Most Uganda Premier League clubs have admitted being surprised at Fufa’s proposed 12-team format insisting they were not consulted and only learn of the proposal at the same stage as the public.
The FA on Friday revealed a number of proposals to improve club football including among others introducing a reserve league but also reduced top division teams from 12 to 16 by 2021/22 campaign.
But teams seem unhappy with the proposal and could oppose it with Fufa saying they are open for debate.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, Proline’s Mujib Kasule, KCCA’s Aggrey Ashaba, Onduparaka’s Grace M. Manduru, Bright Stars’ Ian Mutenda and Vipers’ Abdu Wasike as well as Express FC Chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka were opposed to the proposal.
Mujib Kasule (Proline Director)
“Fifa came to us in 2010 (during the Jinja Declaration) as clubs and Fufa and suggested we reduce clubs from 18 to 12. Fifa argued that at 18 clubs, it would be difficult to get sponsorship than say, 12. But we also told them that talent wasn’t the problem as we are blessed with so much. Our other point was that 12 top clubs were mainly central, so that would starve the rest of the football-mad country. They listened and agreed on 16 clubs.
It’s now surprising that Fufa is going back to 12 clubs. What is the real reason for 12 clubs? And why play three rounds?”
Fairness is only by either playing two rounds or four rounds. So I don’t support the 12 teams’ proposal.
Aggrey Ashaba (KCCA Vice Chairman)
“Quality can be fixed via licensing and other regulatory frameworks. The challenge of the country is the youth buldge.
As a sport, we must be able to create more working opportunities for the youth. Taking away four clubs is taking away over 150 direct employment opportunities in an economy with a median age of 16 years.”
Kiryowa Kiwanuka (Express FC Chairman)
(Yes) there are merits to a smaller league, especially for clubs meeting huge costs, or for the organisers and all their logistics dynamics.
However, it reduces the opportunities for clubs, regions, individual players etc and would be a huge blow to football on the flip-side.
Ian Mutenda (Bright Stars TD)
“I mean, who are we trying to emulate with 12 teams? Scotland or the Bundesliga? Fufa say we want to become the number one in Africa, but even the best leagues in Africa have 16 teams or more.
Grace M. Manduru (Publicist Onduparaka FC)
As key stakeholders, it would have been prudent for Fufa to gather views from clubs and then reach out to the public.
Abdu Wasike (Vipers SC Media Officer)
Twelve teams minimises football distribution throughout the country.
of the 2020/2021 season.”