Youth Football Academies in Uganda have for long been almost frozen out of the system over a lack of protection and ambiguous rules by the football authorities.
The future now may seem bright, as the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) tries to streamline their operations, but for many, they dread the idea of investing in youth development.
At the international level, football’s governing body FIFA has enacted rules to protect academies and youth football programmes through ensuring they receive proper compensation for education and training of minors. But its effectiveness has been challenged in Uganda.
A series of cases have been logged by youth academies over the unfair transfer of their players and many find themselves effectively unjustly closed out or forced into accepting dubious terms over their top talents.
Uganda Youth Soccer Academy is a victim of the cunning tendencies by agents, player managers and clubs who have held onto compensation fees from the academy.
UYSA has been chasing a compensation fee for some of its top talents, with some of the players forced to denounce the academy from their passports.
While others have changed names and dates of birth to erase information of ever going through the academy.
In one example, the compensation for Moses Kalanzi has been held from the academy. Despite the player being registered in Denmark, UYSA has been baulked from the compensation fee, with a case now logged to FIFA by the academy.
Kalanzi is a product of UYSA and was part of their training and education programs both in Uganda then later abroad in Sweden and Denmark between 2008 and 2010.
Since then, he has played for clubs in Denmark and recently completed a move to the Uganda Premier League joining KCCA on a one-year contract.
But the academy continues to chase for compensation fees close to 10-years since he made his first move abroad.
UYSA head Ivan Kakembo says the academy has been ‘frustrated’ and is ‘gravely concerned’ by the ‘lack of proper collaboration’ from FUFA in their case which has been logged to FIFA.
“My academy has filed a compensation complaint to FIFA on Moses Kalanzi,” Kakembo told Football256.
“These guys were trained in my academy which paid for their education and even gave them exposure in world youth tournaments in Denmark.”
“But they are now changing their details to deny the academy its compensation and never mentioned the academy in their records of who groomed them,” he added.
According to information privy to this website, Kalanzi was registered by the academy under the Uganda Youth Football Association – a recognised member of FUFA – in August 2008, with his parents also signing a consent form.
But in 2011, he was again re-registered by Danish academy Forever Sports Academy, though the registration did not reflect with UYFA.
UYSA then followed up the issue and it was established that the Danish Football Association had requested for an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) for Kalanzi in April 2011 for registration.
However, FUFA did not respond to the request and in May 2011, he was registered in Denmark as an amateur player.
According to documents, he was a minor by the time he was registered in Denmark which is contrary to Danish regulations, something that points to an alteration in his details of birth and also erase his past clubs and academies.
FUFA then promised to work in tandem with UYSA in order to have the player’s details updated to include the youth teams he played for since the age of 12 and also help the academy secure its due compensation.
But latest revelations from FUFA indicate that the federation did not indicate UYSA as a training academy for Kalanzi because it did not carry a registration platform for minors who are handled by academies/clubs without actual links to football clubs registered for national competitions.
Until recently, FUFA did not regulate the activities of academies or secondary schools without links to registered football clubs.
And while academies have registered players with UYFA, FUFA only recognized and registered players from academies with links to registered football clubs.
But the affiliation rule of FUFA is new and cant be applied backwards.
Ironically, while UYSA has updated its database, FUFA argues that the information is not within its confines, with the federation unable to claim compensation on its behalf because it does not have accurate records about the players and the time they were at the academy.
While Kalanzi was initially registered as an amateur in Denmark, it remains unclear when he was registered as a professional or whether his move to KCCA is his first professional contract. The matter has been fronted to FIFA for redress.
UYSA has a right to contest
Also that affilliation rule of fufa is new and cant be applied backwards