Since time immemorial, the trip across the Nile for a football match has been unfathomable for many Ugandan football clubs with a plethora of shocks emanating from those clashes.
Many visiting clubs and, or fans will forever have a memory of a football match gone sour along the mighty Jinja Road and thereabouts, right from the years of teams like Jjinja in the ’60s, Lint, NYTIL and Tobacco in the ’70s, Nile, UGMA and Blue Bats in the ’80s, the Buikwe Red Stars – NYTIL merger (BN United), SCOUL, UEB (Umeme) and Iganga Town Council in the ’90s plus the likes of Kakira Sugar Works, Victors (when they shifted to Jinja), BUL, JMC Hippos, and Kirinya Jinja SS (Busoga United) in this millennium.
Add this lot to teams beyond the Busoga area like Gangama (Mbale Heroes), UCI, or Telestars and you get yourself hair raising memories of unforgettable return trips from a match played on that side of the country.
There have been some whipping boys though, like Busia Park, Bugiri Old Timers, Idudi, CRO, Rockstars, Lugazi United, and Sadolins Paints.
Disregarding URA and Vipers who once used stadia along the technical Jinja route and also ignoring the likes of Kanoni Mukono or Buikwe Red Stars.
Let’s delve deeper into the Jinja sides proper.
Something peculiar has struck our minds here at the Touchline sports desk, why is it that 87% of the teams in this region have crumbled almost into obscurity?
Relegation aside, most of the Busoga region teams have disappeared into oblivion, just like the institutional teams across the country. Has the institutional syndrome gripped the proverbial industrial town of Uganda?
Quite understandable for a follower of institutional clubs but the current predicament of Busoga United is worrying.
Started as a school-community merger when Jinja SS headteacher Hope Dinah Nyago bought into Kirinya FC (a team of mechanics along Jinja’s Kirinya Road).
The team seemed to have finally turned the corner when it was announced in May 2019 that they had become Busoga United.
However, the news coming from the club and its circles has since turned into a wave of accusations and counter-accusations between the club “board” and the kingdom of Busoga which has kind of scared purists fearing the club might go the Nile, Umeme or Tobacco way. God forbid!
Since madam Nyago distanced herself from Amin Bbosa and Agatha Kayemba (the apparent representatives of the club to a recent FUFA meeting) and since the Busoga Kingdom premier Dr. Joseph Muvawala opened pandora’s box by claiming they never consented to the said share allotment which had him, the Kingdom, and five other individuals allocated 2% while the Jinja SS board and Ms. Nyago got a hefty 35% and 51% respectively.
A barrage of bitter communication has exchanged directions.
The most profound of them was the apparent withdrawal of the club “naming rights” by the Kingdom, the denial of any share allotment to the latter by Nyago, and a recent contradictory statement by CEO Andrew Ndyabahika while appearing on Sanyuka TV’s Endiba Yaffe show, that the club is ironically limited by guarantee.
The final straw in the series of twists came with news filtering in that, following the retirement of madam Nyago from the school to pursue a political career, the new headteacher Isaac Balimusangayo may have less interest in the club using the school’s facilities especially after failing to understand how his predecessor got the 51% shares.
A club engrossed in a fatal football war – Is Busoga United football club headed the Jinja road fate?
This puzzle is like a double-edged sword or a typical snake-in-the-cooking-pot scenario.
Thinking about what would transpire in the heat of the moment creates goosebumps in any football purist’s belly.
Like the British sing ‘God save the queen’, may the gods of football show more smiles than cries to the Jinja football lovers. And may the deliberations to sort these misunderstandings have amicable conclusions. It’s our game, our country.
The author is a Sanyuka TV analyst and presenter on 102.1 FUFA FM #Ataakulaba show every Sunday 6 pm – 8 pm.