The Uganda Cranes Initiative (UCI) Tuesday hosted CECAFA Champions the Uganda Cranes to a sumptuous luncheon at Kololo Courts Hotel to thank them for their job well done in the just concluded regional moment.
The 28 players, who formed the CECAFA camp, also received the top-up on their daily allowances that UCI promised at the start of the tournament. The total for the 21 days was shs4,450,000/- (four million, four hundred and fifty). The Uganda Cranes Initiative is an open, voluntary initiative that welcomes all Ugandans – individuals and corporates – to provide support to the Uganda Cranes.
UCI launched a sh200m drive to raise support for the national soccer team last month. This support in cash and kind was used for, among other expenses, upgrading the accommodation of the team during training and games, purchase of new playing kit, and improved medical attention.
During CECAFA, UCI facilitated the Cranes team move from an average hotel to plush Rivonia Suites in Mbuya. UCI also managed to raise money through various corporate companies such as NSSF, Movit, Club Amnesia, Life Link Medical Services among others.
Robert Kabushenga, speaking for the UCI and media partners, outlined long term plans to support Cranes in their World Cup campaign, and support to Uganda to bid to host AFCON.
FUFA Vice-president Mujib Kasule hailed UCI, and said they fully support the partnership that will help the federation secure participation of fans in the growth of their national team. Some of the main UCI highlights include;
1. UCI successful Cranes Fans Day on November 17 where up to one thousand fans met their heroes, the players,
2. UCI upgraded Cranes accommodation to three-star level at Rivonia Suites.
3. The Cranes for the first time played in kit with their names on the back.
4. UCI secured full medical support and an ambulance for the team, and this was of immediate use when goalkeeper Dhaira was evacuated after he cracked his jaw in Uganda’s opening CECAFA game.
5. The Cranes have had the full attention of Stephen Kiprotich’s Olympic Physiotherapist, Dr Michael Keb Aleku.
6. Cash pledges of over sh80m were also received, with New Vision offering 30m, NSSF 15m, and SMS Media 5m.
The full list of pledges received and details of its expenditure, will be published in the newspapers this weekend.