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We’ll Not Pursue Magogo After His Punishment – FUFA reacts to Magogo’s FIFA ban

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Following the suspension of FUFA President Moses Magogo by FIFA, the acting president of the federation has reacted to the dismissal. 

In an exclusive interview with CEO EA Magazine, Justus Mugisha said, “Mr Magogo will return to office on 10th December this year, FUFA is in good hands and it’s statutes are very clear. FUFA will not be taking any punitive action against Magogo.” he revealed. Mugisha will be taking over in acting capacity in accordance with FUFA’s constitution.

FUFA Vice President, Justus Mugisha will be taking over in acting capacity

His suspension came after allegations that he fraudulently sold 177 Brazil 2014 World Cup tickets which had been allocated to Uganda.

Who is the Embattled Eng. Moses Magogo Hassim?

He is currently the president of FUFA who succeeded Lawrence Mulindwa in August 2013. Magogo is an electrical engineer by profession and has worked for the African Development Bank. Magogo was previously the Federation’s Vice President, in charge of administration.

In 2000, while playing for Kinyara FC, Magogo started to actively participate in sports talk shows on radio. That platform endeared him to the public and by the time he was elected the FUFA delegate for Lubaga, Magogo had created a niche as one of the most knowledgeable persons about football management. FUFA subsequently appointed him to run the Super League.

Magogo is accredited for having transformed the league and football competition systems in Uganda and particularly the FUFA Big League and Regional Leagues. He is also responsible for starting the players contracting regulations and system in Uganda, negotiating and concluding the various sponsorships to football. With an assertive nature he has been a central figure in administration wrangles.

Some of the Sports Pundits That Have Suffered the Same Fate Before

In the past, such Fifa investigations have claimed hardwearing scalps including Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke, Jack Warner, Michel Platini and Kalusha Bwalya, who were either banned or suspended for specific period from football because of corruption.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has been at the forefront in fighting corruption and corrupt tendencies in the football, a situation that has led to the global soccer body’s taking over the management of national and confederation units, including Caf. Recently, the police authorities in France briefly detained Caf president Ahmad Ahmad on allegations of corruption.

Who are they?

Sepp Blatter

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter (born 10 March 1936) is a Swiss football administrator who was the eighth President of the FIFA (French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) from 1998 to 2015. He is currently serving a six-year ban from participating in FIFA activities.

From a background in business, public relations, and sports administration, Blatter became general secretary of FIFA in 1981 and was then elected president at the 51st FIFA Congress on 8 June 1998, succeeding João Havelange, who had headed the organization since 1974. Blatter was reelected in 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2015. Like his predecessor Havelange, Blatter sought to increase the influence of African and Asian countries in world football through the expansion of participating teams in various FIFA tournaments.

He has persistently been dogged by claims of corruption and financial mismanagement. Blatter’s reign oversaw a vast expansion in revenues generated by the FIFA World Cup accompanied by the collapse of the marketing company International Sport and Leisure and numerous allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the awarding of FIFA tournaments.

On 2 June 2015, six days after the United States government indicted several current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing companies for bribery and money laundering,[4] Blatter announced that he would call for elections to choose a new president of FIFA and that he would not stand in these elections, but he also said he would remain in his position until an extraordinary FIFA Congress could be held for his successor to be elected. Criminal proceedings were announced against Blatter by the Swiss Attorney General’s office on 25 September 2015, regarding “criminal mismanagement… and misappropriation”.

In October 2015, Blatter and other top FIFA officials were suspended amid the investigation, and in December the independent FIFA Ethics Committee ejected Blatter from office and banned him from taking part in any FIFA activities over the following eight years. On 24 February 2016, a FIFA appeals committee upheld the suspension but reduced it from eight years to six. Issa Hayatou served as the acting President of FIFA until an extraordinary FIFA Congress was held in late February, electing Gianni Infantino as the 9th president of FIFA.

Jerome Valcke

Jérôme Valcke (born 6 October 1960) is a French football administrator, best known as the former Secretary General of FIFA (the international governing body of the sport). He was fired on 13 January 2016 as a result of allegations arising from the ongoing 2015 FIFA corruption case.

