The Moments that disgraced the StarTimes Uganda Premier league


From the biggest and best players and clubs to the most shocking and controversial moments on and off the pitch, we look back at some of the moments that we consider unbecoming in normal circumstances.

We take a look at some of the moments that indeed disgraced the 2019-20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

Proline Forfeit home game against SC Villa

Proline FC failed to show up for a home game against SC Villa at the Startimes stadium citing rules of the international break | Courtesy photo

The FUFA Competition Disciplinary Panel penalized Proline FC for failing to honor their home league game against SC Villa with claims it was an international break moment.

The newly-promoted side was docked 6 points and 6 goals and was also fined UGX 5,000,000/=. Proline appealed to the Court of Arbitration for sports (CAS) after they deemed FUFA’s ruling unfair but the case was dismissed.

It was at the start of the new league forfeiture without a sound reason from the StarTimes FUFA Big League Champions and Stanbic Uganda Cup was a big disgrace to the 2019/20 season.

Ssimbwa and Kakembo referees budget saga

Sam Ssimbwa spent the entire first round embroiled in a war of words with Ivan Kakembo to an extent of citing the then CEO for his failure to push the team for better results | Courtesy Photo

URA FC head coach Sam Ssimbwa and Ivan Kakembo (then URA FC CEO) were at loggerheads and this eventually affected the Tax Collectors performance in the first round.

When URA FC beat SC Villa 2-0 at the start of the second round in Ndejje, Sam Ssimbwa spat-out at Kakembo for his team’s poor run of form in the first round citing interference by the then CEO in his duties. Kakembo retaliated a few days later via his twitter handle accusing Ssimbwa of match-fixing. This prompted the FUFA Ethics Committee to investigate the allegations of the case that has never been concluded.

The two failed to bury their differences and ended up disgracing the Tax collectors. Kakembo later departed the 4-time league champions after his contract expired and wasn’t renewed.

Golola, his entire technical team, and the sack

Vipers SC fired Edward Golola and his entire technical staff following a humiliating exit from the Uganda Cup at the round of 64. At the time of his departure, Vipers were leading the league standings | Courtesy photo

Vipers SC sacked Edward Golola after his side fell to Kajjansi United via penalty shoot-outs at the round of 64 of the Uganda Cup at Wankulukuku.

By the time he was sacked, Golola’s Vipers were leading the StarTimes Uganda Premier League with 42 points garnered in 18 games and 4 ahead of Second-placed KCCA FC.

Vipers had only lost twice in the league (to KCCA and SC Villa), won 13 and drawn only 3. Golola had earlier guided Vipers SC to the Pilsner Super 8 preseason Cup triumph in August.

From the StarTimes UPL perspective, we believe Golola’s sacking is one of, if not the only reason why Vipers had not been crowned champions of the league before the halt to sport resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Muhammad Kisseka’s match-fixing claims

Kiseeka accused his players of taking part in match fixing after their 1-0 against SC Villa in March | Courtesy Photo

After their 1-0 loss to SC Villa in March, Tooro United’s head coach Muhammad Kisseka accused his players of taking part in match-fixing activities.

The former Paidha and Bright Stars coach attributed his side’s string of poor results in the league to match-fixing by most of his players, forgetting he had been sacked earlier for a string of poor performances at Bright Stars.

Were Bright Stars players also fixing matches? How did Paul Kiwanuka turnaround the team’s fortunes?

The statements of the sacked tactician were a big disgrace, not only to the team but to the men who endure the pressure of the game serving as coaches.

That KCCA FC draw against Bright Stars

Steven Sserwada came from the bench to score KCCA FC’s equalizer against Bright Stars | Courtesy of KCCA FC Media

Emmanuel Kiweewa who was the center referee in a StarTimes Uganda Premier League game between KCCA FC and BrightStars FC disallowed Ronald Ssempala’s headed goal after the ball went through the net.

The game ended in a 1-all draw after Joseph Janjali scored for Bright Stars FC and substitute Steven Serwada leveled matters for the home side.

The fact that those five referees present on match day failed to observe that the ball went through a tearing in the net was a total disgrace to the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.

The Football Stadia Saga and torrential rains

An aerial view of the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole that was closed to allow for the refurbishment of the playing surface during that moment when stadia became a big challenge  | Courtesy photo

Having a fully green pitch and an internal perimeter fence are some of the minimum requirements needed for a playground to be considered fit to host a football match in the first division by the FUFA Licensing committee.

