AIGP Asan Kasingye Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE
AIGP Asan Kasingye Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

The concern for astute sports playing facilities in Uganda remains one big issue that necessitates bold, collective and affirmative action from all concerned parties at hand.

Government, the private business sector, philanthropists, sportsmen and gallant statesmen are all key stake holders in this struggle.

A random check list through the clubs that play in the Uganda Premier League, the top most division and the immediate level below it – FUFA Big League indicates that less than half the number of teams owns their own playing facilities.

Rather, the playing facilities are hired (rented) from owners and institutions for use.

Most worryingly though, the state of many of these playing fields leaves a lot to be desired and thus creates volume to report  home about with vivid valid talking points.

Uganda Police Football Club, currently co-sharing the Star Times Stadium in Lugogo – Kampala has ambitions of constructing their own sports complex.

Although the nitty gritty of the up-coming sports complex is yet to emerge, the development has been duly confirmed by the Police Football Club patron AIGP Asan Kasingye.

Uganda Police is going to have its own playing ground which is in our five year program, the good thing is that the Inspector General of Police also accepted this proposal. It will be a sports complex to help not only football but also other sports disciplines. Police as an institution is involved in many sports activities like Athletics, Boxing and Netball. We have the funds and I can confidently say that there’s no institution or club that can beat us financially. We are going to do very many things to see that we do compete for trophies not places

AIGP Asan Kasingye
Mandela National Stadium recently hosted a night game in the Uganda Premier League under floodlights (PHOTO: John Batanudde)

Police Football Club is one of the few remaining government institutional teams in the country’s top tier league’

For starters, Police, the Uganda Premier League winners in 2005 is among the remaining Government backed institutions plying their trade in the country’s top tier division.

The others are Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Maroons (Prisons) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Football Clubs.

There are two educational based clubs with one government run secondary school, Kirinya-Jinja S.S and a private higher learning institution, Ndejje University also plying its trade in the Uganda Premier League.

Majority as Express, SC Viilla, Paidha Black Angels, Onduparaka are community clubs while BUL, Bright Stars, Mbarara City, Tooro United and Vipers.

Given the financial muscle of the Police force, of course with the full Government backing, a playing ground that can accommodate football, athletics, basketball, netball, lawn tennis, hockey and a couple of indoor sports disciplines is much possible.

This will also provide options to the few existing sports facilities in the country.

A close scrutiny of the existing sports facilities in the country indicates there are is demand for more stadia.

Mandela National Stadium is co-shared by URA and SC Villa, Lugogo (KCCA and Police), Mutesa II Wankulukuku Stadium (Express and lately Tooro United), St Mary’ Kitende (Vipers), Prisons Stadium (Maroons), Bar Okoro Zombo (Paidha Black Angels), Green Light Stadium (Onduparaka), Champions Stadium, Mwererwe (Bright Stars), FUFA Technical center (BUL), Mighty Arena (Jinja S.S), Kakyeka Stadium (Mbarara City and Nyamityobora) as well as Arena of Visions (Ndejje University).

Ndejje University’s Arena of Visons

There is urgent need therefore to improve on these existing facilities.

Only Mandela National Stadium and St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende surpass the bare minimum of CAF standards at current state.

Up country sports facilities as Kabale Municipal Stadium, Pece in Gulu, Buhinga in Fort Portal, Lango Sports Complex in Lira, Soroti Sports Complex, St George Stadium in Tororo, Kyamate in Ntungamo, Mbale Municipal Stadium, Kakindu, Kyabazinga ground in Jinja and many more others need an urgent face lift to provide options.

Also, there is need to put in place strict maintenance measures to ensure that these facilities are not neglected, lest they will be left to the dogs.

Of course, there are lingering questions about Nakivubo Stadium, situated right in the capital city – Kampala.

Though the construction is on a snail pace, there is hope that one day, in the faith of Bobi Wine’s ‘‘Tuliwaagula Engule’’, all questions will be answered with a great stadium.

It goes without a saying therefore that Police Football Club and the institution’s plans to own a sports facility of their own is a welcome idea, possibly the best proposal I have landed onto since January 2019.

The sports sector in Uganda will grow to greater levels with more clubs owning and maintaining to perfection their own sports grounds.

In the long run, fruits will be vividly envisaged and enjoyed collectively.

New talents will be ushered on board, the existing ones will get state of art facilities to train and engage competitively.

Also, Uganda as a country will be able to bid for hosting rights for many regional, continental and international championships in a number of sports disciplines as football, rugby, cricket, hockey, basketball, netball, lawn tennis to mention but a few.

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

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