It was my pleasure today to receive the World Cup Trophy at State House, Entebbe. I welcome the World Cup Trophy and the FIFA delegation travelling with the trophy.
Uganda is a footballing country and we hope to, at one time, win this cup and retain it in Uganda. This may take a few years considering that national teams from more developed countries train under very scientific and technologically advanced situations.
However, Uganda with raw football talent almost qualified last year for the 2018 World Cup Finals from Africa’s Group “E”. We were only beaten by Egypt 1-0, which narrowly progressed to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals. Uganda was second in the group with 9 points.
This World Cup Trophy visit is a rare opportunity for Uganda as not all countries will have the opportunity to host it. This visit is also symbolic in that it shows FIFA’s confidence in Uganda by recognizing our international competitive football abilities.
The FIFA World Cup’s presence in Uganda will also draw global attention and tourism to our country as the world follows the trophy tour in the media.
While Uganda may not have qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals, our own team and football supporters can have the opportunity to witness this celebrated trophy.
The Government of Uganda appreciates and values sports as a tool for entertainment, leisure, and competition that market our country.
But we also appreciate football and other sports for enhancing good health, team building and providing opportunity for employment and business.
Uganda is now ranked 71st out of 206 countries in the FIFA World ranking and with the commitment of our football and sports administrators, and with increased government support, we shall continue to improve on Uganda's ranking, until we reach the World Cup Finals, hopefully in 2022.
I congratulate the Uganda Cranes therefore for a job well done in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, and also congratulate FUFA and the Ministry of Education and Sports for the guidance and support to our National Team, and urge you to keep the efforts up.