The Uganda Premier League secretariat, the board entrusted with the mandate to run the top tier league in the country has on Tuesday released the 2018-19 season report.
In a press briefing held at Mandela National stadium boardroom, a general overview of what transpired in the just-concluded campaign was revealed with both the highs and lows highlighted.
While addressing the media, Uganda Premier League CEO, Bernard Bainamani Bampire indicated there was an evident improvement in several aspects of the game but also hinted on the challenges that the league still faces.
Bainamani indicated that there was an increase in the number of people following the league both in terms of the fans that go to the stadia to watch the games and others that follow proceedings on television, radio and social media.
“There was an increase in the numbers both in the stadium and those following via media. We believe the progress is evident compared to a few years ago and thus we are optimistic the numbers will keep growing,” he said.
By observation, there was an increase in the number of fans at grounds like Buhinga stadium in Fort Portal, Bar Okoro stadium in Zombo and Mighty arena among others.
Bainamani further asserts that despite the increase in the number of fans, cases of hooliganism and stadium violence have grossly reduced compared to the previous campaigns.
“We appreciate the fact that discipline among the fans improved this season. There were minimal cases of hooliganism thanks to efforts by clubs to sensitize the fans but also the strict measures put in place including docking if points.”
The other highlight that was included in the report was an improvement in the performance of teams on the pitch hence improving on the quality of the league.
A tight league title run and the battle for survival are some of the areas that were hinted on in regard to improvement in competition hence leading to a better quality league.
The arrival of a new broadcasting partner (Sanyuka TV) saw a total of 75 games televised live compared to the 63 that were relayed in the 2017/18 season.
This according to the report helped in attracting more fans who no longer have excuses of failing to travel to stadiums but can follow the games in the convenience of their homes or offices.
Increase in the number of corporate sponsors coming on board at various clubs is also highlighted as a result of the presence of television because corporate companies will gain mileage.
Whereas there has been progress on one hand, the league still faces a number of challenges that the Uganda Premier League secretariat highlighted in their season report.
Key among the challenges was the poor state of playing facilities/stadia with many clubs struggling to meet the minimum requirements as per the FUFA licensing provisions.
“It is a shame that we don’t have many stadiums around the country and even those available are not in good conditions. We want to the league title become professional but the basic elements are still lacking,” Bainamani asserted.
The other challenges pointed out included cases of pre-match determination (match-fixing), insufficient funds to run the league as expected among others.
The league secretariat expects a better organized and more competitive campaign and thus promised to make sure this is attained.
According to Bainamani, the league fixtures for the next season will be released by end of July and the league is expected to get underway in the first week of September.
KCCA FC were the champions of the 2018-19 season with a total of 66 points. Nyamityobora FC, Ndejje University FC and Paidha Black Angels were relegated.
2018-19 Season Statistics
Goals scored – 525
Hat tricks – 3
Braces – 33
Scored from penalties – 51
Own goals – 8
Yellow cards – 693
Red Cards -22
Wins – 162
Draws – 78
Most wins – 19 (KCCA FC)
Most Draws – 15 (URA FC)
Most Loses – 21 (Nyamityobora FC, Paidha Black Angels)