Originally a journalist with a French TV station Canal+, in 1997 he was appointed chief executive officer at Sport+. In 2003, he moved to FIFA as their Director of Marketing & TV, under the Presidency of Sepp Blatter. He was released on 12 December 2006 due to his role in negotiating FIFA sponsorship contracts with rival credit card companies Visa and MasterCard. In 2007, he returned to FIFA, being appointed Secretary General by Blatter, succeeding Urs Linsi. He was relieved of his duties on 17 September 2015, and then provisionally banned from all football on 8 October 2015 for a period of 90 days, extended on expiry for another 45 days, before finally being dismissed. On 12 January 2016, Valcke was banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee until 2028] and fined 100,000 Swiss francs. On 28 February 2017, Valcke appealed against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This appeal was subsequently dismissed by the CAS on 27 July 2018 and the FIFA Ethics Committee’s original ruling was upheld

Michel François Platini 

Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a French former football player, manager and administrator. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from football, over ethics violations.[5] Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985,[6] and came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote.[7] In recognition of his achievements, he was named a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1985 and became an Officier in 1998.

During his career, Platini played for the clubs NancySaint-Étienne, and Juventus. Nicknamed Le Roi (The King) for his ability and leadership. Despite primarily serving as an advanced midfield playmaker, he was a prolific goals corer; he won the Serie A capocannoniere award three consecutive times between 1983 and 1985, and was the top scorer of Juventus’s victorious 1984–85 European Cup campaign. Platini was a key player of the France national team that won the 1984 European Championship, a tournament in which he was the top scorer and best player, and reached the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. Together with the midfielders Alain GiresseLuis Fernández and Jean Tigana, he formed the carré magique (magic square) of the French team in the 1980s. Platini was his country’s record goalscorer until 2007, and holds the record for most goals (9) scored in the European Championship despite only appearing in the victorious 1984 edition.

Micheal Francis

Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a French former football player, manager and administrator. As the president of UEFA in 2015 he was banned from football, over ethics violations Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985, and came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. In recognition of his achievements, he was named a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur in 1985 and became an Officier in 1998.

During his career, Platini played for the clubs NancySaint-Étienne, and Juventus. Nicknamed Le Roi (The King) for his ability and leadership. Despite primarily serving as an advanced midfield playmaker, he was a prolific goalscorer; he won the Serie A capocannoniere award three consecutive times between 1983 and 1985, and was the top scorer of Juventus’s victorious 1984–85 European Cup campaign. Platini was a key player of the France national team that won the 1984 European Championship, a tournament in which he was the top scorer and best player, and reached the semi-finals of the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. Together with the midfielders Alain GiresseLuis Fernández and Jean Tigana, he formed the carré magique (magic square) of the French team in the 1980s. Platini was his country’s record goalscorer until 2007, and holds the record for most goals (9) scored in the European Championship despite only appearing in the victorious 1984 edition.

Kulusha Bwalya

Kalusha Bwalya (Great Kalu) is a Zambian former international footballer. He is Zambia‘s eighth-most capped player and third on the list of all-time top goalscorers behind Godfrey Chitalu and Alex Chola. Kalusha was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988 by the magazine France Football and was nominated for the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year where he was voted the 12th-best player in the world, the first to be nominated after playing the entire year for a non-European club.

His older brother Benjamin Bwalya played professional football, and his younger brother Joel Bwalya also played for Zambia. His cousin is former Cardiff City and Welsh national football team international Robert Earnshaw.

His career as a player, coach and president of the Football Association of Zambia is partly shown in the documentary film “Eighteam“.

On 20 March 2016, Kalusha lost the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) elections to a renowned businessman-turned football official Andrew Kamanga by 163 to 156 votes in what many thought was an impossible task for the challenger.

In August, 2018, the world soccer governing body FIFA banned Bwalya for two years from all football-related activities at both national and international level. The FIFA adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee found him guilty of having violated article 16 (Confidentiality) and article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. It is alleged that Bwalya received a bribe in the form of a gift from Mohammed Bin Hammam, a Qatari official.

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Rajiv Ruparelia wins the Club Rally Championship (CRC) after posting the fastest time

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Rajiv Ruparelia in action at the Kabalega rally in Hoima, the star racer won the third stage after posting the fastest time of 23:52.

Rally driver, Rajiv Ruparelia has won the third stage of Total Kabalega Hoima rally 2019 beating 39 competitors who took part in the race.

The TOTAL Kabalega rally kicked off with scrutineering at Total Main Street where cars are checked. Every driver was given TOTAL Quartz, the right lubricant for optimum performance in petrol engines.

