“Ex International Footballers Association is back.”
The above, were some of the opening remarks by former Uganda Cranes star Jackson Mayanja during a meet with the media on Tuesday at Grand Imperial Hotel in Kampala.
Mayanja, who was Uganda’s top-scorer for the 1993 Nations Cup qualifiers with six goals, has been appointed as the new President for EXIFA.
The former KCC star and current technical director at UPL side Kyetume FC, also won three Cecafa Cup titles with Uganda Cranes (1990, 1992, 1996).
The association is back because of “deterioration of EXIFA status in the affairs of Ugandan football, the welfare of our fellow brothers and the plight of our beautiful game among others.”
Mayanja will be assisted by George Ssimwogerere while Gibby Kalule (Secretariat), Sam Ssimbwa (Treasurer), Patrick Ntege (Organising Secretary), Dan Walusimbi (Project Manager), Baker Masiko and Majida Nantanda (Welfare) among the members on the committee.
This, was appointed as an interim committee on 1st August during a meeting at Jevine Hotel earlier.
The association was started in 1975 and has since inception been part of FUFA general assembly until it was divorced in 2012, something that Mayanja says that “it was hard to digest.”
Some Ex Internationals have consequently been at war with FUFA and Mayanja has said that they are ready to make peace.
Notably, in 2017, there were ugly scenes at FUFA house when the ex players invaded Mengo trying to force their way into offices and a police officer ended up shooting himself on the left leg.
“We are not here to fight the Federation anymore,” Mayanja vowed. “But we are here to see that we can develop the game of football in our capacity.”
“Many things took place in the past, but what happened in the past is past and we want to start a new chapter with FUFA. We want them to come on board as well and help where need be.”
Mayanja said that they are going to look into their past constitution and see some amendments that can be made.
He revealed that they are contemplating on where to have an office whether at FUFA house in Mengo or at Mandela National Stadium in Namboole.
The association’s core objective is to “reorganise ourselves and address our challenges” so that the welfare of the former players is improved.
The new leadership wants to “speak for ourselves” and has appealed for help from anyone in any capacity.
“We call upon anyone, and we have to start with Mr President Museveni because some of these former players also played under his regime,” Mayanja added.
“It is also absurd that former players are not awarded. I thank him (Museveni) for having injected in money in sports and we want him to come and help us as well.”
Many former players are living sorry lives while others, including Jimmy Kirunda, have died paupers.
Gibby Kalule said that “we cannot see our former colleagues falling off the road and dying and do nothing.”
“We are going to mobilise and reach out to former players, see how they can be helped. We shall see how we can work with the Federation as long as they are ready to work with us.”
The New Committee
President – Jackson Mayanja
Vice – George Ssimwogerere
Secretariat – Gibby Kalule and Kefa Kisala
Treasurer – Sam Ssimbwa and Philip Obwiny
Organizing secretary – Patrick Ntege and Ssenoga Umar
Project Manager – Dan Walusimbi and Dan Ntale
PRO – Andy Mwesigwa and Dan Mubiru Mujapani
Welfare – Baker Masiko, Christine Wanyana and Majida Nantanda
Council Members – Ali Ssendegeya, Fred Mukasa, Godfrey Nyola and Tom Lwanga