KAMPALA, Uganda, Jan 11 – Members of Uganda’s parliament will donate a percentage of their January salary to help the team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
“We agreed that we will contribute about $150 each and I will be going to Gabon with the cheque,” said the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
The total amount to be collected from parliament will be $58,451.
Uganda’s government has given Sh 56.1 million ($540,716) – well short of the Sh207.6 million ($2m) the Federation of Uganda Football Associations wanted.
“It is good news that the parliament of Uganda will support the national team. It is a good gesture,” Fufa’s chief executive officer Edgar Watson told BBC Sport.
The Cranes, coached Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic, are currently in the United Arab Emirates where they will face African champions Ivory Coast on Wednesday in their last international friendly match before heading to Gabon.
Uganda, who qualified for the Nations Cup after 39 years of waiting, will be based in Port-Gentil during the group phase of the 2017 tournament, which runs from 14 January to 5 February.
They will open their campaign against Ghana on 17 January. The other teams in group D are Mali and Egypt.
On Sunday, Uganda’s State Minister for Sport, Charles Bakkabulindi, admitted the funding given by the government to the Cranes was a lot less than requested but said other commitments had to be factored in.
“We are happy that although the money has taken a while to come out, it has finally come and it will handle several aspects including allowances for the team in Gabon,” the Minister told BBC Sport.
He said the government is also working hard to find money to fund part of the 2017 World Cross Country Championship which will take place in Kampala in March.
Bakkabulindi reasoned that since the Confederation of African Football has sent over US$200,000 for each of the 16 teams to help them participate at the Nations Cup, the Uganda Cranes already have some financial support.
Last month the Ugandan FA was facing a financial crisis with the FA’s head of Finance, Decolas Kiiza, saying they needed quick government intervention. The FA had to borrow funds to send the team to their training camp in Tunisia and now in the United Arab Emirates.
-By BBC Sport-