On Friday, June 18 2021, the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a total lockdown, implying the immediate closure of all sports activities in the country including football.

The directive, aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 directly interrupted all activities of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL), forcing FUFA to suspend all the remaining four fixtures until further notice.

After 26 games, we are second on the 16-team table with 57 points- one less than table leaders (Express).

In our last four fixtures, we were scheduled to play Busoga United, Kitara, Wakiso Giants and MYDA to end the season before the news came in putting us on hold.

Our players had to go home, from where they have given their views that uniformly represent a desire to find a sporting conclusion to the league.

Defender Benjamin Nyakoojo hopes the local football governing body’s competitions committee ably finds means to fix some time to accommodate the remaining four games.

He further noted that: “Even two weeks are just appropriate for us to complete the league. It would be sportingly unjust to cancel the league in which all the top three competitors can claim the title.”

“I can not imagine the league being cancelled now, it makes me sick. It will be very demoralizing to the players. We have put in a lot of effort that can only be repaid with a chance to clinch or lose the title sportingly,”.

Nyakoojo stressed
Nyakoojo Benjamin after scoring against KCCA FC in a 2-1 win at Lugogo.

Our custodian Hannington Sebwalunyo not only admits that it will be painful if the league is cancelled at such a time but also adds that it could be of a great mental effect to any player who has put in a lot of effort to be denied a chance to fight for a season’s target with a ‘weird’ law.

“In these remaining four matches, there is a very great possibility of change of positions with varying results from each game,”

Sebwalunyo Hannington

Sebwalunyo stated, also noting that the time spent in the international break before the lockdown was imposed was costly.

“We know the pandemic is here, but unlike last season when the virus was new to us, we have now found means to get over it. We are all vaccinated. Every player and any other participant be it a coach or other officials have to test negative as required by FUFA to be able to participate,” the goalkeeper added.

Sebwalunyo Hannington shares the same school of thought as Nyakoojo

“I believe FUFA can utilize so many ways to complete the league. The players can camp in Njeru to avoid transmission like it was with other tournaments that were successfully played there,” Cromwel Rwothomio suggests.

After all, all the players have been vaccinated and FUFA requires that only those with negative results be allowed to participate”

The sharpshooter who set out to score at least 15 goals this season was frustrated with an injury at the start, missing five games but has so far managed nine, and optimistic to chase his target for the remaining four games.

Rwothomio greatly believes the 360 minutes can accommodate his season’s target which is short by only six goals.

This content can be used as long as URAFC website is credited as the source.

John Bugembe
June 27, 2021