The 2019 CECAFA Senior Women Challenge Cup climaxed on Monday with Kenya defeating hosts Tanzania to win the championship for the first time.
Whereas Uganda managed to finish the tournament in a respectable third place, the things that unfolded in the Crested Cranes camp could have partly hindered their initial target of winning the regional championship.
Women’s football in Uganda is still in its infancy and still faces a number of challenges. Of recent, there have been cases of male coaches sexually abusing players, lesbianism and sorcery among others.
This has not only been limited to schools and clubs but the national team as well. Kawowo Sports brings you details of what transpired in the Crested Cranes camp during the just concluded regional championship in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Player vows never to play again
A player, names withheld because she is a minor, has vowed not to feature for the national team again if things do not change.
The player in context according to a source that preferred anonymity has indicated she will not play again if the coach implicated in this scandal is still on the national team.
“She has decided to quit the national team unless there is a change in the coaching unit. One of the coaches has been disturbing her for some time and the player is not comfortable.”
How the saga nearly messed up the camp
Crested Cranes camp reportedly nearly got messed up when the said coach kept calling the player’s phone whenever she was in her hotel room.
One day, the coach called the player but she was out of the room and it’s her roommate (another player) who picked the call only to be surprised it was the coach calling.
The player decided to report the issue to the team captain Ruth Aturo who also forwarded it to other officials.
It is very a common practice in Ugandan set up for many athletes to believe in witchcraft and sorcery.
There were reports of head coach Faridah Bulega not being comfortable with the appointment of Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi as one of the assistants.
Kiyingi, arguably the most successful coach in Women football in Uganda, had just helped Uganda to win the COSAFA U17 Girls’ Championship at the time of his appointment. And as expected, it did not take long for reports of witchcraft between the two coaches started popping up.
Before the team left for Tanzania, Bulega reportedly complained about headache while in camp at the FUFA Technical Centre, Njeru and decided to seek for advice from her mother and after a few days later, she was told that Kiyingi was bewitching her.
Bulega was uncomfortable with Kiyingi’s appointment
Right from the onset, Bulega was not happy with the appointment of Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi and for many people that follow Women’s football in Uganda, this was a public secret.
Whereas the first assistant coach Edward Kaziba was still engaged with SC Villa in the league, Bulega reportedly insisted he had to travel with the team to Tanzania.
Initially, FUFA had decided to leave Kaziba out due to club engagements and that is why Ayub Khalifa was appointed but the former indicated he would be available.