When you’ve been around for more than 14-years and you’ve come as far as playing in the first division league, then you can bet that there is quite a big number of setups that match your experience coming through the years.
When picking out the best ones for any project that requires involvement in developmental programs, then Proline Soccer Academy would make a cut into the top academies that would require priority in terms of consideration.
But why was Proline Soccer Academy left out of the FIFA Analysis Talent Development Project by the FUFA?
In a circular dated 3rd June 2020, the FUFA Football Development Director Ali Mwebe released a list of Academies which had been selected to be a part of the new FIFA initiative which is aimed at helping member associations to bridge the gap in top national team performance, giving each talented player a chance and reaching its full potential in men and women football competitions.
On the list were thirteen teams categorized as follows; There were three leading academies, four girls football teams, five boys football teams, and one football team that combines both the boys and girls.
The leading academies category was selected with Vipers Junior Team, KCCA Junior Team, and Kampala Junior Team.
The teams under Girls Football include; Kawempe Muslim Secondary School, Uganda Martyrs High School Rubaga, Taggy High School, and Isra Soccer Academy.
Teams selected for Boys’ Football; Rays of Grace Junior Academy, Alfa Football Academy, Sparta 09 Football Academy, Lion Sports Soccer Academy Ntungamo, and Kasese Bronken Sports Academy.
Edgars Youth Programme was selected as one that combines both Boys & Girls Football.
Proline Soccer Academy was left out and according to the system’s director Mujib Kasule, the FUFA football development manager did not follow the guidelines as stated.
“FUFA said that their criteria was based on producing the most players that have represented Uganda on the national team, but on checking the list, Proline was overlooked yet we have produced the most players on the National team and Premier League,” Kasule said as quoted by The Sports Nation as part of an interview with David Kalyango.
» Related: Reports: Matia Lule leaves Proline FC
Over the years Proline FC has produced a number of players who include but not limited to; Alex Kakuba, Charles Lukwago, Saidi Keni, Ivan Bukenya, Savio Kabugo, Yusuf Mukisa, Bright Anukani, Sula Matovu ”Malouda’, Patrick Edema, Lubega Edris, Bayo Fahad, Luwaga kizito, Wadri William, Katongole, Feni Ali, Okiror Joshua, Mugume Ashraf, Obuya Pius, Mbaziira Simon, Luyima Johnson, Wurube Robert.
Mujib Kasule says the performance of his academy needs “no debate”.
“Our set up is the best in the region. We are affiliated to many clubs outside Uganda because they appreciate what we do,” he added.
He also believes that an academy should not be of a single category.
“The structure of an academy must not be of one age category and it shouldn’t be set up today because you have a game to play on Saturday.”
He also believes that there is no way Proline Soccer Academy would have been left out if it wasn’t the politics that is always involved in FUFA’s activities.
We were not surprised, FUFA sees us in a different image but that will not stop us from doing what we do best, and we will continue producing players for FUFA and the league.
However, FUFA Football Director, Ali Mwebe says he did not put his focus on excluding Proline but rather, “identify academies that could give the desired results for the project.”
“We could include all academies in the project. Only thirteen teams were needed,” Mwebe said before adding that “there were very many academies we left out and we believe those we selected will be in a position to give us the results we need.”
“The academies which were selected have been in existence for a while and were not set up yesterday just because of this project,” Mwebe retorted.
On politics and politricks, Mwebe said there is a level where these methods do not apply.
Fufa politics can not be involved in development programs. It has its circles and I believe such an allegation is based on individual perception.
On how the selected academies stand to benefit from the project, Mwebe says;
“This project is not meant to benefit any team listed. The project is research-based and will at this stage only involve questionnaires being sent out to the respective academies from which we will generate a report which will be sent out to FIFA.”
FIFA’s new Talent Development Program was introduced on 31st January 2020 by FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger.
From this year, all of FIFA’s 211 member associations will be entitled to benefit from the FIFA assessment of the various areas of their high-performance ecosystem in both men’s and women’s football, including all national teams, domestic leagues, scouting projects, and academies.
Following the assessment performed by FIFA’s experts, a report will be produced for each of the member associations involved, thus benchmarking their technical ecosystem against global standards.
Based on the reports, FIFA will implement tailor-made technical programs in cooperation with the member associations from 2021.