Parliament on Thursday paid tribute to the Uganda Cranes Football team for their victory over Angola in a match played recently at Mandela National Stadium Namboole in the World Cup qualifiers game.
The motion for Parliament to pay tribute to the team was moved by the Minister of Education and Sports Jessica Alupo who said that the players had never lost a game at home in the official matches of AFCON and World Cup since they lost to South Africa at Mandela National Stadium in 2005.
She noted challenges the team in experiencing in terms of funds in both home games and away games to cater for their expenses and specifically pointed out that the Senegal match that they look forward to winning, will be played at a neutral ground in West Africa and that the team needs funds for adequate training, a timely travel to Guinea and funds to organize a friendly match for the team before the match.
However on a procedural point, MP Odonga Otto suggested that the tribute be made with the players in parliament to put substance to the motion saying that this could mean a lot to them and encourage them more than the members speaking to themselves.
He asked Speaker Kadaga to direct the Minister to use her office and bring the players in the house but the State Minister of Sports James Bakabulindi noted that 22 professional players who participated in the game went back to their respective clubs but because they felt that they wanted to share the gratitude with parliament on what transferred in Namboole they decided to move the motion.
Minister Alupo pledged that when the players jet in back to the country for training for the future world cup qualifiers game against Senegal, they will find an appropriate way of inviting the players to parliament and inform them on the motion that paid tribute to them.
Sports Minister Bakabulindi appealed to Members of Parliament to appropriate enough funds to developing sports and Cranes in particular.
He notified the house on the Victory of the She Cranes victory in its two games in the Africa Championship in Malawi against Namibia and Swaziland which he said that the country’s National talents are progressing.
He emphasized that Sports can be used as a tool to development saying that it can be used as a tool to boosting tourism in the country and that it can carry the country’s flag high especially with the Uganda Cranes.
Bakabulindi recognized the need for government to fund the national team more to boost its morale especially in the away games citing that the Angola Team brought with it many supporters to give morale and support to the team.
MP Ibi Florence Ekwau thanked the FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa for his input in making sure that the Uganda Cranes team is sustained and appealed to him to continue supporting the team even when he his reign ends.
She questioned the maintenance of sports facilities in the country saying that the ministry should take the responsibility of monitoring and supervise and monitor the sports facilities in the country which she said they play a part in developing the game.