By Spear Sports reporter
The government has officially told Parliament that Uganda Cranes qualified by chance for the Africa Cup of Nations and therefore it took them by surprise.
Sports state minister Charles Bakabulindi told Parliamentarians on Tuesday that the government did not allocate any funds for the national team to take part in the Afcon 2017 and that was why they had to raise a supplementary budget since the Cranes going to Gabon was unforeseeable.
Mr Bakabulindi who was speaking on behalf of the Education and Sports ministry headed by First Lady Janet Museveni told parliament that experts at the ministry have already forecasted Cranes will drop out of the tournament early (group stage) and therefore, they have cut their budget from Sh6 billion to Sh2 billion, which is the third of the ideal budget.
Shadow minister Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), put the minister on spot to explain why only sh1 billion was given to the Cranes to which he answered they were still looking for the balance. In effect, Cranes was budgeted to use Sh1 billion for the campaign.
It means the government wishes Cranes to drop out early to save the budget.
Millions of Ugandans are staking their hopes on the national team to represent them at the most prestigious soccer tournament on the continent. It is the first time Cranes is qualifying for Afcon in not less than 39 years.
The minister’s statement annoyed MPs who asked “what if Cranes surprises the bureaucrats like they did to qualify?”
The minister however assured parliamentarians that the ministry experts had done due diligence and have analysed the matter deeply.