FUFA President Moses Magogo has sent out cautions to Referees in the wake of ongoing complaints and widespread complaints about officiating.
Magogo made the remarks during the presentation of Badges to FIFA referees on Friday at FUFA house in Mengo.
The President assured the referees that the Federation will do everything to protect them whenever they have done right and vowed to train them if they make human errors.
But told them that they will delete them if they make an error and sent to jail if proven guilty!
He urged them to maintain the three principles of refereeing – Fitness, Integrity and performance – at all times.
“This is a Sport, two teams have been working extremely hard, you are the one in the middle between them, and then you make deliberate mistakes where you know and you have seen but you have decided wrongly. That is cancer and a vice we cannot tolerate,” Magogo said.
“We want to train and help you to be fit but help yourself to be fit. We want you to improve in terms of understanding and applying the laws of the game where you are making mistakes because of misinterpretation or misapplication as a human being.
“Where we cannot do anything is integrity because we don’t know where we are going to train you, if you join this family of referees, let’s be people of integrity, there is no amount of money you can earn as a referee to turn around your life. That’s rule number one, and if that’s what you are thinking you are in a wrong place.
“There will be some money to come along but not money that is going to turnaround your life, even if you did wrong things, no big money you will generate that will turnaround your life. You choose to be a disciple of this game, a passionate provider of this game or you choose to be a person that everybody will talk about in the wrong way.”
It’s strong to note that FUFA spends about Sh900m annually on Referees department, for a Federation that has about 13 competitions including the Regional Leagues.
Magogo said that they are working “very hard” to improve on the Referees welfare, but that can only be achieved if the Federation can also improve on its earnings because it’s not applicable to pay out what you are not earning.
“We are working extremely hard to generate our own revenues and we know that what referees takes home may not be worth it. The referees who officiate up country games, especially the UPL games, travel and are also accommodated by us.”
On the day, 24 referees were given FIFA badges for the year 2023.
“International referees, you are our representatives, when you put on our badge of Uganda because you are a Ugandan and they will say that the referees are from Uganda, so you carry everybody, we expect you to be performing at that level,” Magogo added.
“And I have always been very clear that we want to have among the top referees in the World, it’s our objective.
“And if you are not going up you go out. It’s as simple as that such that we open up opportunities for others. But when we reach a stage and we cannot continue, lets not force the hand of this Federation because we have the ability to remove anybody.
“But we also want to support people to grow and also exit with honour because they have served the game at the top level and we want to absorb those who are exiting into our systems. If you are not progressing, just join as assessors and coordinators, you will still be supporting the industry. Those who have aged and can no longer progress, you can leave, we have opportunities in administration. We should not focus ourselves into the narrow tube.”
Magogo commended the referees who have done a tremendous job, adding that he has got some good comments from fellow FA Presidents across the Continent.
He also addressed the big elephant in the room – MATCH FIXING!
“There is a new vice called match-fixing and betting, and it’s very bad for these referees to be part of this vice, but you are targets. And you should understand how it works and how we are going to get you,” Magogo added.
“The space of predetermined of results has narrowed down for someone to do it and walk away. It has become even criminal in the new law that is coming up, they will arrest you and put you in jail. Please let us follow what the law is saying. If you recognise please resist and report. If you do not report it, you as good as someone who has done it and we can take you to jail.
“In this era of technology, we will get you. I am not threatening anyone, do your game, mistakes are human and we shall protect you where your are correct. We shall train you where you make human mistakes, but we shall delete you where it’s the issues of integrity and we shall jail you where you are fixing the outcome.”
The 24 Ugandan FIFA Certified Referees 2023;
Male Centre Referees: Mashood Ssali, Ali Sabilla Chelangat, William Oloya, Lucky Razaake Kasalirwe and George Olemu
Male Assistant Referees: Ronald Katenya, Okello Lee, Isa Masembe, Hakim Mulindwa, Emmanuel Okudra and Timothy Gumisiriza Karusigarira
Futsal Referees:Brian Emmy Nsubuga and Isaac Sengendo
Beach Soccer: Ivan Kintu Bayige, Muhammad Ssenteza, Kennedy Kawagga Bazirio and Joel Chote Munyendoh
Female Centre Referees: Shamirah Nabadda, Habiba Naigaga and Diana Murungi
Female Assistant Referees: Lydia Nantabo Wanyama, Marex Nakitto Nkumbi, Jane Mutonyi and Elizabeth Nassolo