I was among the first to congratulate Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) FC for reaching the Caf Champions League group stages. This is because KCCA or ‘City Council’ as we used to call it, is a club close to my heart. When I chant Ekiri e’Lugogo, I know what I am talking about.
The first-ever meaningful game I watched was the 1978 Cecafa Club Championship final between KCCA and Tanzania’s Simba. Final score; KCCA 1-0 Simba courtesy of Moses Nsereko. Todate, it is the club’s only major international honour.
Over time, especially in my formative years, KCCA is a club for which I took extraordinary risks, the two most compelling of which, was escaping from high school to watch KCCA play Arab Contractors at Bugembe Stadium, and repeatedly braving a 30km walk to go watch KCCA morning training from Najjanankumbi.
I am therefore excited that KCCA have followed up their debut season in the Caf Confederation Cup group stages by storming Africa’s elite competition.
Having rubbed shoulders, and for good measure beaten, clubs from Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco (all Africa’s World Cup representatives), KCCA will be well placed to challenge the continent’s football aristocracy.
Uganda is well and truly on the path to football recovery. There is so much positive energy emanating out of Lugogo.
Since Ugandan football has for so long been blighted by negative energy, I was particularly excited by Uganda’s entire football fraternity pulling in the same direction.
That bosses of title rivals SC Villa (Ben Immanuel Misagga and Vipers (Lawrence Mulindwa) went out of their way to urge their fans to support KCCA beat St George 1-0 was a football first.
This is well and truly an era of football firsts. I know for sure that KCCA fans trooped to Kitende to support Vipers’ continental campaign.
However, while qualification for the group stages with its attendant cash rewards are welcome, it should not be an end in itself. After all, it is not KCCA’s greatest football moment. The team must banish a wretched away record that saw them lose all their group stage away ties.
I mean well when I say Fufa boss Moses Magogo is a consummate football politician.
These plaudits have nothing to do with his ability to get re-elected unopposed, or to take Uganda to the African Nations Cup. It’s his feat on having Ugandans talking from the same football page that’s remarkable.
Of course, some of his hangers on might want to claim KCCA’s success for him. Which is understandable. Nevertheless, KCCA’s success belongs to the authority so aptly managed by Executive Director Jennifer Musisi. She has bought into KCCA’s strategic vision and backed the club with the resources and hands off management approach.
This is truly worth emulating.