Kabaka Mutebi greets the Gomba Ssaza team players prior to kick off of the 2017 final at Namboole stadium Credit: Airtel Uganda

Airtel Masaza Cup 2018:

  • Saturday, 23rd June
  • Gomba Vs Buwekula
  • At Kabulasoke PTC Ground, Gomba
[/media-credit] Gomba Ssaza team players celebrate their goal in the 2017 final of the Airtel Buganda Masaza cup Credit: Airtel Uganda

The 2018 Airtel Buganda Masaza Football tournament officially kicks off this Saturday, 23rd June 2018 when Gomba, the record winners (four titles to their name) take on Buwekula in the opening match at the Kabulasoke PTC play ground in Gomba district.

For starters, His Majesty the King of Buganda Kingdom Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II will officiate at the opening match like he has always done over the years.

Gomba won the inaugural edition in 2004, repeated the feat in 2009, 2014 and also returned to the famous podium as well in 2017.

Pedigree and home advantage factors will be at the fore front to pit Gomba against visiting Buwekula before hundreds of anticipated fans.

Recently, Gomba recruited the services of the tried and tested coach Ibrahim Kirya who has assembled a formidable side.

With six of the players who won the tournament last year, Gomba still has the impetus to register crucial results this year round.

Captain Nicholas Kabonge, goalkeeper Juma Kirabira, Shakidu Mbaziira, Joshua, Adrian Sserugo, Musa Uzaifu all played for Gomba last season and are still available this year too.

Kirya anticipates a balanced game but believes his side will carry the maximum points.

We are at home and have prepared well. The entire crowd will be supporting us and we expect to perform well. The game i believe will be balanced but we have a cutting edge as defending champions

[/media-credit] Ibrahim Kirya will be on the sidelines for Gomba Ssaza team Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The same could be told of Buwekula’s head coach Denis Kiyimba who attested to Kawowo Sports having recruited experienced players in the respective regional leagues in Kampala and Wakiso districts.

Kiyimba notes;

We have recruited experienced players who have been playing in the Masaza tournament and the regional leagues in Kampala and Wakiso. We respect Gomba as defending champions but we are ready to beat them at their own home

Buwekula will dwell upon players as Tom Lubulwa, Jamilu Nvula Kisitu, Livingstone Mbigo, Isaac Kiwanuka, Juma Katende, Henry Bishop Olumu, Jonathan Muteesa, Sadiq Ssekyembe and Ben Ssazzi (goalkeeper), among others.

The two teams have played a host of build up matches.

Gomba recently defeated KCCA 1-0, overcame Mawogola, Kabula  and Kyaggwe by the same margin, lost 1-0 to Buddu and drew one all with Kyaggwe in another build up away in Mukono.

The tournament bars Uganda Premier League and FUFA Big League players as well as those who have played for the senior national team.

Group stage matches are played on a home and away basis before the knock outs (quarter finals and semi finals) which is also played on a home and away format.

The main finale is usually hosted at the gigantic Mandela National Stadium where the Kabaka also witnesses the match.

Over the years, the Masaza tournament has proven to be among the biggest crowd pulling championships in Uganda and a fertile platform to expose talents.

Proven Uganda Cranes stars as Emmanuel Okwi, Godfrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi, Yunus Sentamu, Kezironi Kizito, Ivan Bukenya, Sula ‘Malouda’ Matovu, Faruku Miya, Brian Umony, Robert Odongkara, Yasser Mugerwa, Steven Mukwala, Joseph Jjanjali among others are testament in this noble cause.

Telecommunications giants Airtel Uganda Limited is the prime sponsor of this tournament.

Group A:

  • Gomba
  • Kabula
  • Buweekula
  • Kyadondo

Group B:

  • Ssingo
  • Kyaggwe
  • Butambala
  • Mawogola
  • Bugerere

Group C:

  • Buddu
  • Ssesse
  • Kooki
  • Bulemeezi

Group D:

  • Busiro
  • Mawokota
  • Busujju
  • Buvuma
  • Buluuri

Masaza Cup  Cast of All Winners:

  • 2017 – Gomba
  • 2016 – Buddu
  • 2015 – Singo
  • 2014 – Gomba
  • 2013 – Mawokota
  • 2012– Bulemeezi
  • 2011– Buluri
  • 2010– Not Held
  • 2009– Gomba
  • 2008– Kyadondo
  • 2007– Mawokota
  • 2006– Kooki
  • 2005- Mawokota
  • 2004- Gomba

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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