Drop Cranes boycott plan, Bobi Wine asks fans

Ugandan pop star Robert Kyagulanyi popularly known as Bobi Wine has urged his fans to continue supporting Uganda Cranes saying “these young men, just like most of us work hard to raise our flag high using their talent even when they are insufficiently facilitated.”

Mr Kyagulanyi said on Monday that he did not agree with the hashtag #boycottugandacranes started by a section of his frustrated fans following the cancellation of his Kyarenga concert which had originally been scheduled to take place on October 20 at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

Namboole management initially cancelled Bobi Wine’s music show saying the stadium had been booked for a wedding reception before advising him to shift it to another date.
His music promoters then booked November 9, 2018 for the concert.

But hardly a day after the contract was signed, the stadium manager, Mr Jamil Ssewanyana wrote to Bobi Wine promoters advising them to seek alternative date saying they had received a complaint from their stakeholder in sports development – Uganda Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) – “that raised key pertinent concerns of national charter.”

This followed a letter dated October 17, in which FUFA Chief Executive Officer Edgar Watson Suubi noted that the stadium is under ‘red flag’ and that Confederation of African Football (CAF) was keenly observing the conditions as key competition factor for the forthcoming 2019 qualifier football match.

“It has come to the Federations notice that Mandela Stadium management has entered into an agreement to have a public event take place on November 9, 2018 within the stadium. In our opinion, any public event within the International football match period put the Stadium into an unacceptable standard to detriment CAF docking off points from the Uganda Cranes for the upcoming,” Mr Suubi wrote.

There was also no evidence of a wedding reception at the stadium on Saturday, October 20 as management had claimed.

In response, however, a section of the singer’s fans took to social media calling on Ugandan sports enthusiasts to boycott the national team over allegations that the stadium management and FUFA officials were being used by the regime to play ‘dirty games’ against the Kyadondo East MP.

“I have seen some friends act out of anger as a result of the Kyarenga concert cancellation by the Namboole management. Friends, I don’t agree with the trending hashtag #boycottugandacranes. Uganda Cranes is our national team in which we should always take pride and support with all our abilities,” reads part of the statement by Mr Kyagulanyi.

According to him, if musical talent is being suffocated, Ugandans should not take all the other talents down the drain.
“Our national team is the mirror of the best and worst in us as a nation so all they need is Love and understanding, not condemnation. We are all Uganda Cranes and Uganda Cranes is us,” he added.

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