His Majesty the King of Buganda, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II officially officiated at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Airtel Buganda Masaza Football Tournament on Saturday, 23rd June.
Hundreds of people witnessed Gomba defeat visiting Buweekula Ssaza team 1-0 at the Kabulasoke Core PTC play ground in an entertaining group A duel.
Gomba Lions captain Nicholas Kabonge, the same player who scored the winning goal as they won their fourth title in the final against Singo at Mandela National Stadium in 2017, once again scored the lone strike on the sunny evening.
Fans from all walks of life thronged the venue as early as 8 AM. From the high ranking in society to the lee-men, all were united by the magnetic football sport.
A fraction had stayed overnight in the nearby Gomba Trading center, others in Kanoni while the majority traveled on the D-Day.
By 2 PM, the Kabaka, who is fond of good time keeping etiquettes had arrived and was ready to officiate at the grand opening ceremony.
As the traditional norm is, the Katikiro (Prime Minister) Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga arrived at the avenue first before he was warmly welcomed by the Kingdom subjects and well wishers.
After having his lunch at the PTC main staff room, the Kabaka was guided out to the nearby playing ground by 2:50PM.
At this moment in time, close to 20,000 spectators were eager to wave, smile for the King, as well as witness the match proper.
He walked around the entire field of play waving to the fans amidst celebrations.
By 3:15 PM, the national and Buganda anthems were completed before the Kabaka led out the player inspection exercise accompanied by the Kingdom ministers, some sponsors and members of the local organizing committee.
Kick off was 3:22 PM for the game won by the home side, Gomba who are seeking for the 5th title following successes in 2004, 2009 2015 and lately 2017.
How the two teams lined up:
Juma Kirabira (G.K), Andy Kaweesi, Allan Bukenya, Adrian Sserugo, Abdalla Ssentongo, Amir Zake Kakomo, Umar Luswata, Nicholas Kabonge (Captain), Shakidu Mbaziira, Isaac Balyejusa, Joshua Kalisa
Subs: Nasif Kabuye, Kamada Ntege, Allan Sserunga, Huzaifa Mylazi, Agogo Muwonge Najibu Ayupo, Timothy Oyamuzu
Head coach: Ibrahim Kirya
Ben Ssesazi (G.K), Bishop Henry Olom, Tom Lubulwa, Isaac Kiwanuka, Jonathan Mutesa, Livingstone Mbigo, Paul Kato, Juma Katende, Jamil Nvule Kisitu, Raymond Walugembe, Ivan Bogere
Subs: Edward Isoboa, Umar Muhinizi, Gerald Mayido, Derrick Muddali, Najib Yiga, Jerry Jackisa, John Nakibinge
Other Match Day One Fixtures:
Sunday, 24th June 2018
- Buddu Vs Bulemezi – Masaka Recreational Stadium (Group B)
- Kabula Vs Kyadondo – Bukulula (Group A)
- Ssese Vs Kooki – Lutoboka (Group C)
- Kyaggwe Vs Butambala – Mukono Bishops Play Ground (Group B)
- Bugerere Vs Singo – Kayunga Ssaza Ground (Group C)
- Buvuma Vs Busiro – Magyo play ground (Group D)
- Busujju Vs Buluuli – Kimuli play ground, Mityana (Ground D)
*Kick off for all matches is 4 PM.