President Museveni has rewarded one million dollars to the Uganda Cranes team that recently participated in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The president met the players on Monday after their return from Cairo, Egypt.
Uganda Cranes made it out of the group stages for the first time since 1978.
However, they lost 1-0 to Senegal in the round of 16.
Museveni expressed his excitement for the team’s recent fete and hoped that they will perform better in future.
“I am very happy the Uganda Cranes went up to the last 16,” the president expressed his excitement.
“I know we will perform better next time. I will organize 1 million dollars with the government to distribute among the players and officials,” he added.
The president explained that the players will earn more from the package than the team’s officials.
The package comes just days after the team staged a sit-down strike over a row on bonus. They were later rewarded USD 6,000.
In a long speech, Museveni said 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, said Museveni, “this small push is already bringing very good results, when we start supporting it more, imagine what our sportsmen/women can do.”
The President said 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,” he said, attracting laughter from the football stars.
“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,’” he emphasised.