Following unending administrative wrangles, poor pay and players’ welfare, Ugandan soccer players are finding alternatives in Kenya and Tanzania where clubs in the Kenya Premier League (KPL) and Tanzania Vodacom Premier League (TPL) are perceived to be well paying.

According to research by Kawowo Sports, over 20 Ugandan soccer players ply their trade with different KPL clubs while the TPL has five at the moment.

In the ongoing transfer window, KPL champions Tusker FC have already signed four Ugandans. These are former KCC FC striker Andrew Ssekayombya, Martin Kiiza, Khalid Aucho, and Robert Omunuk from Simba SC.

Still in the window, FKF Cup winners and last season’s KPL runners up Gor Mahia FC have acquired the services of Kiira Young FC defender Israel Emuge on a two year deal. At K’Ogalo, he will team up with fellow countrymen Daniel Sserunkuma and Ivan Anguyo.

After failing to land former midfielder Musa Mudde from Tanzania’s Simba SC, Sofapaka FC has landed another Ugandan player Abdallah Nyanzi from big league side Soana FC. 

Other Ugandans in the KPL include Jimmy Bageya (AFC Leopards), David Bogere and Tony Kizito (Thika Utd), Bruno Sserunkuma (Nairobi City Stars) and Hussein Zzinda (Karuturi United).

Others like David Nyanzi and Allan Katerega have been axed at Tusker FC plus Abbas Kiwalabye at Ingwe but signs are evident that they will still land deals in the KPL ahead of the upcoming season.

There is no denying the talent among Ugandan footballers as evidenced during the 2012 KPL season when three of them scooped top awards.

Dan Sserunkuma was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) after his scoring prowess at Gor Mahia saw the club finish second, as well as end the season with two titles — the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Cup and the KPL Top Eight. His club mate Ivan Anguyo was voted the Best Defender while Hussein Zzinda, another Ugandan, was voted the new player of the year.

In Tanzania, Ugandan strikers Hamis Kiiza (Yanga FC) and Emmanuel Okwi (Simba SC) have been joined by Brian Umony (Azam FC) who is set to join the club in January ahead of the second round of the Vodacom league. Others are defender Joseph Owino who was axed at Azam FC but found home at Simba and midfielder Musa Mudde whose future at Simba SC has also been sorted.

Other players that may soon be snapped by either Kenyan or Tanzanian clubs include 2011/12 Bell Uganda Super League Most Valuable Player (MVP) and top scorer Robert Ssentongo and SC Villa attacking midfielder Arthur Semazzi.

“Uganda has great talent. Their players are powerful and have a tactical approach to the game,” said Gor Mahia assistant coach John Bobby Ogolla.

With the unending turmoil in Ugandan football characterised by two national leagues (FSL and USL), more player exodus is expected to continue.

Gone are the days when the Ugandan topflight league would attract the crème de la crème of the region. Who will ever forget the days of Maurice Sunguti (Express FC and SC Villa), Said Abed (KCC FC and SC Villa), Charles Kayimba (SC Villa), Tote Songe, Bana Zidane (Express FC), Rashid Kudra, Assan Bajope, Benjamin Jamhuri (KCC FC), Charles Okwemba, Bernard Mwalala, Abdi Lusamukha, Shaban Kisiga, Oscar Kadenge (SC Villa)?

Senior Staff writer at Kawowo Sports mainly covering football

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