By Jimmy Patrick Alunyo
The new strand of COVID-19 is scary in all aspects because as noted by Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero the minister of health, it took over nine months to lose 28 people from the first COVID-19 attack but this new strand has already killed over 28 people in under 2 weeks.
With this new strand sweeping the country and hitting hard in all sectors, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has announced the postponement of all the regional leagues across the country until further notice. According to a statement released by the federation’s deputy CEO-Football, Decolas Kizza, he reiterated that the increasing number of COVID-19 cases as shown by the Ministry of Health statistics has prompted them to stop the upcoming regional leagues.
Additionally, the federation has also requested that all the clubs and stakeholders take part in the ongoing vaccination against COVID-19. The vaccine has been given to all the clubs following their request to the Ministry of Health towards the end of last month. This is of course not a good sign for football development in the country but protecting the health and safety of players is a key priority for any football governing body in any country.
The FUFA regional leagues were slated to kick off by 20th June 2021 with a change in format from the usual league to tournament format in all the eight regions of Northern, Eastern, Kampala, Buganda, Western, West Nile, Kitara and North East. But given the current situation with COVID-19, the federation has no choice but to halt the regional leagues in order to protect the health of players because as noted by Dr Misaki Wayengera, the chairperson of the Ministry of Health scientific advisory committee recently, the second wave is going to be more severe and the country could experience what is happening in India.
Stay safe folks. Social distance. Wear masks, wash your hands and sanitise.
But despite this recent development, the top tier Uganda Premier League (UPL), FUFA Big League (second division) and the Uganda Cup competitions remain active, albeit without fans. We hope for the best for our country given this current strand.