When Africa Pay T.V giants, Super Sport echoed their grievance about the continued woes in Uganda’s football, many feared for the worst to befall on the country’s most beloved sport.
Super Sport, who signed a $ 5M league sponsorship pack are on the verge of canceling the deal should the wrangles persist owing to their fortnight ultimatum. At a time when Lawrence Mulindwa’s FUFA is at logger heads with Kavuma Kabenge’s Uganda Super League (USL), many football enthusiasts have been torn between a hard place and a rock. Identifying the legal league to align with has been an intriguing puzzle to solve.
The birth of the inaugural University Football League was warmly embraced with open hands among the football fraternighty. Players expected to get exposed to the highest levels, the participating institutions anticipated publicity and inevitably the fans yearned for the entertainment.
Little wonder, the league kicked off brightly in Late September as MUBS hosted Nkumba University in the games’ opening thriller won by the visitors, whose short webbed passes caught the eyes of many spectators at the Nakawa Sports Arena. With the forthcoming CECAFA tournament expected to roll off in a week’s time, many Football Fans looked at the University league as an escape route to enjoying the passion of the world’s most treasured and celebrated game than the chaotic local league.
A month down the road, all has been well on the football stadia; splendid passes and dribbles executed, wonderfully timely tackles perfected, and record delightful goals rained in the diverse goal nets.
Avenue for talent spotting
The league will be credited for exposing the untamed indigenous talents that have been unearthed. Players like Nkumba’s Mugerwa Yassar, Nsubuga Dan, Kikoyongo Jonathan, Faizo Muwawo, KIU’s goalie Eric Ssebayiga, Magulumali Mukama and Yusfu Muhammed, Makerere’s Dan Kasoma, Kyambogo’s Edu Ismael, Adriko, MUBS’ Wanyama Henry, Omara Shaban, Okello Maxwell and Nkozi’s Alfred Mugarura have been outstanding. National team under age technical committees ought to keep a keen eye on such unique and awesome talents.
The Organizers, Rhinos International, are credited for orchestrating a well updated website, www.ufl.ug, working tooth and nail to bring on board Nile Special, Rwenzori Mineral Water and Crown Beverages as the official league sponsors. The 20M staked prize money, the provided team jerseys and the other useful logistics catalyzed the level of competitiveness among the different institutions.
Crowd Violence, Boycotts, Petitions, Tear Gas and Gun shots
The deadly vice that has stained this University Football league has been the rampant crowd violence. 3 matches (involving Kyambogo, Makerere and Nkumba) have been abandoned due to crowd violence.
Without question, such violence emanated from the egos and traditional rivalries that exist between the different universities. Add the fact that the soccer grounds do not have that mandatory stadium protective perimeter fencing; the organizers initially absolutely neglected the security concerns and safety of the players, game officials and the fans.