The number of officials travelling with Team Uganda at the Tokyo Olympics has been a contentious topic in sports circles.
Uganda’s 25 athletes are accompanied by 14 general officials and 17 technical officials.
There was also an odd matter of three officials that made twin appearances as IOC officials and again appeared on Uganda delegation team.
William Blick former UOC president and now IOC member and also member on the Olympic boxing task force is hired and facilited by IOC which means that with or without Uganda participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games he would still be in Tokyo.
The same applied to Uganda Boxing Federation Referee and Judge Stephen Achiga Fula and Mr Salim Musoke accredited by IOC as an International Technical Officer (ITO) in the game of weight lifting.
This simply means that their travel expenses, accomodation, allowances are fully footed by IOC.
UBF president Moses Muhangi has vetted out his frustration about the hullabaloo.
“In 2019, I officiated in all africa games in morrocco, I was never part of the team uganda lists and sponsorship. Though team uganda was present Actually the bombers emerged the overall winners of medals for team uganda” UBF president Moses Muhangi.
“Team uganda means a group of people sponsored by uganda to the games unless there is another definition. So the appearance of Mr. William Blick , Mr. AChiga Fula and Mr. Salim musoke on the team uganda list yet those individuals are already hired as officials by IOC, is abit irregular” Muhangi adds.
Chef de Mission for Uganda 2020 Olympic team Beatrice Ayikoru thinks otherwise
“Team Uganda is a group of people under different categories going to the games. Team is not about money or costs but rather Ugandans who will be at the games.
“It will be unfair for us not to list them. Even tickets and accommodation of the qualified athletes and their officials are paid by the IOC. It’s not about allowances but prestige to serve as an ITO or member of international body. I think Ugandans are getting it wrong!” She says.
“We should endeavor to support those Ugandans called to serve. They make us proud, but in many occasions are assumed to have received support from their governments and thus receive only tickets accommodation and token for meals.
“They can’t at times buy a cup of coffee while out there,, especially ITOs. I think you agree with me that they need support where possible. For example each Covid test is 250k and you need 4 tests and insurance.
“Can you afford these, or would be relieved if government or someone pays. That is the human part I don’t think their federation can afford that,” Ayikoru adds.
Uganda Olympic Committee will field a team of 25 athletes, 13 men and 12 women, the largest number ever to compete only in athletics, boxing, rowing and swimming at the games.