One of the lows of this season especially for most of the first round has been the degrading standards of stadia. Most teams were forced to look for options at the start of the season and later when the rains and ‘pressure’ got the facilities degraded to their worst in many years.

Mbarara City and Onduparaka sought refuge at the Luzira Prison grounds, Busoga United and BUL FC were at the FUFA Technical center, while Bright Stars, Tooro United used the Wankulukuku Stadium for that time. But, when the torrential rains worsened the situation forcing Namboole, Wankulukuku, and Luzira Prison Ground to be suspended too.

Bombo Military Barracks playground, Kavumba recreation grounds, FUFA Technical center playground at Njeru, and Kabaka Kyabaggu socked up most of the pressure.

We consider this as one of the biggest disgraces to this season and had the situation gotten any worse, the games would have been put to a standstill.

Ssenyondo sack and re-appointment

Brian Ssenyondo has coached Mbarara City FC 2 times this season| Courtesy Photo

Brian Ssenyondo started the 2019-20 season as Mbarara City FC interim coach but 5 games into the season, the Ankole Lions decided to push him out for a more experienced Paul Nkata. Claims had it that the former Synergy coach had been demoted to the academy (a post he refused to take on) and not sacked.

After just 21 days in charge, Nkata was fired having won just once in 8 games and Ssenyondo took up the managerial post once again.

Ssenyondo had won just one game (3-0 against Proline, drawn 2-2 against Vipers at Kitende, 0-0 against Police FC and lost to Villa 3-1 and Express FC 2-3, while Nkata managed only one win against Busoga United, lost 2-1 to Wakiso Giants, 1-2 to maroons, 1-0 to Tooro United, 3-0 at BUL FC and managed 2 goalless draws against URA FC and Bright Stars.

When Ssenyondo returned to the Ankole Lions dugout, he managed to push the team uplift the team to a position Nkata and his seniority had failed at.

The fact that Mbarara City could not trust Ssenyondo even after his exploits before the season was one of the biggest embarrassments to the season.

Jalia and Patanguli

Patanguli comforted Referee Ssali Mashood after the KCCA-Express game at StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo | courtesy photo

During moments after the 1-all draw between KCCA FC and Express FC on 22nd February 2020, at the StarTimes Stadium, Lugogo, Jalia Namuswe, and Abdulhamid Patanguli attacked and attempted to harm Center referee Mashood Ssali while he was leaving the dressing rooms.

The pair alleged that Ssali had officiated the game in favor of the visiting side Express FC, denying KCCA FC 2 clear penalties in the same match.

Jalia and Patanguli were suspended by the FUFA Competition Disciplinary Panel on accounts of hooliganism and were handed one and two-year bans from all football-related activities respectively. The Club, KCCA FC was also fined a million shillings for having failed to manage heir crowd after a home game.

We consider the two hooligans and their actions by Association as a disgrace to the Club, KCCA FC, and the StarTimes UPL 2019/20 season.

Club licensing

FUFA club licensing manager Ivan Kintu Bayige was so strict on licensing requirements and few clubs managed to fulfil all | Courtesy Photo

It is mandatory for all players to have a contract with their respective club before they get to feature in any league games. They should be fully released by the club before they can feature for another club in a particular season

A national Identification Card (ID) is also one of the requirements needed by the FUFA licensing Committee to grant one a license.

The biggest problem with this season’s licensing program was because many players from various clubs failed to produce the ID’s and subsequently didn’t pass the licensing procedure. The clubs had to start the 2019-20 season with fewer players than expected.

For example in the Tooro United Vs Onduparaka game, only 10 players from the 2 teams (3 for Tooro and 7 for Onduparaka) were licensed to feature in the SUPL game.

Vipers official and his offensive language

In the After-match of the Wakiso Giants- Vipers SC game at the Kabaka Kyabbagu Stadium on March 2020, Vipers SC director Tadeus Kitandwe took to his Facebook account and insulted center referee Shamira Nabadda.

Nabadda sent off Vipers striker Fahad Bayo for an intentional handball, a decision that left many fans disappointed including the Vipers Director.

In the Facebook post which he later deleted, Kitandwe referred to Nabadda as a ‘bumless chic’ was a disgrace to the league from a person of his status.

