Uganda is poised to host the FIM Africa motocross championship in August this year, an event that had to be postponed due to the COVID19 pandemic.
Despite the tremendous strides taken t develop the sport of Motocross in country, the national team is now in a tough predicament due to internal organisational friction.
Speculations around the camp suggest that 30 riders could miss the event due to battle for autonomy between the Motocross Association of Uganda and a rival faction.
The faction that decided to take a different path from the mother body Federation of Motorsports clubs of Uganda – FMU, has over 30 riders who have been hoisting the national flag high.
Despite National Council of Sports’ relentless efforts to restore harmony among the two parties, their efforts have not yielded much.
On Tuesday last week, the council met FMU and the rival faction MAU for reconciliation but the latter seemed unwilling to backoff amidst their readiness to compete in their own calendar-designed events (without government financial support and FMU).
“FMU is the federation mandated and recognised by FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) to promote motor rallying and motorcycling in Uganda,” read the NCS statement to MAU though the rival faction stresses not to have formally received the communication.
Peter Ndiwalana, one of the riders’ parents belonging from MAU, insists that National Council of Sports is missing out on their points.
“I think FMU has failed to understand our issues. And unless NCS or government provides a directive to stop us from hosting our competitions but no need for us to rejoin FMU again after all, world-over motor rallying and motocross are under different associations,” Ndiwalana said.
“NCS chairperson Mr Rukare, once was trying to belittle us saying we are not the riders. He was asking to see riders in arbitration meeting not until we told him our riders are minors and can only be represented by us parents who dig into our pockets for them to get on track, and I don’t think a person coming in that image can be neutral in this whole issue,” he added.
“We want independence since FMU has a lot to take on. Motocross needs autonomy to run its issues. For a while Asaf Natan and Patrick Van Pee have been giving us vehicles to transport riders’ bikes for continental events in South Africa, Zimbabwe or Botswana and parents been footing bills for drivers tracks and fuel to and from. Unfortunately, money from NCS can’t get to motocross,” Ndiwalana said.
Dipu Ruparelia, FMU president however believes these have been management issues that can be worked upon easily once be given chance. Ruparelia is therefore not carried away by misunderstandings but cares about future of young riders in the game.
ChimpReports understands that of the 15 member clubs that make up FMU, only three are motocross clubs in Uganda motocross led by legislator Jimmy Akena, Speed way Motorsports club (of the Blick Family) and Southern Motor Club. The rest belong to motor rallying and at the end of the day motocross has unbalanced representative in the executive where decisions are made.
Uganda is likely to lost out on hosting the continental event if the bickering continues.
In case normalcy isn’t achieved, two Orland brothers who have had immense specialized training in Europe, Africa and USA will be missed alongside Ali Omar Yasser and brothers, Fortune Ssentamu, national team captain Maxime Van Pee among others.
Fielding a bigger number of riders in different classes gives a host nation a superior home field advantage and a chance to win the continental crown.