Which way now? Uganda Cranes players maintain strike

Wednesday July 3 2019

Uganda fans cheer ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group A match against Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on June 30, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |

Uganda fans cheer ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group A match against Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium in the Egyptian capital on June 30, 2019. PHOTO | KHALED DESOUKI |  AFP

DAILY MONITOR
By DAILY MONITOR
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In the wake of Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) releasing a statement insisting they have paid players their outstanding bonuses, it is emerging that it is the $10,000 earlier promised by the federation for qualification to the 2019 Nations Cup that the Cranes stars are demanding.

The players argue that the Ush2 billion ($539,480) given by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the team to share after qualification is different from the earlier one promised by Fufa.

But, according to Uganda Radio Network (URN), a Fufa source says otherwise. “It is true Fufa promised them $10,000 each for qualification. But we engaged the government through President Museveni and money was released which we used to pay them,” said a Fufa official.

This comes ahead of a crucial game against Africa’s best ranked team Senegal on Friday in the round of 16.

The shocking news comes on the heels of the Cranes failing to show up for training at the Arab Contractors Stadium on Tuesday evening.

“Yes, we decided as a group to keep out of training to send a big message across so that the leaders can pay us,” one of the senior players, who requested for anonymity, told URN on Tuesday night.

According to the Fufa communications manager, Ahmed Hussein, the members of the contingent have all been paid what they are meant to get till end of June.

Fufa has made it clear that each player has so far been paid a total of $14,600 by July 2.

The team reportedly received $4000 for their win against DR Congo and $2000 for the draw against Zimbabwe.

The players also received $5100 each for 34 days of camping till June 30 at a rate of $150 per day, $420 for the 14 days of camping in Uganda, together with $300 for the international friendly against Ivory Coast played in Abu Dhabi.

Code of conduct

Meanwhile, another player told URN Wednesday morning that they have been asked to return to training and reminded of the code of conduct document that each of them signed. It remains to be seen if the players will accept to train later Wednesday or continue with the strike.

At the on-going tournament three teams Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana all have a winning bonus of $10,000 per game.

Besides Uganda and Senegal, the other teams that have made it to the round of 16 include Egypt, South Africa, Madagascar, DR Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, Guinea, Morocco, Benin, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tunisia.

The Uganda Cranes are the second team together with Zimbabwe to go on strike and miss training over alleged unpaid allowances at the on-going 2019 Afcon in Egypt.

The Nigerian team players also boycotted one of the mandatory press conferences over unpaid winning bonuses.

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