First, the 2020/21 Uganda Premier League was scheduled to kick off on October 17, then postponed to November 20 and later to December 3rd 2020.
With just twelve days to the tentative kick off dates, the signs are not good with a fourth postponement more likely as the fixtures for the new season are not out yet.
Football 256, a local football website reported that fixtures will be out next week but looking at developments from both Fufa, the football governing body and UPL, that will be a surprise.
UPL secretariat has always insisted that they are only waiting for the Fufa Club Licensing report in order to release fixtures
“We cannot release the fixture before the Licensing committee confirms the clubs that have fulfilled the requirements for next season,” UPL Manager Paul Kabaikaramu told The-SportsNation last week.
It’s the licensing committee that confirms the stadiums to use next season. In fact, we have our fixture draft ready but we can’t release it before getting green light from the FUFA Licensing Committee.Paul Kabaikaramu, the UPL Manager
On Thursday November 19, a report from the Fufa Club Licensing Committee was released and only seven clubs; Vipers, KCCA, Wakiso Giants, Express FC, MYDA, Onduparaka and Police were eligible to get licensed for the next season, seven clubs; SC Villa, UPDF, URA, Bul, Bright Stars, Kyetume FC and Mbarara City had their grounds rejected for failure to meet standards while two; Kitara and Busoga United failed to ‘submit some of the mandatory requirements’.
“The sixteen (16) Clubs that applied for a Club License were subjected to the Club Licensing process and the following has been decided:
- Category I: Seven (7) clubs were able to submit the minimum requirements and have their stadia at FUFA level 2 and 3 which is acceptable for UPL. These Clubs therefore qualify for a full license.
- Category II: Seven (7) clubs were able to submit the minimum requirements but their grounds do not meet the minimum standard. These Clubs are advised to submit a stadium that was inspected and meets the minimum standard of FUFA level 3.
- Category III: Two (2) clubs have not been able to submit some of the minimum requirements.
Nevertheless, the clubs who still have issues with home grounds have been given up to Monday November 23 to have fully complied with the missing requirements and also submit a ground that meets FUFA level 3 with failure to do so an implication that the clubs do not get a license.
With such issues yet unresolved, it remains to be seen if the league will kick off in due time as scheduled by the FA.
Given the current situation, postponement of league kick off can’t be ruled out with unconfirmed reports already hinting at next year in February.
First, Uganda Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry has already said the Chan team will start preps for the tournament on December 14, just eleven days after kick off.
That implies that the maximum each club could have played is three matches and the league will be called off since the Chan team is composed of only locally based players.
Secondly, Vipers have a continental engagement during the tentative kick off time and that means it will be foolhardy including them on the fixture on the first match day.
And finally, with Cranes starting preps as early as December and Chan tournament in January, the league will automatically be off.
Will the FA and UPL finally go with December 3rd, 2020 as the kick off dates? We all keep guessing.