President Yoweri Museveni on Monday hosted Uganda Cranes team following their success in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The Cranes reached the last 16 stage where they lost to Senegal in a 1-0 encounter.
The national returned yesterday and were quickly hosted by Museveni at State House, Entebbe. Museveni gifted the players and staff with $1m for their successful campaign in the AFCON.
#CAF: Museveni hosts Cranes at State House, hails them for making it to last 16!
I welcomed the National Soccer Team- The Cranes, from Egypt where they represented us so well. Making it to the last 16 out of the 53 countries is a commendable job.
When Uganda began recovering, we started sports Again. Government has not committed to 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.
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.
However, in runyankore we say, “Buto ekorera bukuru”; literally meaning one should work for their old age when still young. So, our sports people must prepare well so that they don’t live miserable in old age.
Our sports people from the past have not lived a good adult life. I ask the players to remain disciplined, they should avoid alcohol and womanising.
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.
I thank you very much and wish you good luck.