10 January 2013

Uganda Cup - Bell Pulls Out of Deal

Uganda Breweries, through their flagship brand, Bell Lager, have ended their sponsorship of the knock-out Uganda Cup (Kakungulu Cup).

Rogers Mulindwa, the Fufa spokesperson, disclosed this during the weekly Fufa press conference at Fufa House on Wednesday. Mulindwa, who expressed Fufa's gratitude towards Bell's support for the last two years, explained that their contract with the beer company had ended but hoped that the relationship would be rekindled in future.

It was not a surprise that Bell is pulling out. For a while now, the Fufa/Bell relationship hasn't been cordial. Sources say that Bell couldn't endure the continued squabbling between Fufa and the USL, given the negative publicity that has ensued. But Mulindwa denied Fufa had anything to do with Bell's decision.

"It's within their prerogative to end their sponsorship but we're talking to them to see whether they'll renew their deal with us," Mulindwa said.

However, football officials like Henry Mayeku (URA FC) have a different take on the issue. Mayeku told The Observer that in Ugandan football, there is a bad corporate culture which alienates sponsors. For instance when Fufa disagreed with Anfield Communications in 2009 over the control of the Nile Special Fufa football awards sponsorship funds, Nile Breweries ended the deal.

Nonetheless, Bell's withdrawal is a huge blow to the Cup, because each team in the competition used to receive some money at whatever level. The final winner always bagged Shs 11m as cash prize. For now, the competition is slated to go on as scheduled. Draws will be held on February 4 according to the Fufa Competitions Committee secretary, Decolas Kiiza.

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