26 February 2013

Uganda: USL, FSL Saga Stalling Football

Kampala — The January 31, 2013 deadline that had been set by Hon. Jesca Alupo, Uganda's Minister of Education and Sports came and passed and so did the February 14, 2013 Valentine Day 'gift' to the soccer fraternity to resolve the impasse that has rocked the domestic soccer atmosphere.

The Minister had instructed the warring factions; Uganda Super League (USL) and the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) to come up with a resolution that would put an end to having parallel leagues running at the same time.

However, the January 31 deadline passed and the two leagues have even kicked off the second rounds of their tournaments.

The situation is not being helped as players from one league cannot be allowed to feature in the national team simply because personal egos have taken over the management of the beautiful game (read turned ugly)

According to sources, the reason for the delay in the minister's statement on the USL/FSL wrangle announcement is not just an issue of who wins.

"There is an entire restructure going on in Ugandan football which means the public will see wholesome changes on how the game is run right from the Federation to the smallest player. Therefore its policy making and that is not a one night thing. But next week (This week) should be good," intimated a source.

However as the anxiety continues to build, it's now turning into anger. Some are now saying that the delay to announce has become too expensive for clubs (in case there is league cancellation involved). Others insist that this is the cost of the disorder that football created for itself.

According to Aldrine Nsubuga, a soccer pundit, FUFA is bragging that the status quo has remained well beyond 31st Jan, 2013 with FSL fixtures continuing unabated.

"Haruna Kyobe (FUFA) said yesterday (recently) that there's no cause for excitement because nothing has changed. It's proof that they are very much in charge and a certain minister the joker. Is that a new twist in the tale? Does Alupo's delayed announcement equal to FUFA's victory?" he wonders.

Lawrence Mulindwa, the FUFA President has in the past few weeks come out to rubbish the Minister's threats saying that the federation is not answerable to government and that the FSL is there to stay no matter what.

However, news trickling in is that it appears the majority in cabinet favour a clean slate, a fresh start. One league; an Interim Administration to prepare for the next FUFA General Elections. That would effectively mean a dead season. Apparently, government is determined to de-privatize FUFA by having FUFA Ltd de-registered and restored to FUFA status or register a new name for the national football association.

Sponsors, SuperSport, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) and Ecobank insist on the USL as the only professional league body and the one they are legally bound. Also news trickling in is that World governing body FIFA was made to understand why FUFA can't be allowed to continue being a 'privatized' body which is used as a cover to mis -manage and remain unaccountable.

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