General and General Delegate for Africa, Ms. Fatma Samoura, on Monday, reminded the Parliament of Uganda to consider amending the Country’s Sports Law in order to bring it into conformity with international best practices and standards.

” A letter was recently sent as a reminder to the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) regarding the necessary adjustments of the Statutes of the Federation and Football Law to be compatible with FIFA statutes” Ms. Fatma said, in a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.

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She revealed that FIFA will only extend its annual financial support of $6M ( approximately 22 Billion Uganda Shillings) to federations that comply with international regulations.

Critics say the current National Council of Sports Act hampers professional development of Sports in Uganda.

In a 2013 letter to the Daily Monitor, James Wasula, CEO and Secretary General of the Uganda Performing Rights Association ( as he was then) writes that ” you cannot think of sending the Cranes to the World Cup or the Africa Cup of Nations under the aegis of the National Council of Sports Act in its present form. First you have to employ and remunerate players in the Local League and second, you have to hire professional coaches for both the league and the Cranes”

Sports Federations and Associations aren’t able to foster such professional development largely due to lack of funding. Under the National Council Of Sports Act, Government provides funding for only federations and associations recognised by the Council but even then it’s not always (if ever) sufficient.

Last Year, Members of Parliament, moved to amend the Law so as to increase government funding for sports activities in the Country and Government has in the past indicated commitment to amend and/or repeal the Law and replace it with the Sports and Physical Activity Law.

Under the current legal framework, FUFA and Clubs are not able to acquire and hold property in their names because they have no legal personality. This frustrates their doing of business in order to raise more revenue for the smooth running of their operations and foster development.

According to Moses Magogo, the President of FUFA, lack of legal personality is the ” only hindrance FUFA faces in acquiring Land for expansion in the federation’s names which is a prerequisite for project funding from FIFA”

Most statutes of International Sports Federations contain provisions on the financial and decision making independence of their member associations.

Article 12 of the European Sports Charter provides that appropriate support and resources from public funds shall be made available for the fulfilment of the aims and purposes of the Charter. A mix of public and private financial support is to be encouraged including the generation by the Sports sector itself of resources necessary for its development.

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon Rebecca Kadaga, acknowledged “gaps” in the Law and promised to engage the new State Minister for Sports, Hon. Hamson Obua, to fast track amendment processes.

” We have a new minister for Sports who is very enthusiastic. I hope he can work on the Law. I will be happy to fast track it when it comes to the floor of Parliament so that we comply with the conditions you require of us” Hon. Kadaga said.

 

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