The Observer (Kampala)

1 January 2013

Uganda: New Year Guide to Local Sport

Year 2013 is upon us and in a year that promises more of hope than reality, John Vianney Nsimbe previews the people and events that will shape Ugandan football in the next twelve months.

In the wake of a forgettable 2012 that was characterised by administration wrangles and agony for The Cranes, one can only hope that 2013 will be a more fruitful year on and off the field. First and foremost, the nation will be waiting in earnest for January 31.

This is the date set by the Education and Sports minister, Jessica Alupo, to end the feud between local governing body Fufa and the Uganda Super League over the running of the topflight division.

With two parallel leagues running concurrently, the advent of a cordial relationship between Fufa and the USL would be the best thing to have happened to Ugandan football in a long time - especially to the footballers. In fact that would go a long way in boosting the national team's progress internationally.

With the 2014 World Cup qualifiers top on the list for The Cranes, only stability at home in football management can bring fruits from such a tough campaign in which Cranes are second in their group. That said, only a strong and consistent domestic league will produce the players that can help Cranes qualify for the Africa Nations Championships (Chan).

On top of that, more sponsors will come into the game because of the television power. Supersport's continued involvement in domestic football is the sort of bait that few corporate companies will resist and that can only boost the players' welfare.

But if the divisions continue, some players won't be considered since Fufa made it clear before, that players from the USL are rebels and can't be considered for a Cranes call-up.

That said, striker Brian Umony was expected to light up the league this season besides being Cranes go-to player in the Chan qualifiers. Now that he has joined the Tanzanian Premier League at Azam FC, someone else will have to take charge. Last year, Kizito Luwagga (Bunamwaya) and Bonny Baingana (Express) lit up local football.

This year, should be the year that Abel Eturude, Maroons' attacking midfielder and Savio Kabugo, the defender of Sports Club Victoria Universit,y could be the talk of town. For the aforementioned young footballers, the future is bright.

But it would even be brighter for the rest of them if the football fraternity began a campaign to end sodomy in football this year now that Chris Mubiru, the act promoter was exposed.

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