South Africa – In an exclusive private dinner with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Dr. Patrice Motsepe, President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), at the prestigious Pigalle Restaurant in Sandton, Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Paul Amoru, highlighted the urgent need for the two football leaders to support Uganda in enhancing various aspects of the game.
The notable dinner held on Saturday evening, drew other prominent football figures, including renowned referee Pierluigi Collina, CAF and FIFA officials, and diplomats.
Amoru, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to discuss matters with the game’s key decision-makers, strategically presented Uganda’s requirements for assistance in sports infrastructure development, coach training, and support for underprivileged children in need of better sports facilities to nurture their talents. These topics took center stage in the high-level meeting.
During his presentation, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of training opportunities for Ugandan coaches and sought assistance in developing at least ten identified grounds, as acknowledged by the Ministry of Sports. “These grounds require essential amenities such as artificial turf, effective lighting, and fencing to maximize their potential for multipurpose use. With a focus on benefiting underprivileged children, both boys and girls, the improved facilities would offer them enhanced opportunities to develop their sporting abilities,” he explained.
For further talent development and international exposure of Ugandan players, the high commissioner appealed for deliberate scouting of talented individuals and building stronger connections between Ugandan football clubs, aiming to establish academies within the country. He stated, “such endeavors would provide a nurturing environment for young talent to flourish and reach their full potential on an international stage.”
Regarding the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations 2027 tournament, which Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania aim to co-host under the Pamoja bid, Amb. Amoru, on behalf of Peter Ogwang, the Minister for Sports, expressed gratitude to Dr. Patrice Motsepe for his support of the bid. This historic event will see the trio jointly hosting the CAF tournament for the first time. Through the high commissioner, the minister also confirmed the government’s readiness to provide suitable land for prominent football clubs interested in establishing sports academies in Uganda.
Amoru affirmed that Uganda remains steadfast in its commitment to collaborating with the South African government through an exchange program geared towards enhancing sports facilities. “The Joint Commission for Cooperation, a framework previously signed between the two friendly countries, serves as the foundation for this endeavor,” the high commissioner reminded.
The private dinner provided an exceptional opportunity to strengthen ties between Uganda and the global football community while addressing key issues in the realm of sports. Uganda’s dedication to developing its sports sector and supporting underprivileged children’s talents was resoundingly emphasized.
The country also continues to strive towards becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of sports; collaborations like these lay the foundation for an even brighter future in Ugandan athletics.