Telecommunications Giant MTN Uganda has bounced back as the main sponsor of the Uganda Cranes main sponsor nearly ten years since they parted ways with the local soccer governing body- the Federation of Uganda Football Association-FUFA.
The FUFA president, Moses Hashim Magogo announced the new partnership at a watch party for the Uganda Cranes match against Senegal on Wednesday night at Serena Hotel in Kampala, which attracted key football stakeholders.
Slyvia Mulinge, the CEO of MTN Uganda announced the deal and confirmed a Shillings 19 billion commitment from MTN. “The value of the sponsorship is 19 billion Shillings and it is going to be spread over five years. But obviously, the investment that we shall put in will be a lot more because we seek to go across the whole of Uganda just to reenergize and get people to fill the stadiums again as we support Ugandan Football,” she said
According to the new deal, FUFA will bag Shillings 3.8 billion annually from the telecom giant. Apart from the Cranes, the sponsorship package will also cover the Fufa Juniors League, FUFA Awards, Crested Cranes, FUFA Drum tournament, and the Uganda Cranes regional tours among others.
MTN replaces rival telecommunications company Airtel Uganda, which has been Uganda Crane’s official sponsor since October 2013, when the two parties first signed a 4 billion Shillings partnership that would last for four years. They renewed it in November 2017 and Airtel committed Sh10bn for the next four years.
Speaking to journalists after announcing the sponsorship, FUFA President, Moses Magogo said that he was excited by the new deal considering the figures but also MTN’s experience in rallying fans to support Uganda Cranes.
He said that one of the things that FUFA and the previous sponsors had not done well was rallying fans to storm stadia for match days, which he says is an area of expertise.
This comes at a time when Uganda Cranes is competing at the ongoing Total Energies African Nations Championship- CHAN where they are attempting to get out of the group stages for the first time.
The sponsorship also comes at a time when Magogo has officially announced that FUFA was ready to punch above its weight and see Uganda Cranes participate in the FIFA World Cup 2026, a tournament Uganda has never come close to qualifying for.
On Wednesday, Magogo reiterated FUFA’s earlier ambition of qualifying Uganda Cranes for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. “We have the overall objective and that is qualifying for 2026 world, we believe it is achievable but for us to able to achieve that we are going to be engaged in a number of youth competitions,” he said.