Jinja SS Copa Champions 2017 Credit: © Kawowo Sports / DAVID ISABIRYE

There is a lot of uncertainty that regards the 2020 Copa Coca Cola schools football championship that is slated to be held in Arua, West Nile.

This is because of the raging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that hit the world which forced students to prematurely head home in isolation as schools were closed down by the head of state, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

There is a ray of hope that by 27th April 2020, the schools will return and therefore the qualifiers for the copa cola cola championships at the respective district and regional levels will resume.

Buddo SS celebrate their Copa Coca Cola championship at Kakyeka Stadium, Mbarara in 2018
Kibuli SS team during the 2019 Copa Schools championship held in Jinja

The tournament is arguably the biggest schools’ football fiesta, luring as many as 5000 schools across the country right from the lower levels of qualifiers with the main tournament having 60 schools.

For that reason, this tournament is dubbed as the schools’ world cup in Uganda.

Kawowo Sports’ David Isabirye curtails the full list of former winners since the inaugural edition in 1986.

Kibuli SS has a record 11 titles to their name tag, followed by St Mary’s SS, Kitende with 9.

Kololo SS has four championships (1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990).

Buddo SS and Lubiri and Old Kampala schools have two titles apiece.

The schools with one trophies apiece are; St Leo Kyegobe, Jinja S.S, Ngabo Academy, Nagalama Islamic.

The copa coca cola football championship is a bed-rock of talent scouting in uganda. government ought to come up and fully support this championship. schools should also give this tournament a top priority

Nimrod Kintu, Veteran football coach
Azizi Kayondo skippered St Mary’s SS to victory at the 2019 Copa Coca Cola championship in Jinja.

Kololo SSS was the first school to win this tournament in 1986 and went ahead to win the first treble between 1986 to 1988.

Kibuli also has a treble of titles (1991 to 1993) and St Mary’s SS Kitende has two trebles (2006-2008) as well as between 2011 to 2013.

Only St Leos Kyegobe (1997), Ngabo Academy (2001), Nagalama Islamic (2002), Bishop Nankyama (2010) and lately Jinja S.S (2017) are the only three schools to have won this championship away from the most dominant Kampala and Wakiso based schools.

The tournament is played by students under the age of 20 years.

Dr Lawrence Mulindwa hoists the 2019 Copa Football trophy aloft with the players during a welcome luncheon at the school on Sunday (Photo: David Isabirye)

This tournament is run by the Uganda Secondary Schools Sports Association (USSSA), fully sponsored by Century bottling company under the Coca cola brand with blessings from the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Previous Winners since 1986:

  • 2019: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja College)
  • 2018: Buddo S.S (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High)
  • 2017: Jinja S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS)
  • 2016: Kibuli SS (Host: Soroti, Teso College Aloet)
  • 2015: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Hoima, Duhaga S.S)
  • 2014: Kibuli SS (Host: Gulu, St Joseph College, Layibi)
  • 2013: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Kabale, Kigezi College)
  • 2012: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Tororo, Rock High School)
  • 2011: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Arua, Mvara S.S)
  • 2010: Bishop Nankyama (Host: Masaka, St Henry’s Kitovu)
  • 2009: Buddo S.S (Host: Fort Portal, St Leo’s Kyegobe)
  • 2008: St Mary’s Kitende (Host: Arua, Mvara SS) *Started as Copa Coca Cola Cup
  • 2007: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2006: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Masindi, Kabalega SS) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2005: Kibuli S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2004: St Mary’s SS Kitende (Host: Mbarara – Ntare School) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2003: Old Kampala (Host: Lira, Lango College) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2002: Nagalama Islamic (Host: Soroti, Teso College, Aloet) * Coca Cola Cup
  • 2001: Ngabo Academy (Host: Kabale, Kabale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 2000: Kibuli S.S (Host: Mbale, Mbale S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1999: Old Kampala (Host: Masindi, Kabalega S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1998: Kibuli S.S (Host: Jinja, Jinja S.S) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1997: St Leo’s Kyegobe (Host: Mbarara, Mbarara High) *Coca Cola Cup
  • 1996: Kibuli S.S (Host: Masaka, Masaka SS) *Started as Coca Cola Cup
  • 1995: Kibuli (Host: Mbale, Mbale SS) *NPP Cup
  • 1994: Lubiri S.S (Host: Lira, Lango College) *NPP Cup
  • 1993: Kibuli S.S (Host:  Mbarara, Ntare School) *NPP Cup
  • 1992: Kibuli SS (Host: Kampala, Kibuli SS) * UTV Cup
  • 1991: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1990: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1989: Kibuli S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1988: Kololo (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1987: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
  • 1986: Kololo S.S (Host: Kampala) *UTV Cup
Part of the crowd that watched the round of 16 match between St Julian High School Gayaza and Jinja SS at Kakindu Stadium, Jinja. The tournament is famous for luring crowds

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

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