With his co-driver Enock Olinga, Rajiv Ruparelia driving his usual machine UBF 801H Golf VW proto, he posted Rajiv Ruparelia 23:52, Yasin Nasser 23:59, Arthur Blick 24:11, Ronald Sebuguzi 24:22, Duncan Mubiru 24:31, Omar Mayanja 24:37, Abdul Kateete 25:17, Dr Ashiraf 26:43

Manvir Baryan won stage one after he posted 3:17, Jas Mangat 3:20, Hassan Alwi 3:22, Dharam Pandya3:22, Ronald Sebuguzi 3:28, Christakis Fitidis 3:32, Kepher Walube 3:40, Ponsiano Lwakataka 3:46

Road to victory: Rajiv negotiates a corner on the muddy rally track during the hotly contested race.

In the stage two Raul emerged the winner 17:26, Alwi 17:27, Duncan 17:31, Seb 17:41, Yassin 17:41, Arthur 17:42, Omar 18:19, Rajiv 23:53

In June, Rajiv, son of Sudhir Ruparelia of the Ruparelia Group, emerged overall winner of the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship Kayunga. Rajiv joined motor sport in April 2019.

Rajiv Ruparelia steps out of his victorious race machine UBF 801H Golf VW proto, in which he posted the fastest time of 23:52

Ealier Ismail Waligo experienced engine failure in the super special stage, Ponsiano Lwakataka retired in CS2 due to Turbo issues, Rauf rammed into a Tree and bowed out of the race, Sadat Negomba lost control due to the slippery road and almost went swimming in the river and Ambrose Byona, Jas Mangat, Ronald Sebuguzi could not finish due to engine failure.

It was not the best day in office for two-wheel driver championship leader Samuel Watendwa when he rolled in the first stage of the rally.

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Rajiv Ruparelia, cautiously upbeat about this weekend’s Kabalega Rally

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Rajiv, who only started rallying in May 2019 and recently graduated to National Rally Championship level has so far put up good performance in all the races he has been in. He finished 2nd in the Enduro Autocross Championship 2019 in May and won both the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship in Kayunga in June and the Mosac Autocross Championship in Kapeeka, in August.

Businessman and Managing Director of the Ruparelia Group, Rajiv Ruparelia (29) is upbeat about this weekend’s 2019 Kabalega Rally, which is the penultimate round of the National Rally Championship.

Speaking to CEO EA Sports on phone from Hoima on Wednesday evening, Rajiv who was in high spirits told this reporter that he was going to put up his best but at the same time be careful given the wet weather and the slippery roads.

“I have just arrived in Hoima- it has been raining and the roads are slippery; anyone who tries to get over-ambitious on this terrain will face it rough.” he said adding: “But both cars- are ready. We will take it easy, go for the finish and the car will do the rest.”

This will be Rajiv’s first time in Kabalega Rally.

Rajiv, who only started rallying in May 2019 and recently graduated to National Rally Championship level has so far put up good performance in all the races he has been in.

In his first outing, the 29-year old Rajiv in a Polish-built Volkswagen Polo WRC Proto Car   finished in an impressive second position, clocking a time of 10:44 in the Enduro Autocross Championship 2019 at Zion Estates in Ssisa- seconds behind experienced rally driver Ronald Ssebuguzi who won the race at a time 10:04 minutes.   

In June, he won the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship in Kayunga- posting the fastest time of 05:18.5 ahead of the crew comprising of Ponsiano Rwakataka in second position, Ronald Ssebuguzi in the third position posted a time of 05:22.2.

In August, in a Mitsubishi Evo 9, he won the Mosac Autocross Championship in Kapeeka, Nakaseke District, posting 05:21.0 ahead of Jonas Kansiime (05:24.0) and Christakis Fitidis (05:27.0) 05:18.5.   

The Kabalega Rally is sponsored by Total Uganda, World Wide Movers, Uganda Communications Commission, Kontik Hotel and Hoima Municipal among others. The championship fight will kick off on Saturday morning with two stages before crews go into a Super Special Stage to cover a total competitive distance of 33.04kilometres on day one. Crews will eventually cover six stages on the final day to complete a total distance of 173.83 kilometres.

Yasin Nasser currently leads the championship with 355 points; 55 points more than second-placed Ronald Sebuguzi (300 points) while Christakis Fitidis is third on 285 points.   

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“Magogo’s plea bargain with FIFA is Invalid”says Muwema

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It is coming to 5 years since I took leave from football matters except for the occasional relapses brought back by the Uganda Cranes exploits on the continent. Recently however, my indifference was rudely awakened by the FIFA announcement that it had suspended Moses Magogo, the FUFA President, from all football activities for 2 months and that he was also fined 10,000 Swiss Francs. Magogo’s crime according to FIFA which happens to be the Investigator, Potential witness, Prosecutor and Judge in this case, is that he illegally sold World Cup tickets meant for Ugandans during the 2014 edition of the football spectacle which was held in Brazil.

