The FUFA Competitions Director Hajjat Aisha Nalule has come out to dismiss rumors that the federation has failed to competently finalize the club licensing process which left many clubs without enough players by the start of the 2020/21 StarTimes UPL.
As the new season kicked-off on the 3rd of December, 2020, almost all the fourteen teams did not have enough players to make the matchday squad, most notably Kitara FC who started their campaign with 9 players against Kyetume FC.
The poor start to the campaign by some of the clubs has been blamed on the FUFA Licensing committee by some club officials who claim the licensing process has been slow.
However, the FUFA Competitions Director, Hajjat Aisha Nalule has come out to dismiss claims that the Federation has failed to play its part in the licensing process.
Nalule, in a recorded interview with Sanyuka TV during the Endiba Yaffe show, said the Federation played its part but it is the Coronavirus crisis that is still affecting the club’s preparations for the new season.
“We do not take long to issue clubs with players licenses, in fact, we have gone ahead to even remind clubs to share details for some of the players who were found lacking before the start of the season.”
“It is true there are some players who still lack the requirements needed to be licensed such as contracts and Covid tests which have now become a key requirement because of the prevailing circumstances, and we need our medical personnel to confirm that the players are fit to play for their respective clubs.”
“I can confirm that all clubs have at least been issued with more than 15-players licenses. The Only club that got less than 15 is Onduparaka FC who are still trying to work around the players’ contracts as required by the process.”
“I am forced to believe it is the COVID-19 tests that are affecting the clubs. Most teams have registered positive cases, and It is now a requirement for teams to present their players’ certificates before they get to feature in the matches.”
Aisha Nalule also asserts that the Federation got to an extent to asking FIFA for more time to allow Clubs to work around the process;
“We got to an extent of requesting FIFA for an extra month so as to allow our clubs to finalize the licensing process via the Transfer Matching System. However, most of the coaches always delay submitting to clubs the players for licensing. There are many hurdles the clubs are facing, but at the end of the day they must submit requirements to get more of their players licensed.”
Matchday one of the 2020/21 StarTimes UPL had some clubs featuring with fewer players as a result of the positive results returned after the COVID-19 tests. Wakiso Giants, Police FC, Express FC, KCCA FC among others were affected by the crisis on matchday one.
While speaking to the Press ahead of their home game against Onduparaka FC, KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi revealed that some of their players tested positive and missed their opening matchday game against Bright Stars at Kavumba.
The StarTimes UPL continues on Tuesday 8th December with five fixtures featuring KCCA FC against Onduparaka FC at the MTN Omondi Stadium. New entrants MYDA FC host Police FC at the King George IV Memorial Stadium, Busoga United and BUL FC square off in the Jinja derby at the FUFA Technical Center, Wakiso Giants take on Kyetume FC, and URA FC host Soltilo Bright Stars at the Arena of Visions.