New Vision (Kampala)

12 December 2012

Uganda: UCI Plans Friendlies for Cranes in Europe

Kampala — The fans' group that helped Uganda win the CECAFA Challenge Cup is now eyeing friendlies in Europe to lift the national side to the next level.

"We need to dream big. If playing friendlies against teams like Spain is what it takes, then we shall play them," vowed Uganda Cranes Initiative head Robert Kabushenga.

UCI has also requested FUFA to present its bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations at the forthcoming edition of the competition in South Africa next month. "The benefits of hosting such an event are huge," noted Kabushenga.

UCI hosted the Cranes at a luncheon at Kololo Courts Hotel on Tuesday to congratulate them upon winning a record 13th CECAFA title.

Kabushenga said they are working on a proposal to link the team directly to sponsors. "We now want to look for money in a more structured way."

"We are going to come up with a very good proposal, which if accepted by FUFA, will be delivered to sponsors," explained Kabushenga.

FUFA vice president Mujib Kasule promised the federation's continued support.

"The partnership will take us places," he observed adding that the world over today fans are more involved in national teams. 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 sh4.45m.

The UCI members and Cranes players dined and mingled inside Kololo Courts Hotel on Tuesday. PHOTO/Mpalanyi Ssentongo

UCI is an open, voluntary initiative that welcomes all Ugandans -individual and corporate -to provide support to the Uganda Cranes. It launched a sh200m drive to raise support for the Cranes last month.

UCI launched a sh200m drive to raise support for the Cranes 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.

Several individuals, companies have contributed towards the drive. UCI also organised a fans' day where up to 1000 fans met their heroes, the players.

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