It’s a MUST to avail players for FUFA approved competitions, according to FUFA Chief executive Officer, Edgar Watson.
FUFA late last year introduced a new football tournament, The Drum, to be competed among 16 assumed provinces with a fat cash prize of Shs100m. This is the highest cash prize to any football competition in Uganda after the super league.
But many teams expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of the tournament which is supposed to kick off this weekend in the eastern town of Jinja, a stone throw from Njeru Technical Centre in Buikwe where it was launched. The league second round has also gone three games.
The first public protestation came from Vipers which is owned by former FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa. The club claimed the tournament was meant to attract new talent, contrary to the original script which suggested an open tournament where even professionals based abroad are eligible. Vipers went on to suggest that the timing was not favorable for a side with title ambitions.
Almost every Vipers player had been summoned by various regions.
Peter Lwanga, the team’s CEO wrote last week that, “Vipers administration resolved to bar all the club registered players from taking part in this tournament as a measure to safeguard the club interests.”
But Moses Magogo, the FUFA president insisted during the tournament launch that top players must have more than 40 games a season to be able to compete with the best in continental competitions. Currently, league players are involved in a maximum of 30 games plus about seven if the team lifts the Uganda Cup. The competition therefore was expected to give more games to top players.
Now Edgar Watson has ordered clubs to avail their players or face tough sanctions. In a tough letter on Wednesday, Watson said that “any players that don’t honour the invitation shall be ineligible to participate in one FUFA competition match.”
On top of that such player will also forfeit the Shs1m earned monthly if they are part of the national team.
He highlighted that clubs are mandated to release up to 10 players for the various provinces where they have been called for duty.
Fufa Drum opening fixtures:
Sat. Feb 24: Busoga vs. Bugishu, Bugembe
Sunday fixtures: Teso vs Sebei, Lango vs. Acholi, Buganda vs. Kigezi, Bukedi vs. Kampala, Bunyoro vs. Rwenzori, Karamoja vs. West Nile, Ankole vs. Tooro