UFYA excludes notable outfits from the accredited academies’ list

The Uganda Youth Football Association (UYFA) has been put on the spot after the platform undertook the process to publish accredited academies across the country, prompting outrage across one of the football sectors marred by mal-administration over the years.

Each regional-based academies were published on the UYFA platform starting with Buganda and Kampala as new leadership embarked on a witch hunt on all non-accredited youth outfits.

Earlier this week, Kampala-based academies were recognised in Kampala but one of the oldest academies in the country, Uganda Youth Soccer Academy (UYSA) founded in 2007, was excluded. “It is unacceptable for the new leaders to act maliciously. We have time and again fulfilled all requirements,” said UYSA founding director Ivan Kakembo.

Registration is a green light for an academy to participate in Fufa recognised events and be able to train players.

Kakembo says it is shameful at a time when academies are struggling to keep afloat amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Encountered with the anger, newly elected UYFA chairman Roberts Kiwanuka defended the decision as being in line with the registration requirements adding that it is not enough to pay subscription.

“I have personally tried to engage Mr Kakembo but he has not been responsive. But having a receipt is no guarantee to fulfill the requirements,” Kiwanuka said. The UYSA registered in May a time Kiwanuka said he had not received instruments of power.

But there is more to this. During the virtual annual general meeting at Lungujja early this month, the executive voted to exclude UYSA on technical grounds.

It was cited that the name of UYSA clashes with the mother body, UYFA. Kiwanuka added that the academy was also registered as a charity organisation, which compromises its legality to youth football guidelines. But an enraged Kakembo claimed the exclusion is politically motivated.

Kakembo, who is in the United Kingdom to attend a high-level football training coordinated by FIFA, says there is a big distinction in the names. Presenting documents including a letter of compliance and proof of payment, Kakembo said he was sickened.

“This political persecution must stop as we have an obligation to uplift many talents. This malicious move is reckless and aimed at injuring the reputation of our academy.

Proline, a prominent side in youth football, is missing from the published list. But according to Mujib Kasule, Proline’s omission is a different case.

“In our view it is not necessary to register under UYFA. Proline is a football club with all the structures including the youth and every year we register as such during the licensing process,” Kasule said. In line with the registration, UYFA plans to start regional academy leagues as soon as sport is allowed to start. Kiwanuka explains that all academies will be helped to achieve the required status.

“Our work is aimed at helping academies grow. We are not here to oppress any academy because we are aware of their role in the football ecosystem. All discrepancies will be sorted,” Kiwanuka said.

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