CAF instructor and Proline FC Director, Mujib Kasule, has voiced his concerns about the FUFA Drum’s role in the development of Ugandan players and the overall impact on the Uganda Premier League. Speaking on the ‘Inside Sport’ show hosted by Web Daniel every Monday evening, the former KCCA FC and Uganda Cranes player didn’t mince words when criticizing the numerous competitions being organized by FUFA, which he believes are not effectively contributing to the growth and nurturing of young talent. He expressed his discontent, saying, ‘The FUFA Drum was initially created to foster player development, but its presence has, instead, had a negative effect on player performance.’
Mujib Kasule cited a previous season where star players like Allan Okello and Rogers Mato from KCCA FC had to travel long distances immediately after a league game to participate in the FUFA Drum. They then had to return for a league match against Maroons FC, which KCCA FC lost due to player fatigue. He also questioned the logic of including professional footballers in the FUFA Drum, which was originally intended to nurture young talent. With over 300 academies and numerous schools in Uganda, Mujib wondered why there wasn’t a competition focused on youth development, and why resources were primarily channeled towards the national team.
He pointed out, ‘Our obsession with AFCON has led to channeling all our resources into the Uganda Cranes. When all resources are concentrated there, it means other football structures suffer. The Premier League and lower leagues are suffering because we’ve overemphasized the national team. Our league should be the flagship of Ugandan football, but we’ve made the national team our top priority.’
Furthermore, Mujib suggested that the decline in the Uganda Cranes’ performance and the decreasing number of supporters in stadiums were consequences of FUFA’s lack of investment in the national leagues.
Responding to Mujib’s criticism, Ronnie Kalema, a FUFA Exco Member who was also part of the show, explained that the FUFA Drum was designed to celebrate Ugandan ancestry, which is why it allowed every player to participate in the tournament. Kalema also mentioned that there were tournaments specifically aimed at nurturing talent, such as the Odilo tournament.
As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that the coaching role for the Uganda Cranes is currently vacant, and applications from interested candidates are being accepted.