For the fact that a ‘lecturer of languages at a credible University’ failed to distinguish the difference between what he understands and what society understands from his comments was a disgrace to the league.

With all the definitions he could come up with, it was a matter of context, and an apology should have come through for the FIFA referee.

The Refereeing Controversies

Nabadda sent off Vipers’ Bayo after the striker intentionally handed the ball | Courtesy Photo

In the world of football, referees always have one of the toughest jobs, as every one of their decisions could have a major impact on the outcome of the game, and possibly the season as well.

This season, the FUFA referees have made decisions that have been considered a disgrace to the league.

For instance, the SUPL game between KCCA and Bright Stars FC, referee Emma Kiwwewa controversially denied Bright Stars’ a clear goal after the ball passed through the net.

In the Wakiso Giants game against Vipers SC at the Kabaka Kyabbangu stadium, a FIFA referee Shamirah Nabadda controversially sent off Fahd Bayo for an offense that did not require a send-off (deliberate handball). It’s true he handled the ball deliberately but did not at any moment and in any way deny a goal-scoring opportunity which would have required otherwise.

Another notable occasion was that game that Maroons lost by forfeiture to Vipers for fielding an ineligible player in Hannington Ssebwalunnyo. Center referee Nassar Muhammad and his first assistant, Okello lee kept themselves under constant scrutiny for making the wrong calls – especially the one that resulted into the equalizer. The referee handed Vipers a penalty which in actual sense by the new rules should have been awarded after a ball from the ground hit a Maroons’ defenders hand.

A lot of these incidences were witnessed in the StarTimes UPL and all their of their deliberate and wrong calls are a disgrace to the game.

Tooro United and their sins

Tooro United’s captain Willy Kavuma and his counterpart Hillary Mukundane of Mbarara City during their match at St. Paul | Courtesy photo

When the club’s biggest stakeholders Smart Obed sold off some shares to Spelito Ssesanga, the club started failing to manage its business.

From not having the rightful jersey at the start of the season to failing to meet the players’ and coaches’ demands. on 8th January 2020, more than 10 players deliberately refused to travel with the team to Fort Portal, allegedly demanding their unpaid salaries of more than 3 months.

The team lost one of the best coaches in Uganda today, Wasswa Bbosa, lost his assistant, Eric Ndifuna, and lastly fired Muhammed Kisekka before the break.

The “Katale za Tooro” could raise only 4 licensed players in the match which they lost by forfeiture to Onduparaka FC.

The same Club lost another match by forfeiture against Kyetume FC for fielding James Kasibante whose licensing process had not been completed at the time.

The Club’s performance in the league, the actions of the administration, and identity plus status were a disgrace to the League.

Mutebi and those fat rowdy hooligans

KCCA head coach Mike Mutebi was attacked by fans after his side lost 2-1 to Bright Stars FC in Kavumba

On 15th January 2020 after KCCA FC’s 2-1 defeat against Bright Stars FC at Kavumba Recreation ground, angry KCCA fans attacked Mutebi accusing him of wanting to leave the club in turmoil.

The fans accused the “Our way” manager of benching Key players in the loss especially Nicholas Kasozi, who had been started on the bench over a period of time due to his poor performance.

If the fans have gotten to a level of understanding football better than the coaches, then that is a big disgrace on the StarTimes UPL this season.

Maroons and their records

Maroons fielded an ineligible player Hannington Ssebwalunyo against Vipers. Ssebwalunnyo had receieved a number of cautions that could force him to sit that fixture. | Courtesy Photo

Maroons FC lost their hard-earned 1-point to Vipers after forfeiting the match for fielding an ineligible player, their goalkeeper Hannington Ssebwalunnyo. Ssebwalunnyo and his eligibility had been the center of controversy during the matchday build up on the different media platforms, but it looked like the it all fell on deaf ears.

The whole of Maroons FC and its administration failed to keep track of their statistics and team data. They could not even consult the Uganda Premier League or the referees just for clarification on the matter. What a disgrace!

This article excludes Hannington Ssebwalunnyo’s deliberate and dangerous act of stepping on Vianney Ssekajugo because he later apologised for his wrong doing.

Kamardin Shero
Senior sports Editor at The Touchline Sports | Am down to earth person with a great heart of always wanting to assist where possible.

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