AFCON: We’re not asking for extra money, but money as per the Code of Conduct – Cranes

By Clive Kyazze

With just hours to the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations, Round of 16 clash between the Uganda Cranes and Senegal, this website has learnt that the players feel hard done by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).

On Wednesday evening, FUFA released a statement claiming that it was on the same page with the players. The statement further states that after clearing the players’ allowances and also agreeing to pay extra money in addition to the agreed wages.

“FUFA has agreed to pay USD 6,000 to each player over and above the agreed terms in the Code of Conduct. Matters of Finances will not be discussed until the end of Uganda Cranes’ participation in the tournament. This position has been duly communicated to the players,” reads part of the statement on the FUFA Website.

However, on Thursday afternoon, Football-256 later learnt that there was nothing like players getting an ‘extra’ $6,000.

“Based on the original Code of Conduct, we are entitled to this money, FUFA is not doing us any favors,” one of the players, speaking on condition of anonymity, exclusively told www.football-256.com.

Adding, “Every player is willing to represent their country with or without that $6,000. We just want to have the code we signed respected.”

Cranes qualified to the Round of 16 following their 2-0 win over DR Congo and one-all draw against Zimbabwe which entitled them to $4,000 and $2,000 respectively, bringing the total to $6,000.

However as per the Code of Conduct, each player and technical staff are entitled to $6,000 in bonuses for making to the group stages of the tournament.

While just in case, they qualify for the last eight, each player will take home $5,000 and $7,000 if they make the last four.

If Uganda manages to reach the final, whether they have won it or not, $9,000 is what each player are is entitled to bonuses.

At the moment the players have only received $4,000 for the win against DR and the allowances for the period from May 13, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre (L) together with captain Denis Onyango on Thursday / Bata Images

This translates to $30 per day for those who camped in Kampala for 14 days, and $150 per day for those who camped in Abu Dhabi and Cairo for 53 days.

During the sit-down strike, on Wednesday a series of meeting were held, with the players led by Denis Onyango, Hassan Wasswa and Emmanuel Okwi, while FUFA was represented by Hamid Juma.

State Minister for Sports, Hon Charles Bakabulindi chaired the meetings alongside the Commissioner of Sports, Mr Omara Apitta.

“The disagreement between FUFA and the players arises from a certain clause that FUFA insists doesn’t exist (in the Code of Conduct) while the players are adamant it does, per the document they have,” Bakabulindi revealed.

Charles Bakabulindi has been at the centre of meetings between FUFA and the Cranes players in Cairo / Courtesy Image

“The players needed a commitment from the federation that the rest of the money would be paid and the time frame, something FUFA couldn’t pledge, itself,” the minister added.

Hon Bakabulindi and the players failed to agree, which necessitated the latter to hold a separate teleconference meeting with Bukedea Member of Parliament, Hon Anita Annet Among.

“Madam Anita is the only government official we have trusted during our entire qualifying campaign. In her call, she told us, our concerns were her concerns and that she would ensure they were addressed, to the letter,” this website was told, by one of the players.

Adding, “We are determined to give our all because we know there are people out there who understand our situation and are willing to help us.”

https://twitter.com/f00tball256/status/1146460373270323201

All this is happening at a time when the FUFA President, and his third vice president, Hon Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, are back in Kampala.

How Cranes regroup and focus ahead of the tie against Senegal is a story for another day. In the pre-match press conference, Desabre and Onyango promised a show to remember, with the former claiming the standoff had taught them a lot and made them stronger.

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