Two old friends in MTN and FUFA reunited on January 18th, 2023 having separated in 2013 and the latter’s head Moses Magogo revealed what could keep the two together for long this time around.
MTN returned as the Uganda Cranes’ headline sponsor and especially, the telecommunications company will also support some other national teams and FUFA activities.
MTN take over from rival telecommunications company Airtel on a five year deal worth UGX 19B, arguably the best sponsorship deal FUFA has ever struck.
And Magogo believes national teams qualifying for major tournaments will be important for MTN to stick around for a longer period.
“It is a moment of excitement because we know what MTN can do and what they have done in the past,” Magogo told the media at the launch held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Wednesday.
“We believe that if we fix what was lacking previously that is the qualifications and the good results we shall keep getting massive support from MTN.”
“We know how it pulls the fans to come to the stadium and we know that using the current technology they will be able to reach out to the fans wherever they are.”
“Using the internet, and mobile phones they will take football to everyone wherever they are, so it just excitement,” Magogo added.
According to MTN CEO, Slyvia Mulinge: “The money shall be used to support activities of seven properties of FUFA; the Uganda Cranes (National men’s team), the Crested Cranes (National women’s team), The FUFA Drum, The FUFA Juniors League, The FUFA Super 8, the FUFA Super Cup, and the FUFA Awards.”
Between 1999 and the mid 2000s when MTN and FUFA had a stop start marriage, it was difficult for Uganda national teams to qualify for major competitions.
Things were not going right despite MTN drawing huge crowds to come and support the Uganda Cranes at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
However, times have changed and in the recent past, Uganda has had a presence in major competitions.
Uganda qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations twice in 2017 and 2019, they reached the round of 16 in the latter year.
The Crested Cranes returned to WAFCON in 2022 for the first time in 22 years dating back to 2000 for their last appearance.
The Uganda Hippos played at the U20 AFCON in 2021 and reached the final during their maiden time of asking but lost to Ghana and will return to the competition this year in Egypt.