The 2021/22 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL_ season is hugely anticipated as the 16 clubs who make up Uganda’s top division go once again in search of the league title.
But with league action in limbo since a nation-wide lockdown in June, how do you rebuild anticipation and awaken the fans from such a slumber?
It is upon that background the Uganda’s Home of Sports, Sanyuka TV together with partners including pay TV giants StarTimes and the Uganda Premier League have devised the most entertaining way to remind us of the spectacle that is the SUPL.
Football fans will be treated to an ‘ALL STAR GAME’ involving the best players from the top division from all the 16 clubs that will participate in the 2021/22 league season.
The game will feature strictly only players from the top flight, with the added twist that the fans will decide who makes the All-star teams on either side.
The game will take place on Monday, September 27, and shall act as a curtain raiser for the upcoming season.
Players will be nominated by the public and a pool of players with the highest number of votes will make it to the final list from which the coaches will draft their respective teams live on Sanyuka TV.
The nomination process will be online and shall run until September 18, after which the players will be drafted into their respective coaches.
Mike Hillary Mutebi – three-title winning coach with KCCA FC – will be in charge of one team which shall be named in honour of KCCA and Ugandan football legend the late Jimmy Kirunda.
KCCA legend and former URA FC coach Sam Ssimbwa will be in charge of the other team named in the honour of SC Villa and Ugandan football legend the late Paul Hasule.
Ssimbwa has won multiple league titles both as a player and a coach, winning his first league title with Express FC in 2012 – the club’s sixth title.
Speaking during the launch of the event, the officials explained the significance of the All-star game:
Isma Lule, Brand and Marketing Director StarTimes:
“This game is purely a marketing activity that gives SUPL fans and the general public an opportunity to select their best 11 SUPL team. This kind of fan engagement naturally creates the bond between the fan and our local based stars.”
Christine Kikomeko, StarTimes Uganda PRO:
“We as StarTimes are here to promote football like we have been doing in the past. We launch the SUPL All Star Game which brings together several stars in the top tier. We try so much to improve the quality and engage fans more hence the game. This is to hype the league and ensure everyone is ready for next season. We want to ensure that at the end of our sponsorship, football has grown to highest that cannot be matched.
Decolas Kizza, Deputy FUFA CEO in charge of football:
“We have a host of football activities and would like to express gratitude towards the management of StarTimes who we have had several decisions with regarding this game. Want to call upon the fans and everyone to accept the date. I would like to pledge FUFA’s support to the is game. We cannot take part in the Super 8 so this is a good alternative to awaken our fans. We want the sponsors to clearly spell out the rules and regulations for this game so that a winner will be easily spelled out at the end.
Mike Mutebi, coach team Kirunda:
“I would like to appreciate the people who nominated us because we are out of jobs but think we are special. This is a good initiative as we try to sell players. For a while, we have failed to nature young players who are known but this can also help us. It’s good that the fans are nominating the players because this is their generation.
Sam Ssimbwa, coach team Hasule:
“I am happy to be associated with the game and team Hasule. It’s a privilege to named as the coach of one of the teams and I argue the fans to pick their best players and I promise that we will give the fans a good game.
Shafik Nekambuza, Brand manager Sanyuka TV:
“We are home of sports and believe this will be one of the best games ever. The essence of this whole campaign is to promote both the league and stars. If we can promote our stars, the league also grows. Would like to thank everyone on board including the two coaches for accepting to take part.