Fans Start Drive To Raise 200m For Uganda Cranes

UCI Team

The Uganda Cranes’ fans under their umbrella organisation Uganda Cranes Initiative on Wednesday morning started a fundraising drive to raise money to support the national team during a press conference Wednesday morning at Rivonia Suites in Mbuya Kampala.

The Uganda Cranes Initiative is a fans’ support organisation formed to raise funds for supporting the national team ahead of the CECAFA championship. The initiative that was formed two weeks ago to appeal for public support for the national team seeks shs 200m to boost the team.

The conference kicked off with the Chairman, Robert Kabushenga, stating that the Cranes need support from everyone as the team prepares for the CECAFA championship which kicks off next week and Uganda will be seeking to retain the trophy it won last year.

“If 10,000 people contribute sh20,000 each we will hit this target (sh200m) within no time,” Kabushenga said.

Kabushenga also reassured the press that the Uganda Cranes Initiative had no intentions of taking over management of the team.

Some of the UCI members at the press conference

During the conference, it was revealed that the Cranes will, for the first time, have branded jerseys with their names during the upcoming tournament.

The conference that was attended by Miss Uganda Phiona Bizzu and Cranes Coach Bobby Williamson saw a host of corporate companies pledging support to the Uganda cranes. Other UCI member present included Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya Johnson Byarabaha, Primus Agaba and Simon Kaheru

Rwenzori water contributed 250 cartons of water, SMS Media pledged goal keeper gloves and playing shoes, all laundry services will be provided by Sheraton Uganda, Lifelink Medical health services will avail ambulances for first aid during the tournament and the Cranes will be residing at the magnificent Rivonia Suites in Mbuya and have access to the wold-class gym located at the same place.

Below is the full UCI Press statement

THE Uganda Cranes Initiative today launched a drive for over Ushs200million from members of the general public wishing to support the Uganda Cranes in the impending CECAFA Tournament to be hosted in Kampala this month.

The Ushs200million will be used for, among other expenses, purchasing new playing kits for players, upgrading the accommodation of the team during training and games, and improved medical attention during the next one month.

UCI Chairman Robert Kabushenga, flanked by FUFA Technical Director Mujib Kasule and Cranes Coach Bobby Williamson, announced the drive this morning at the new training home of the Cranes – Rivonia Suites in Mbuya.

“We all know that the Cranes have been given whatever support the official channels can provide now, so we are now calling on all supporters to top up and guarantee victory in CECAFA. There are millions of fans out there, and if all of them become supporters we can achieve this very easily. If 10,000 people contribute Ushs20,000 each we will hit this target within no time,” Kabushenga said.

The interventions chosen by the Uganda Cranes Initiative (UCI) also include a total of 250 cartons of bottled drinking water for the team during training and games, which has been offered by Rwenzori Bottling Company.

“We have also made arrangements to move the players from Sky Hotel to Rivonia Suites in Mbuya, which is closer to the training grounds and to Nambole, and also offers much more comfort and better amenities. The gym here is much better equipped, and in general the team will have world class facilities to keep them in the best psychological shape even as they work on their physical shape,” Kabushenga added.

Rivonia Suites has offered the accommodation at a discounted rate, as part of their contribution to the Cranes.

Mujib Kasule welcomed the interventions as timely and “high impact”.

“The focus on direct benefits to the players is bound to pay off. UCI has decided to address even medical welfare, and will be seeking to get us high quality physiotherapists together with equipment and medicines or treatment that will support high on-pitch performance. We are quite happy with this progress,” Kasule said.

Contributions are being sent by Mobile Money to the number 0788 162 001with the reason ‘Cranes’, or deposited directly to the following bank accounts in the name ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’:

Standard Chartered Bank, Speke Road Branch, (UGX) 0105610690400/(USD) 8705610690400

Stanbic Bank, Corporate Branch, (UGX) 0140007506601/ (USD)0240007506601

Contributions by cheque should be written out to ‘New Vision Printing & Publishing Company Limited’, while cash contributions will be received at The New Vision offices on Plot 19/21, First Street, Industrial Area.

The UCI also announced that the Uganda Cranes will this Saturday host a Fans’ Day at the KCCA Grounds in Lugogo, along Jinja Road.

During the Fans’ Day, the Uganda Cranes players will interact with fans and supporters of the team and their families.

“All Ugandans should come and meet their football representatives this Saturday. The team will be training but we will allow them to take breaks to interact with the fans, take photographs and spend time with their public face-to-face. After Saturday they will be in camp and we will not be able to allow any interruptions to training because we need to be focused on the CECAFA task ahead,” said Bobby Williamson.

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  • Ronald Kafumisi

    is this the way Uganda Cranes wants to qualify for AFCON. What a pitty. The FUFA management needs to draw lessons from West Africa and see how the national teams are supported and organised. Uganda cranes has very good player but with very poor managers.

    Take for example Joseph O. Who plays for Asante Kotoko. When I watch him play and listen to commentetars I get the feeling that with exposure our team can take the biggest trophy in African Foot ball.

  • Uganda

    Its a pitty that you hear Uganda cranes needs 200m, What of the gate collections made when Cranes was playing Zambia. This must be above a billion. And now you tell us you want 200m before even giving proper accountability for the Zambia-cranes gate collections. Lets be a little serious, should not take people for granted…

  • http://www.zantel.com Thomas A. Aguma

    How can we Ugandans in diaspora send our contributions to support Uganda Cranes through the newly formed fan base dubbed Uganda Cranes Initiative? Can Robert Kabushenga as the Chairman give us some guidelines please?

    • Tendo

      Very nice

  • Dunny

    Ronald, blaming FUFA is wastage of time. Fake national federations is an African problem. If you think I am lying, ask Cameroonians, Nigerians, Senegalese, the list is long.
    The difference between the named countries and Ugandan is that the governments there get actively involved in matters of the National soccer team.
    So there you are, it used to be Kakaire, Ssemanobe, Obua, and now Mulindwa. Stop the individual merit syndrome, because Ugandan soccer just mirrors what Ugandans are.

  • Johnny

    I would have been glad to make a contribution if only FUFA was not involved. Seeing Mujib and Williamson reminds of FUFA whose corruption and disorganisation made us miss AFCON 2012. How i wish we would actually lose all group stage games so that our eyes can be opened. I wish we could tailor that support to atheletics because it is easier to manage individual atheletes than wolves in FUFA. As long as we have a federation that only thinks money, i make my bet we shall continue the agony of failing to reach maiden tornaments. After all, they will win a weak tournament all the time. A tornament where teams like somalia are beaten 8-0 on yearly basis, and and a region where only one team makes to AFCON in 5 tornaments and we have to collect 200million and put our heads up for below par achivements. GO GO…….. ON FUFA; 2 Super leagues, No accountability, …

  • timbirimu

    i think ugandans should support cranes with one heart…….but FUFA to me is failing to do its part……look at the league the problem is purely administrative and suprsport has withdrawn $ 5 MILLIOM IN SPONSORSHIP free money then tomorow fufa will be in limbo because of their inability,,,,,,so???

  • Emma

    This is a good gesture, though the initiative has delayed