It is not called ‘The Only League That Matters’ for nothing, the fate of the Startimes Uganda Premier League has been decided with table leaders Vipers Sports Club declared champions. Tooro United, Maroons, and Proline face the guillotine.
The 75% rule cited in article 18 (1) of the rules and regulations is accurate for the StarTimes Uganda Premier League since it’s not new to Ugandan football.
In 1991, KCCA FC, who are ironically leading the chasing pack today (2019-20), were beneficiaries ahead of SC Villa then.
The main talking point though is with the relegated lot and the lower leagues’ anomaly. Agreed, 83% of the games have been played in the former but if you are Proline or Maroons (with just one and, or two wins to catch ailing Police and Bright Stars and with Kyetume or Wakiso Giants not mathematically far away), you would fancy at least a playoff.
Before one asks why, it should be observed that the FUFA Big League puzzle has left MYDA and UPDF automatically through while Kataka, Kitara, Ndejje, and Kiboga Young-Heroes await a playoff for the 3rd slot. Logic would dictate that the same action would happen both sides of the equation (having a playoff for the 3rd relegation slot amongst four sides) after all the time of the promotion is assumed.
As for the regional and district leagues, if the 1st rounds are or were completed before lockdown, why wouldn’t it be imperative to use the sub-section that authorizes the use of 1st round positions to guarantee promotion and, or demotion?
Such questions would not interest teams like CATDA, Edgars Youth, Buwambo, and others who are among the 16 to play regional playoffs for a chance to replace the relegated Big League sides. The likes of Spartans FC however, find the cancellation beyond misery since it completely nullifies every hope of successfully overcoming an unfair demotion a few seasons ago.
Kansai Plascon, Kasese New Villa, and Dove FC (Rwenzori group) plus Saviours FC, Light SS, and Katwe United (Elgon group) are relegated to their respective regional leagues.
‘Ekuba Omunaku Tekya’ is a Luganda adage that explains the plight of those without power. (The Coronavirus pandemic is classified under force Majeure), therefore, hard luck to all the affected teams.
The writer is Tendo Musoke, a football administrator and journalist