The Federation of Uganda Football Associations, FUFA, Governs professional football in Uganda. The National Gambling Board Uganda (NGBU) has issued 583 licenses to sportsbooks such as Betway, and some of them sponsor local clubs. The Ugandan soccer federation has made several proposals in a bid to improve soccer in the country. In this article, we discuss the challenges that FUFA faces, as it tries to convince top Ugandan teams to accept its reforms.
Nine Uganda Premier League Clubs Snubbed the June 9th Meeting
The Uganda Federation Football Associations summoned top-tier Ugandan clubs to a meeting on 9 June 2020. Edgar Watson Suubi, the FUFA CEO, signed a letter that the secretariat sent to 14 UPL clubs and MYDA FC. Amongst other issues, the federation wanted them to discuss competition reforms and the licensing program of the 2020/2021 season.
Nine clubs didn’t attend the meeting which took place at the FUFA Executive House Conference Hall. They included Busoga United FC, BUL FC, Bright Stars FC, Express FC, Mbarara City FC, Kyetume FC, Onduparaka FC, Wakiso Giants, and SC Villa.
The 18th June 2020 Clubs’ Meeting
Ugandan soccer clubs met with the Federation of Uganda Football Associations on 18th June. Six clubs attended the previous meeting with the federation. Other clubs claimed that FUFA had mixed agendas and poor communication. Bernard Bainamani, CEO of Uganda Premier League (UPL) expressed his optimism to the Daily Monitor that all clubs would be present.
Bernard said that he had received positive feedback from all the Premier League clubs. They promised to attend the meeting and air their grievances. Dinah Nyago, Spokesperson of Busoga United assured that the club officials would attend the 18th June meeting despite boycotting the previous one.
FUFA was in charge of guiding the meeting’s agenda. It would comprise a review of the 2018/2019 season and the reforms that the federation had proposed. The Federation of Uganda Football Associations wanted all top-flight clubs to form U20 teams to compete in the reserve league. But, Dinah said that Uganda Premier League clubs would incur extra costs as they have junior teams. A lot of the supporters of the UPL use Betway Uganda soccer betting as their platform to bet on their favorite clubs.
The Busoga United spokesperson said that they would be open-minded in the meeting. She promised to seek opportunities to air some of the concerns the clubs raised earlier this month. Most UPL clubs believe that FUFA has a lot of power. Vipers, Bright Stars, Wakiso Giants, KCCA, and SC Villa promised to express their frustration about the federations’ reform proposals. Bubiru, CEO of SC Villa lamented on the poor sports infrastructure that the country has.
Aggrey Ashaba, the Vice Chairman of KCCA stated that finance and poor governance are the major challenges that the league faces. Abdu Wasike, the Spokesman of Vipers said that reducing the league’s size to 12 clubs would hinder even distribution of football in the country. But, the club supported the formation of a U-20 Reserve League.
FUFA believes that the 2020/2021 campaign will transform soccer in Uganda, as 16 clubs will compete in the Uganda Premier League. Out of these, six clubs will face relegation, instead of three. Thus, the 12 teams will take part in the 2021/2022 campaign. They will include two clubs from the Big League. Also, clubs will play the 2021/2022 season over three rounds instead of the current two. Ugandan soccer fans can place single bets and accumulators at Betway.