By Kamyuka Kenneth
Moses Magogo the president of the Federation of Uganda Football Association has said that he is ready to start discussions with the government over potentially resuming the football season.
Sports in Uganda has been suspended as part of a 42-day nationwide lockdown as the country battles with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the time the government announced the second lockdown in 15 months since March 2020, the football season in Uganda was weeks away from its climax.
The Uganda Premier League had 72 of the 240 games still not played, while the FUFA Big League had reached the play-offs with the Uganda Cup halted at the semi-finals.
FUFA’s emphasis currently is to have a sporting conclusion to the season and avoid the ramifications of an unfinished competition that might cost clubs millions of shillings in revenue.
While appearing on NTV’s Pressbox on Monday evening, Magogo provided an update suggesting there was a possibility for competitions to go ahead despite the latest restrictions.
“Regards to the season, we want it to have a sporting conclusion,” Magogo stated before adding.
“We are going to engage the government on how we can ensure that football can be given the green light to resume even amidst the lockdown,” he added.
According to Magogo, the federation draws confidence in getting the government’s approval given their ‘outstanding efforts in controlling the number of cases within its athletes’.
“FUFA is an institution that has been outstanding in ensuring that we control the threat of the coronavirus within all our activities and the stakeholders,” he said.
“FUFA has ensured that cases of infection are kept at a low because, as you have seen with our international engagements with the different national teams, only seven cases have been reported.”
“Even in the league, the reported cases have been minimal. So, we can show the government that we are an institution that has control over our activities because we have proved that,” Magogo explained.
“As FUFA, we have managed to create bubbles and have guarded these bubbles jealously. And that is why we had problems with, for example, Fred Kajoba and Khalid Aucho when they threatened the safety of some of these bubbles. Some of our interventions include encouraging testing, and for those who have been found positive, we have set up our isolation centre in Kisaasi to manage and take care of these cases,” Magogo said.
Magogo’s statement came hours after FUFA had released a decision from its Executive Committee, which stated that football competitions will be indefinitely suspended as FUFA works around ‘obtaining necessary clearance from government’ for the season to resume.
Under the current setting, the season had been scheduled to end by July 30, but the prescribed lockdown period will not lapse until July 30.
The Uganda Premier League had three matchdays to go, with Express sitting at the summit of the table a point above URA FC in second and two points ahead of champions Vipers SC.
Meanwhile, Vipers SC, Express FC, Police FC and BUL FC reached the semi-finals of the Uganda Cup and await to learn who they will play in the last four.
Gaddafi FC, Blacks Power, Proline and Nyamityobora will tussle for the final promotion place in the Big-League play-offs.
Football has seen limited coronavirus infections to both players and officials since the season started in December, unlike unfortunate incidents in other sports which have been affected by the coronavirus infections.
Football’s biggest disaster related to COVID-19 happened to KCCA FC, where more than 10 players and officials tested positive ahead of the CAF Confederations Cup qualifier against AS Kigali.
Since then, FUFA has encouraged regular testing for players and officials before ensuring that all clubs undertake COVID-19 vaccination earlier in June.
Other stakeholders including journalists and administrators were also aided by FUFA to undertake COVID-19 vaccination.