Recently, a photo emerged on one of the press motorsport forums. In that photo was a seemingly thoughtful rider.

The look on their face said much. Possibly, many questions and regrets lingered from him in that moment.

Some of them I could assume where; I should have been on that start line; I could be competing for the honors too.

Asaf Natan (3rd R) who was expected to ride under the Vets class at the Motocross of African Nations Championship (Courtesy Photo)

The photo was taken at the just concluded Motocross of African Nations Championship that Uganda hosted at the Garuga race track.  

South Africa put up an exciting performance. Their dominance handed them overall victory. Zambia came second and Uganda finished third. 

But there had been so much expectation from Uganda’s motocross team. After all, weeks prior to the championship, the local federation and a de facto group MAU had united.

Why the de facto?

The division by rider parents started in 2020. The group wanted immediate autonomy from the federation and proper management of motocross affairs.

However, the predominant clubs remained within the federation. MAU existed outside of the framework of the federation.

Local motocross has two race tracks; Garuga and Busiika. The division did not spare these ones too as Garuga remained for national competitions while Busiika in Gayaza was the ground for the de facto group.

The Unity

Arbitration by the National Council of Sports in the early months of the division yielded little.

Some rider parents still had their way around to bring the concerned people to the table.

The past issues were shelved for the betterment of motocross. There were bigger things to achieve; like winning the continental title.

Then was the famous re-union when FMU head Dipu Ruparelia and MAU’s Barak Orland shook hands.

Barak Oland and Dipu shake hands to approve the unity |

As it seems; the unity could have been for the cameras.

The troubles

First, majority of the riders who were in MAU did not take part in the MXOAN despite having been allocated positions on team Uganda.

For the Orland brothers who hold South Africa competition licenses could not rescind them so as to represent Uganda. It seems a tough choice it seemed to lose all the gains made riding in the rainbow nation.

In Garuga, even for the selected riders, being a no-show on the track but spectators left a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans.

Now you remember that photo I spoke about at the beginning.

But also, two days after the formalization of the reunion, FMU found itself in a dilemma following a tough letter from FIM-Africa directing the change of venue for the MXOAN to Busiika or have the event postponed. 

It is vivid to everyone that Busiika is the best track Uganda has. But was the directive well thought or there was another force? 

FMU and FIM-Africa had for the last two years worked around and made developments on the Garuga track. A change of venue with two weeks to the event would come with heavy financial implications. One would ask why FIM-Africa was so rigid to impose such directions. 

Kawowo Sports learnt that FMU sent an equally earnest letter to FIM-Africa drawing clear lines on the future of the event.

And by the look of things, the letter must have been of a great impact as FIM-Africa was immediately seen greatly involved in making good of the event.

FIM-Africa even took it to its official Facebook page to acknowledge that despite the success, the MXOAN event had negative influence prior.

And this brings to question whether the track saga was an honest move or was it a selfishly motivated push.

But also, the withdrawal of particular riders from the event equally cast a rugged patch.

Going forward movement or not at all

FMU finds itself in a spot yet again.

Two days after the MXOAN, a poster on the MAU Facebook Page announced a scheduled event in September.

Anybody following the run of events in motocross can only be left at crossroads now.

In just three weeks, there has been a reunion, disorganization, and then back to the same troubles.

The bigger question remains; is their full commitment to reconciliation?

The FMU-MAU handshake may have something good come out of it, but the continued reckless actions could lead to calling the handshake just a mere joke.

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