President Museveni has said that the Uganda Cranes and other national teams engaging in different games are a source of unity and therapy for the nation, thus no one should bring partisan politics in such.
Museveni was speaking at State House Entebbe while welcome the Uganda Cranes from Egypt where they represented the country at the ongoing African Cup of National Championships.
“Games are good in the society. Olympics started before the birth of Christ. The marathons started in Greece. From that time, all the way, sports have been an important part of life,” he said.
“Because of their entertaining value, games bring unity. 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,” he added.
The President told the team he was aware of government’s inability to fully support them financially, but said this is attributed to prioritisation, as the government is more interested in dealing with pressing issues.
“When Uganda started recovering, we started sports Again. Government has not yet started 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.”
Museveni said he was thrilled with the performance of the national team. He offered Shs3.7billion as a token of appreciation.
‘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.’
‘Although we didn’t win all our fixtures, we 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.’