2021 FUFA Big League:
- Directly Promoted Clubs: Arua Hill (Elgon Group), Tooro United (Rwenzori Group)
- Qualified for Playoffs: Blacks Power, Gaddafi (Elgon Group), Proline, Nyamityobora (Rwenzori Group)
- Relegated: Mbale Heroes, Paidha Black Angels (Elgon Group), Kigezi Home Boyz, Terrazo and Tiles (Rwenzori Group)
The 2021 FUFA Big League season had its regular season officially completed on Sunday, 13th June at various venues across the country.
Four clubs; Blacks Power, Gaddafi (Elgon Group) and Proline, Nyamityobora (Rwenzori Group) qualified for the promotional playoffs as they will vie for the third slot to join Arua Hill and Tooro United.
West Nile-based Paidha Black Angels were the first confirmed club to be dropped to the third division.
They were followed by Big League debutants Terrazo and Tiles.
Then on the final day of the regular season, Mbale Heroes and Kigezi Home Boyz followed suit in heartbreaking fashion.
Mbale Heroes played to a goal-less draw with nemesis Kataka at the Mbale Municipal Stadium.
On the same day, Kigezi Home Boyz fell 1-0 to Tooro United at the Mutesa II Wankulukuku Stadium.
A few days after the relegation of Mbale Heroes, their head coach Ali Hussein Kheri was pronounced dead after a long battle of diabetes and high blood pressure at Mbale Referral Hospital.
On just 5 points from 14 matches, Paidha Black Angels recorded the least points. They were followed by Terrazo and Tiles (10 points) who lost 2-0 to rivals Nyamityobora in the Mbarara derby on the final day of the season.
Kigezi Home Boyz, who had sacked former coach Mark Twinamatisko ended the season with 14 points.
Mbale Heroes completed the dismal season on 17 points after the goalless draw with Kataka on the final day of the season.
Several factors obviously led to the under performance of the relegated clubs.
Among these underlying components included the limited playing squads, small financial muscles for the clubs to remunerate players and team officials, inadequate time for pre-season preparations, abrupt change of technical management, inexperience for the case of Terrazo and Tiles among others.
“We gave our best as players but management frustrated us with delayed salaries and allowances. This put the players’ morale really down,” Ibrahim Kibumba, a senior player at Mbale Heroes stated.
Paidha Black Angels head coach Allan Kabonge Kivewala attributes the club’s free-fall to the poor preparations.
“By the time I joined Paidha Black Angels, they had a poor start. This was purely due to ill preparations. Right from the recruitment of players, you could depict that something was a mess,” Kabonge discloses.
Like Kabonge, Terrazo and Tiles’ also had Robert Ssekweyama take over the club at the halfway stage of the season from Michael Bukenya.
Unfortunately, he could not save the club from the murky waters of relegation.
The FUFA Executive Committee is yet to come out and pronounce itself on the fate of these four relegated clubs since the Regional Leagues across the country were cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.