20 November 2012

Uganda: Anticlimax As Muk Win University League

Just when Makerere University Business School (Mubs) was getting ready to celebrate winning the first ever University Football League (UFL), joy turned into agony when the tournament organising committee instead awarded the title to Makerere University in the most controversial of circumstances, writes Felix Eupal.

What was dubbed the 2012 best innovation in Ugandan football has ended on a sour note. The first ever UFL season has been synonymous with huge crowds of passionate fans but on the flip side, crowd violence and dodgy decisions have watered down its importance. That's why Muk's title has been met with dissent from rival universities.

This arose from the organising committee's decision to award Makerere University six points from the two matches that Kyambogo University failed to honour. Kyambogo University protested an earlier decision by the tournament's Appeals Committee which declared that their first round game against Makerere be replayed.

Kyambogo led the aforementioned game 2-0 before crowd trouble forced its abandonment. The disciplinary committee meeting ruled that Kyambogo be awarded the points as a punishment to Makerere University by blaming the latter's fans for the chaos. However, the Appeals Committee, which is the supreme decision maker, settled for a replay.

In the ensuing controversy, Kyambogo withdrew from the remaining fixtures. Kyambogo has since been suspended from the league on top of being fined of Shs 500,000.

In response, the university has decided not to take part in the league again nor pay the fine. Meanwhile, Mubs coach Charles Ayiekoh told The Observer: "Football is about fair play and winning in a boardroom is wrong."

"It's like these people are supporting hooliganism because now teams or fans will also fight when losing knowing that they have friend on the Appeals or organizing committee that will help them get away with it."

He adds: "Mubs will not pull out of next year's tournament. The organisers didn't know how to handle the situation and we shall wait until next season because our goal is about developing talent. Makerere know they are not the rightful champions."

The six-team league kicked off in September and included Muba, Makerere, Kyambogo, Nkumba, Uganda Martyrs and Kampala International University.

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