Futsal is an official form of football, 5 players per team on a small-sized pitch preferably indoors playing for 20 minutes each half.
Being an indoor game, many goals, less contact, fewer injuries, and unlimited rolling substitutions are some of the reasons it’s growing at a very high rate worldwide. Uganda hasn’t been left out of that growth.
The Futsal Super League (FSL) has been going on, with two official seasons under the organization of the Futsal Association of Uganda (FAU), the 2019-20 FSL season kicks off on Monday 28th October 2019 at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
During the 2019 Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Annual Ordinary Assembly, FAU was admitted as a full member of FUFA recognized with the responsibility to manage and organize futsal in Uganda. That kind of authority comes with a lot of responsibilities.
FUFA was formed in 1924, five years away from making 100 years.
In that period, almost all of FUFA’s 34 members don’t have a corporate governance structure in place yet ironically FUFA practices fairly good corporate governance, at least for Ugandan standards.
Almost 100 years later, football in Uganda is not yet professional.
The Uganda Premier League (UPL) and the FUFA Big League (FBL) are supposed to be professional but that is on paper because we are too lenient to enforce the implementation of standards required to be professional.
Almost 100 years later, there’s no football club or FUFA member that is self-sustainable because we have failed to do simple things like understanding football administration and how football business works.
Almost 100 years later, we are going to celebrate a football centenary in which no football club owns a stadium (Kcca FC shouldn’t consider that thing as a stadium).
Almost 100 years later, we still have league matches that rarely kick off on time, still have physical inspections for licensed players, can’t have match attendance records, very weak competition regulations, lack meaningful match statistics for performance analysis, lack a match day countdown and generally lack creativity to solve basic problems.
Anyway, there must be something to celebrate about Ugandan football but not over 100 years. If it were me, that centenary would have a muted celebration then start all over again.
Almost 100 years later, the Futsal Association of Uganda is joining as a full member of FUFA that should learn from all FUFA members to avoid the problems that have been on repeat for the past 95 years.
120 out of 100 Ugandans believe that funding from government or sponsors is the only solution to solve football problems. They also believe that football owes them something and have a sense of entitlement on what FUFA should do for them.
Between August to October 2019, I was very unfortunate (pun intended) to be in charge of FSL’s 2019-20 club licensing.
In that period, I realized that a futsal club owner expects FAU or FUFA to have sponsors but that particular club owner can’t have 12 passport size photos (in soft copy) available in five working days.
In that scenario, it’s evident the majority of football stakeholders lack basic knowledge of how football operates, how they would benefit if the game was professional and how they can be supported to become successful.
The general lack of knowledge on how football would become professional makes them have a very negative attitude towards football leaders or member associations.
Indeed, Political Economic Social and Technology (P.E.S.T) factors have a huge influence on any institution. However, the P in FUFA members’ way too loud, very evident and negative for the development of football in Uganda.
If FUFA members had an AGM and that’s the time they were the most active in a year, that’s a very loud P.
WHAT SHOULD FAU DO?
Irrespective of the challenges FAU has at the moment, they should do the simple things that don’t require a lot of resources.
Involve all stakeholders, empower through training, make them understand what it means to be professional, set and enforce standards, have a strategic plan, demand quality, record all incidents to help with information on how to recover from mistakes, keep/manage time, be active throughout the year, be organized, make social media your second home, plan and research.
With all that in place, it will become easier to have genuinely professional football.
FAU’s huge responsibility is to do the simple things well.
Simplicity is genius!