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UPL clubs meeting with Fufa in doubt

By Esther Muwonge

A planned meeting between the Uganda Premier League (UPL) club bosses and Fufa, that was scheduled to take place today at the Fufa house in Mengo, is in doubt. This is after a letter undersigned by Honourable Mwine Mpaka, Youth MP Western region, and Mbarara City FC chairman, stated, that together with eight other clubs, they would not be attending the meeting.

The letter, which was addressed to the UPL Chief Executive officer, Bernard Bainamani, through whom Fufa wrote to the clubs, to invite them for the meeting, indicated that SC Villa, Express FC, BUL FC, Wakiso Giants FC, Busoga United FC, Onduparaka FC, Mbarara City FC, Kyetume FC, and Bright Stars FC will not be attending the Fufa organized meeting.

Notably, the names of all the nine club bosses, that backed this move, were included in the letter. But in a subsequent response from the UPL CEO, he questioned the authenticity of the letter undersigned by Mpaka, sighting the lack of all nine club bosses’ signatures, as an anomaly. In fact, Bainamani insisted the meeting will go on.

However, this state of affairs appears to have placed both Bainamani and Fufa on a collision course with the UPL clubs, that are in no doubt about their plans. Diana Nyago, the President of Busoga United explained their stance: “The letter from Fufa inviting us for a meeting on Wednesday June 10, arrived on Monday June 8. This was so short a period for us as clubs to prepare adequately for it.”

Fufa third vice-president, in charge of the UPL, Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi confirmed this meeting, and was primed to play a leading role in anchoring it. She said on Monday June 8, that there were many critical issues to be discussed by Fufa and the UPL club bosses.

High on the agenda were the planned league reforms, club licensing (within which preparation for the 2020/21 season would be discussed), and club financing, a sticking point in the sustainability of the clubs.

Yet, with the stance of the nine UPL clubs, ignoring a meeting convened by Fufa, sets aside a new wave of events. For the last few years, the clubs never said no to Fufa. But as it stands, something has changed, and clearly, the clubs have mustered resolve not to be “Yes Men” of Fufa anymore.

That said, the fact that clubs like KCCA FC, Vipers SC, Police FC, and URA FC did not have their chairmen or Presidents backing the response letter to Fufa, points to the lack of a singular vision in the UPL. United you stand, and divided you fall. That is something Fufa will be aiming to exploit, especially if the other four clubs attend the meeting today at 10am.

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