Acholi Province: Defending Champion’s bosses accused of financial loss  

Last Updated on: 23rd September 2022, 06:36 pm

The Province’s board chairperson Bernard Loum confirmed to this publication that all the shs25 million has been used.

By Okot Lil Romeo

Gulu – Sept. 23, 2022: Acholi Province is the defending champion of the popular provincial tournament and its management is being accused of misuse of funds, among other allegations.

TND Sports understands that the above allegations have left the Acholi team “vulnerable to defend” their title in the ongoing edition of FUFA Drum competitions.

“The province is undergoing a financial crisis after winning the second edition last year and a cash prize of shs30 million. They have managed to secure over shs25 million for this third edition of the competition, unfortunately the money has been misused by the board [management] recklessly leaving the province in a crisis to manage the players,” TND News Lil narrates.

He added that for this round of the competition, over shs25 million was in their account, of which, shs5 million was a balance raised from the fans, shs10 million was the money raised from the Acholi Bus and shs10 million was the remaining balance of shs30 million that FUFA gave for winning the tournament.

Lack of transparency, integrity and accountability has brought a lot of mistrust amongst the Acholi teams [players, management and technical team] and is tearing the Acholi Province apart.

The Province’s board chairperson Bernard Loum confirmed to this publication that all the shs25 million has been used. “We have been supporting the players during Covid-19 and other emergencies for the team of which again, we appeal to the fans to support us with money.”

Over 20,000 fans, including those from the Lango sub-region (Province), attended a match between Acholi and Buganda Provinces at Bomah playground in Kitgum Municipality last week. The game ended 2:1 in favor of the hosts. The second leg is scheduled for October 9, 2022, in Luweero.

Besides maladministration of the Province, people who love the team [players], well-wishers, politicians; local leaders are still fundraising to support the team. By the time of editing this story, over shs10 million was already raised.

It is also worth noting that the first home game played at Pece War Memorial stadium in Gulu City, gate collection was shs 18 million. The publication was further told that from the amount, 25 people: players and management went home with shs420, 000. The total spend was shs10.5 million.

After last week’s clash with Buganda Province, each of the players and staff was paid shs400, 000. In total, shs8m was spent.

In an MoU when the competition just started in 2018, leading into 2019, it was agreed that each player is paid shs100, 000 per match and all the players were happy with the agreement.

But due to too much demand from the then head coach and the captain, the agreement was altered to shs400, 000 minus allowances.

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Denis Lubangakene, a fan from Kitgum revealed that they are hearing of the allegation of the misuse of funds by the board, adding that they are trying to put their interest to eat the money.

Ramsey Opika Opoka, another fan from Kitgum disclosed that the team has a lot of challenges to be addressed immediately. He encouraged all the fans to come and support the boys while being patient. He told me that after the competition they will raise their [their] issues.

Retired Acholi Province footballer Opoka Otti said the Acholi should wish good things for the team and a win away to Buganda. He has a belief that good things will come after the team has won.

On September 10, 2022, Acholi Province Players held a meeting and demanded that some board members resign and leave the office with immediate effect on the allegation of fund misuse or else they lose the next game deliberately. They accuse Loum Bernard (chairperson), Otto Nyeko Ceaser (team manager), Otema Eric Orissa (treasurer) and Alexander Okidi, the Province coordinator.

Attendance list of the meeting players held.

Okot Denis Oola aka Jemba, the team captain said all the challenges are a result of poor coordination, communication gaps, and no truth from the Board members to the players, including the technical team.

He wants the issues addressed forthwith if they are to happily defend the title.

Geoffrey Akena, the head coach of Acholi Province confirmed to TND Sports there is no good environment for him as a coach in this third edition of FUFA Drum. 

“Some board members have much interest in the team which is contributing to weakness in leadership. The abuse of the technical team by the board is happening,” he added.

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