By Fredrick Kalyango.
The 2019-20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season was concluded prematurely but despite its sudden call off, the league was a venue of several controversies. Below are the top five un constructive incidences.
5. Heavy rains destroy playgrounds.
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Though substandard stadia have been the ‘order of the play’ in Uganda, the incident that happened towards the end of the first round of the previous season was beyond bearable as heavy rains destroyed a number of playing surfaces.
Clubs like Mbarara City , Onduparaka fc were pushed to Luzira Prison grounds for home games, Busoga United and BUL FC were at the FUFA Technical center, while Bright Stars, Tooro United used the Wankulukuku Stadium.
The situation worsened when Wankulukuku and Luzira got muddy too hence Bombo Military playground, Kavumba recreation grounds, FUFA Technical center playground at Njeru, and Kabaka Kyabaggu stadium had to bear the pressure on the remainder of the first half.
4. Onduparaka FC officials claim they were approached by match fixers.
According to an official statement by the club, individual match fixers approached the club chairman Benjamin Nyakuni to fix the games against Tooro United and Wakiso Giants which the club say they rejected at first approach.
Worryingly, there were claims that the fixers are working with other clubs in the league.
3. Proline FC loses points and money.
FUFA competitions disciplinary Committee docked six points and six goals off Proline FC and fined the lugogo based club 5,000,000 Uganda shillings (Five Million shillings) for refusing to honor their league fixture against SC Villa.
The club claimed that since they had two players with the national team in Mustafa Mujuzi and Bright Anukani, and it was an international break, it was within their rights to chose not to play the game.
The decision meant that Proline FC were bottom of the table with a three points deficit and as a result Proline FC failed to recover from the drop zone till the league was called off.Vipers SC Prematurely wins league.
2. Vipers SC prematurely wins league.
Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) declared Vipers SC as the champions of the 2019-20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League four points ahead of the second placed KCCA FC with five matches to spare.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected all the sports programs of 2020-21 and this did not spare football in Uganda hence with 25 matches played, Vipers SC who were top of the pile with 54 points four points ahead of KCCA FC, were declared Champions as the federation invoked Article 18, Section 1, Sub-section C & D of the FUFA Competitions rules.
- Simwogerere, Kisekka and Ssimbwa summoned by FUFA Ethics Committee due to match fixing allegations.
Match fixing again featured top on the devil’s list this time with tacticians at the center of the allegations. The URA boss Sam Ssimbwa was alleged to have asked for a budget for bribing referees from the club CEO Ivan Kakembo who made the allegations on social media days after he left the club. For George Simwogerere, the former Express boss, the committee wanted him to explain the comments he made in his Weekly Column in a local newspaper where he had alleged that Express’ home match against Proline FC had officials pre-determining the results and issues worsened a day after when Tooro United head coach Muhammad Kisekka too joined the list on grounds of statements he made in the post-match press briefing after his team lost to SC Villa saying that some of his players had been involved in match fixing and he was forced to make last minute changes in the lineup against SC Villa to manage the situation.
ALL IN ALL, THE BEAUTIFUL GAME WON, AND THE STARTIMES UGANDA PREMIER LEAGUE REMAINS THE ONLY LEAGUE THAT MATTERS.