I wonder why FIFA did not notify Ugandans about the ticket allocation before the World Cup event. Maybe, just maybe, the prodding eyes of the Ugandan beneficiaries would have ensured that these tickets or most of them were put to proper use.

I have been driven to comment on Magogo’s suspension by FIFA because of the urge to share what I have come to know about the laws governing football over the last 18 years. This urge far outweighed my need to remain silent. I will therefore proceed to weigh in, by interrogating the propriety of Magogo’s suspension, firstly in the context of the FIFA statutes or laws which were applied to the facts of the case and secondly but to a small extent, in the context of the Sovereign laws of Uganda, to which Magogo is subject as a citizen.

I take issue with the Adjudicatory chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee of FIFA which entered a plea bargain by mutual consent and handed Magogo a paltry fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs and a 2-month suspension. This sanction, for the kind of offence Magogo confessed to have committed, is not supported by the FIFA Code of Ethics (2019 Edition). I must hasten to add that the chambers mandate to act in this case was governed by this code in the main. The FIFA Disciplinary Code does not appear to come into specific play as it relates to infringements and sanctions on or around the field of play.

Whereas Article 67(1) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (supra) allows the Adjudicatory chamber to entertain and accept plea bargains from accused persons, Article 67(6) of the same code doesn’t permit the said chamber to enter into a plea agreement with Accused persons for sanctions related to bribery and corruption. The said Article 67(6) states that;
“No plea agreement shall be allowed concerning sanctions related to infringements of bribery and corruption, misappropriation and misuse of funds and manipulation of football matches or competitions” (emphasis supplied).

Article 27(1) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (supra) defines corruption to include among others, the offering, receiving, requesting or soliciting of any personal or undue pecuniary (financial) advantage or any other improper advantage to or from anyone within or outside FIFA.

By its own account of the facts, FIFA acknowledges that Magogo engaged in a corrupt act of the type defined by Article 27(1) when he diverted and illegally sold the tickets meant for Ugandans. It is clear on the face of it that he unlawfully gained a financial or improper advantage in perpetuating a transnational crime which is expressly forbidden and punished by the FIFA code and national laws world over. It was therefore irregular and fundamentally wrong for the Adjudication chamber to entertain a plea bargain from a person who was not eligible to enter it. In fact such a plea bargain and the underlying fine and suspension are not only null and void and liable to be revoked but they also put the bonafides and competence of the chamber in question. Moreover, this surreptitious decision by the chamber tends to take FIFA far away from its much-promised and publicized fight against corruption in football.

The Honorable thing for FIFA to do is to reopen the case and proceed with it to full trial with a public hearing of the complainants. It is against the established principles of a fair hearing for FIFA to conduct proceeding in secrecy and even hide the charges like it has done with Magogo. Under Article 42(2) FIFA Code of Ethics the Ethics Committee can rectify any obvious errors in its decision at any time. This means that the Adjudicatory chamber should not find any difficulty in revisiting its decision.

If the case is re-opened Magogo, should additionally be charged under Article 25 of the FIFA Code of Ethics for abuse of his position as President of FUFA in the sale of the tickets in issue. On conviction, this charge would carry a minimum fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs and a stiffer ban of at least 2 years from all local and international football activities. This, in my view, is a punishment which would be deterrent enough to punish the vice and dissuade the reoccurrence of such misconduct by present or future officials of FUFA.

However, if FIFA chooses to connive in breaching its own laws, then it will be open for Magogo to be charged with corruption, illicit enrichment and embezzlement under the Anti-Corruption Act 2009 of Uganda. FIFA officials should know that they can also be charged for conspiracy if it is shown that they actively aided and abetted the commission of the crime. Under S. 5 Penal Code Act Cap 120, Ugandan courts have jurisdiction to try offences committed partly within and outside Uganda by a Ugandan or non-Ugandan. In the recent past, the Swiss, French and American Courts have swung into action to apprehend and prosecute FIFA officials who have engaged in acts of corruption and financial impropriety.

I need to stop here and resume my leave from football matters in Uganda. But I counsel that FIFA cannot run away from its own shadow, it must, therefore, act in true and faithful alignment with itself. FIFA must lead the fight against corruption in football from the front, it has no place in the back seat.

By Fred Muwema
Managing Partner
M/s Muwema & Co. Advocates
15th October 2019

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