The decision by the FUFA Executive Committee to award the ‘football mad’ West Nile region the hosting rights of the 43rd Uganda Cup was praised highly and applauded.
In the West Nile region, the marginalized and filthy rich, male or female, young and aged, educated and illiterate inhale and exhale football.
There are bold and genuine reasons why thousands of football die-hards celebrated the decision.
Obviously, the final would present the fans would that first hand chance to watch whichever clubs qualified for the final.
Luckily, there happened to be a West Nile side, Paidha Black Angels.
This alone assured a capacity crowd irrespective of the expected outcomes.
On a humanitarian level, the final presented the region with a chance to choose a Community project to attach to the competition.
The Arua Regional Remand Home, a facility found in Giligili village, Pajulu sub county was identified and chosen.
The facility accommodates juvenile offenders from the 8 West Nile districts of Arua, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Zombo, Yumbe, Adjumani and Koboko.
Before the final between Paidha Black Angels and KCCA, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) joined by the football family officially handed over an assortment of donated items to the remand home management.
The donated items included footballs (5), clothes, shoes, bags and food (2 bags of sugar, 2 bags of rice, 1 carton of wheat flour and 40 litres of cooking oil).
Moses Okurut, the officer in charge of probation and welfare at the center received the items collected from the football fans, administrators, media and the fans.
FUFA was ably represented by a strong delegation led by West Nile delegate Rasoul Aliga, also an Executive Committee member together with Ali Mwebe, the head of competitions at the Federation.
Other West Nile delegates in attendance included; Rev. Father Robert Ayiko, David Batali, Isaac Fredrick Ade, Andrew Onedagwa, John Rwothomio and Alfred Odaga.
They were escorted by Deo Mutabazi (Beach Soccer), Joseph Mwanje (Buganda Region), James Ssebaale (FUFA Support staff) and the media.
The two clubs KCCA and Paidha Black Angels were also represented at the items hand over.
KCCA patron, the Lord Mayor of Kampala Salongo Erias Lukwago led the KCCA FC delegation alongside the club chairman Julius Kabugo, director Ali Kasirye Mulyanyama and CEO David Tamale with two teenage players Julius Poloto and Allan Okello who traveled for strong and justifiable reasons despite being cup tied for the match.
Aliga appreciated the initiative started by the federation towards the social corporate responsibility cause.
“As the FUFA Executive committee passed, we (West Nile) were tasked to come up with a community project that would benefit all. We came up with that of the Arua Regional Remand Home. There is hope for the rehabilitated children at the home. I thank FUFA for starting up this initiative,” Aliga said.
Okello and Poloto then handed over the 5 footballs that the club bought for the center before the other items were also handed over.
One of the young inmates cried as he received the balls.
Jimmy Odong, who was reprimanded for assault believes he will train with the donated balls and become a better citizen once released.
“I thank FUFA and those who donated the clothes and footballs. I want to take football seriously so that I become like Okello,” Odongo disclosed his mission.
In front of the Arua Remand home is a well maintained football ground that Odong and the rest of the 77 juveniles offenders use to play the beautiful game.
Many others who had not wished to kick a football now yearn to have a try during the next training session.
Thanks to the unique power of football.