In the wake of Fufa outing a statement insisting they have paid players their outstanding bonuses, it is emerging that it is the $10,000 (Shs37m) earlier promised by the federation for qualification to the 2019 Nations Cup that the Cranes stars are demanding.
The players argue that the Shs2b given by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for the team to share after qualification is different from the one earlier one promised by Fufa.
But, according to URN, a Fufa sources say otherwise. “It is true Fufa promised them US$10,000 each for qualification. But we engaged the government through President Museveni and money was released which we used to pay them,” said a Fufa official.
This comes ahead of a crucial game against Africa’s best ranked team Senegal on July 5th in the round of 16.
The disturbing news comes on the heels of the Cranes failing to show up for training at the Arab Contractors Stadium on Tuesday evening.
“Yes we decided as a group to keep out of training to send a big message across so that the leaders can pay us,” one of the senior players who did not want his name revealed told URN on Tuesday night.
According to the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) communications manager, Ahmed Hussein, the members of the contingent have all been paid what they are meant to get till end of June.
Fufa has made it clear that each player has so far been paid a total of US$14,600 (Shs54 million) by July 2nd. The team reportedly received US$4000 (Shs14.8 million) for their win against DR Congo and US$2000 (Shs7.4 million) for the draw against Zimbabwe. The players also received US$5100 (Shs18.9 million) each for 34 days of camping till June 30th at a rate of US$150 (Shs556,000) per day, US$420 (Shs1.5 million) for the 14 days of camping in Uganda, together with US$300 (Shs1.1 million) for the international friendly against Ivory Coast played in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, another player has told URN on Wednesday morning that they have been asked to return to training and reminded of the code of conduct document that each of them signed. It remains to be seen if the players will accept to training later on Wednesday evening or continue with the sit-down strike.
At the on-going tournament three teams Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana all have a winning bonus of US$10,000 (Shs37 million) per game.
Besides Uganda and Senegal, the other teams that have made it to the round of 16 include Egypt, South Africa, Madagascar, DR Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, Guinea, Morocco, Benin, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Tunisia.
The Uganda Cranes are the second team together with Zimbabwe to go on a sit-down strike and miss training over alleged unpaid allowances at the on-going 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The Nigerian team players also boycotted one of the mandatory press conferences over unpaid winning bonuses.