Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has thrown out the appeal from Maroons and Tooro United Football Clubs against relegation to the second division (FUFA Big League).
The FUFA appeals committee chairperson Diana Nabuuso passed the ruling that confirms the duo’s fate, a condemnation to the FUFA Big League alongside Proline Football Club.
“The appeal filed by Maroons FC and Tooro United FC against the FUFA Executive committee’s decision of 20th May 2020 is hereby dismissed. There is a right of Appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS),” the decision, No.02 of 2020 reads.
Maroons and Tooro United jointly filed an appeal against the decision of the FUFA Executive committee to halt football business by 20th May 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic, citing a force majeure.
The Appeals committee in their ruling cited a number of factors for the decision taken to throw out the petition.
The factors considered included; force majeure event (Coronavirus) that prompted the President of Uganda General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to ban all public gatherings in March 2020 which resulted in the FUFA executive Committee’s decision to end the 2019/20 season.
Nabuuso’s committee also indicated that through Article 85 of the FUFA statutes gives the FUFA Executive committee the powers to make decisions.
“The Executive committee shall have the power to decide on all cases of force majeure and on all matters not provided for in these statutes, such decisions to be made according to right and justice, taking into account the relevant regulations.”
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Following the above, the allegation that the President solely made the decision without consultations seems to be misguided as football clubs are duly represented on the FUFA Executive Committee.
The third consideration that the appeals committee stemmed upon to pit against Maroons and Tooro United was the fact that all the 16 clubs in the Uganda Premier League had played at least 75 percent of the matches by the time of the league stoppage.
Circular No.1106 in reference to FUFA First Division League stated; “All teams having played 25 of their 30 fixtures, 200 out of 240 matches (83.33%) Article 18 (c) of the FCR is applied and the table standings adjusted accordingly. This resulted in the relegation of Maroons FC, Proline FC and Tooro United FC to the second division.”
In the same Circular, in reference to FUFA second division league, Article 18 (c) of the FUFA Competition Rules was applied and accordingly, Kansai Plascon FC, New Villa FC, Dove FC, Savior’s FC, Light ss FC and Katwe United FC were relegated into their respective regional leagues.
Article 18 (1) (c) of the FUFA Competition rules provides, “Where at least one club has played more than 75% of the league games, the following formula shall be used by TOC to determine the table positions for the respective group: d) Total number of points earned from the number of games played multiplied by the total number of games supposed to be played divided by the number of games played.”
The committee wishes to highlight that in force majeure situations like COVID19 which led to the halting of almost all businesses including the sports industry, performance of certain activities is frustrated and in this instance, completion of the league was frustrated which affected all Uganda football leagues and clubs equally.FUFA Appeals Committee Statement
Concluding of the leagues was not unique to Uganda alone as various football leagues in other Countries were also halted due to the Corona virus Pandemic such as Mauritius, Kenya, Angola, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Congo, Liberia, Cameroon, DRC Congo, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Togo, Tunisia, Botswana to name but a few.
Tooro United has already started for life in the second division with the recruitment of Edward Golola as head coach.
Golola was officially unveiled as head coach at Tavern Woods Restaurant, Kabuusu in Kampala on Wednesday, 12th August 2020 alongside Simon Ddungu (Assistant), Moses Oloya (Goalkeeping coach), Jamada Magaasi (Fitness trainer) and Fred Kasekende as the youth side head coach.
Maroons handed their head coach Charles Ayiekoh Lukula another contract (one year) although the CAF A licensed tactician is reportedly disgruntled over player recruitment.
The Prisons funded side has also lured back former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pius Bamwange.
Meanwhile, Proline director Mujib Kasule is expected to name a new head coach after two of the coaches he used while in top division have since left for “greener pastures”.
Baker Kasule is assistant to Charles Livingstone Mbabazi at Kyetume whilst Baker Mbowa is set to be named as the Bright Stars head coach.
The football business is ear marked to resume by 19th October 2020 for the top division and 29th October 2020 for the FUFA Big League.