Uganda: Sports Return Drama

Soccer goal
27 September 2020

President Museveni's announcement about lifting the suspension on sporting activities was as expected greeted with excitement and relief.

This is after regulated sport, among other activities categorized under mass gatherings, had been under lockdown since March 18.

The resumption was however dependent on federations fulfilling conditions set by the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Covid-19 Task Force and the National Council of Sports (NCS).

The last of the three bodies on Friday issued guidelines that must be put in place which will require at least the weeks before any major sports activity can be held. This news was met with despair from federations especially after NCS chairman Don Rukare revealed government was non committal on funding the testing of athletes.

"We'll try to beat the timelines. The measures are stringent yet we're not yet sure of government helping out with testing," he said.

"We are planning a pilot programme to put together an elite league of four teams in a T20 format because we cancelled the league," Uganda Cricket Association CEO Martin Ondeko said after the meeting. His sentiments were similar to those of Hudson Ssegamwenge from domestic basketball body Fuba as well as the Ludo federation spokesperson George Ssebanenya who view the finances required to complete the Covid-19 testing process as a major stumbling block.

"The checklist has that testing option that our clubs cannot afford. But we'll meet in a few days to decide how possible we can have a 14-day tourney after carrying out tests and also look at preparations for AfroBasket qualifiers. We are behind schedule with how we wanted the national team to prepare for the qualifiers," said Ssegamwenge.

Fufa did not attend the Lugogo meeting but had earlier asked their members to refrain from taking part in any activity until authorised by the federation. This was after reports of a tie between Mbarara City and Big League side Kayaks on Thursday.

SELECTED GUIDELINES

Associations will be required to submit a schedule of planned events and venues to be used with priority of national teams engagements.

Each organised event shall be cleared on its own merit.

Associations shall appoint a medical personal to work in liaison with MOH on all Covid-19 related matters

Provide proof of testing of players and officials prior.

National sides to camp in one place avoid unnecessary interaction with outsiders.

NCS shall constitute a team to access the readiness and compliance of associations.

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