Violence has not place in Uganda's sport spheres

Time immemorial, endless scripts with rich tales and documentation about the progress of sports in Uganda have been released as far back as the days of the early Christian missionaries in 1900.

A couple of sporting events from the outdoor activities to indoor disciplines all need healthy tranquil environs to be played, lure as many new disciplines (players and fans) as they thrive and prosper with ultimate success.

For continuity, various sporting disciplines as football, rugby, netball, cricket, boxing, hockey, volleyball, handball, athletics, tennis, table tennis and the like have had nurseries (academies) to pass the test of time with the due famous “flying colours”.

Perhaps, there has been need to realize the sport needs friendly confines to blossom.

God forbid; Bloodshed, tears, running battles, teargas, missiles onto the field of play, vulgar and foul language prior to, during and after sports events have no place of accommodation in the sporting spheres of this beloved country, Uganda.

A female football fan washes off her face with clean to clear the tear gas effect at Wankulukuku Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Violent acts in sport scare away the existing and prospective new stakeholders (players, sponsors and partners), claim dear lives, cause permanent injuries to human beings and dent the hitherto good image of sports.

Personally, as I was growing up, I attended an epic Kampala derby duel between Express and Sports Club Villa at the Mutesa II Wankulukuku Stadium, popularly known as the “Mayuuni” grounds.

This highly explosive contest that was well attended and graced by the Prime Minister of Uganda then, Cosmas Adyebo ended in running battles following hooliganism tendencies. People lost their lives, many were injured and property worth millions damaged.

Police fires tear gas into the Kakindu Stadium stands during the final to disperse away the rowdy fans who had started to throw missiles onto the field of play (Photo: David Isabirye)

As a first time visitor to a football match, the memories of spilling blood from faces of many faces remain fresh in my mind. I hated football until I reached secondary school.

Luckily, I recovered to watch and play football again. But, many first time fans and those willing to join are scared away by such regrettable acts.

A section of boxing fans who attended the climax of the 2019 national open championships at Lugogo. Violence would scare away such fans
Joseph Kasana covers a plastic chair over Dr Lawrence Mulindwa from the raining stones during the 2019 Copa coca Cola final against Jinja SS at the Kakindu Stadium in Jinja (Photo: David Isabirye)

What leaders talk about hooliganism and violence in sports:

Eng. Moses Magogo, the FUFA President who is also a CAF Executive Member has no kind words for hooliganism in football and sport in general.

If you ask me about what we should do with hooliganism, well, first of all, I am disappointed with the FUFA judicial system. I think they are not applying the law as it is supposed to be applied, the best way to end hooliganism is to deduct points because the fans look at points and if you do that, it will directly impact on every club.” Magogo noted in reaction based on two KCCA fans Abdul Hamid Pantaguli and Jalia Namuswe who were banned for 2 years by FUFA for attacking Mashood Ssali, a referee who officiated a 1 all draw between KCCA and Express on 23rd February 2020.

Eng. Moses Magogo, President of Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Credit: FUFA

I highly condemn these acts (Hooliganism and Violence) in totality. Violence and hooliganism are uncivilized acts of barbaric nature which does not suit humanistic virtues of preservation of human rights, dignity and integrity

Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel, National Council of Sports General Secretary
Dr Bernard Patrick Ogwel, General Secretary National Council of Sports (NCS)

Violence and hooliganism are against the core values that sport promotes. Sport  teaches values such as fairness, team building, equality, discipline, inclusion, perseverance and respect. Sport has the power to provide a universal framework for learning values, thus contributing to the development of soft skills needed for responsible citizenship. Let us promote the core values of sports to fight   violence and hooliganism for safe sport to thrive

Hadijah Namanda, President Uganda Volleyball Federation
Hadijjah Namanda, President Uganda Volleyball Federation president Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

I condemn violence and hooliganism in sports. It does not develop sport. It taints the image of sport. It portrays the people in sport as a class of those who are not organized and who are not up to the task. These are no go areas for me. People should however DIFFERENTIATE between rivalry and violence. Rivalry is good for sport. It creates anxiety, creates royal strong fan bases. It gives ground for competition. On any day, I would go for rivalry than violence.

Moses Muhangi, Uganda Boxing Federation President
Uganda Boxing Federation boss Moses Muhangi (left) interacts with the first son General Muhoozi Kainerugaba

It is not right to fight. People should not attach feelings. Some people hide in sports. Fans should not also abuse sportsmen because they have not had good days. Fans should be real sportsmen.

Eddy Kenzo, Director Big Talent Football Academy and Musician
Besides being a music star, Eddie Kenzo also plays football in his leisure time

Sports hooliganism is killing sports in this country. Sports hooliganism is of two types; one stemming from the players and the fans themselves. This is very bad for the development of sports.

Emmanuel Kasagga, Founder of Entebbe Airport League and Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Sports Team

I don’t think we have reached the hyper local sports club levels of distinctions based on religion, politics, sectarianism or even regional location like in European countries so the level of sports hooliganism we have in Uganda is caused by wounds of our own creation such as poor match officiation, sport betting and the like. These are temporary situations we still have a chance to control as stakeholders

Hon Mwine Mpaka, MP Western Uganda Youth and Director of Mbarara City FC
Mwine Mpaka, Western Region Member of Parliament Credit: NTV

World over the sports industry is being affected by hooliganism. I am very happy by the new innovation made by FIFA where they have retained personnel in safety management. This will help clubs to deal with that small group of people who have negative behavior. The fact is we are trying so much to bring sponsors and fans back into the stadia so we have some people who not differentiate between rivalry and hooliganism. We need rivalry because it vibes the intensity of the game but fighting; no, no, no.

Ahmed Kongola, CEO Busoga United Football Club
Ahmed Kongola (left) as BUL club chairman Ronald Barente looks on

Sports build character through breeding ethos of integrity, discipline, respect, solidarity and passion. This leaves no room for hooliganism and violent behavior.  We should encourage all our stakeholders in sport especially fans to desist from acts of violence and hooliganism so as not to bring sports into disrepute but promote camaraderie.

Regina Lunyolo, Founder and CEO Sports Women Connect Foundation, Board member Uganda Rugby Union
Regina Lunyolo, Founder and CEO Sports Women Connect Foundation, Board member Uganda Rugby Union

Violence and hooliganism have no place in modern football! This act has deprived us of a good number of fans especially ladies and children who would wish to come and support the beautiful game, hence low numbers of fans causing poor gate collections! Remember no fun without fans

Musa Atagenda, Director Wakiso Giants Football Club
Musa Atagenda (second from right) with musician Jose Chameleon watching a football game at Kyabazinga Stadium

The modern game has no place for hooligans

James Kizza, Chairman URA Football Club
James Kizza hands over a URA FC jersey to Ibrahima Sonko at their Nakawa based head quarters in Kampala Credit: KAWOWO SPORTS

Sports hooliganism brings the game into disrepute. It even scares away some fans and spectators. Not to mention putting away potential sponsors. Its inhuman and ARCHAIC

Peter Kirunda Basadhansolo – Rugby referee & Coach, World Rugby licensed Educator, Chairman Entebbe Rugby Referees Society
L-R: Paul Kigwa, Peter Kirunda and Hon Balikudembe Mutebi

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

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