Finally, the Rebranded Inter-Provinces tournament, dubbed the FUFA Drum got underway on Saturday.
As predicted, Busoga got the better of Bugisu with a convincing 3-0 victory at the Kyabazinga stadium, Bugembe in a game watched by a moderate crowd including among others, Rebecca Kadaga, the Speaker of Parliament.
The days preceding the kickoff didn’t go without controversy though.
First, Vipers wrote to the FA indicating intentions to bar their players from participating in the competition.
They did among others raise issues concerning the timing and also quoted the FUFA President, Moses Magogo who at the launch of the competition on December 20, 2017, said the vision was to unearth new talents.
“We did the research and prepared well,” he said as quoted by the FUFA official portal. “We expect the best out of this tournament,” he added.
Our vision is to unearth new talents and we also want to see some of these games live on Television.
Basing on this, Vipers thought the use of established players doesn’t augur well with Magogo’s vision of unearthing of new talents.
Former FUFA president and Vipers supremo Lawrence Mulindwa on Friday also wondered how such an aim will be achieved when Wadada, Taddeo Lwanga and Shafik Bakaki, already unearthed and established players are used.
“Why don’t you go down to the regional and other divisions to get players as part of player identification,” he wondered. “We are surprised that instead of putting emphasis on talent identification and search, the emphasis is on fans recruitment. Whats there to identify from national team players like Wadada, Taddeo and Bakaki for instance” he continued.
In the fixture between Busoga and Bugisu, over 90% of players that featured are premiership players while others like Aggrey Madoi and Milton Karisa are national team players.
Doesn’t that water down the president’s assertion of unearthing new talents?
Away from that, why put such a brilliant competition in the middle of the season.
It’s at a point when teams are fighting for different objectives – some are fighting for the title, others relegation while most want to finish in decent positions in order to get that ‘prize money’ that comes with each position.
Of course players can get injured anywhere but who is responsible for any of such catastrophe in case he is injured featuring in the competition? I doubt FUFA or the Region will do much but leave the club where he is contracted to carry the burden.
If players haven’t gotten full treatment while injured on the national team where there is an insurance policy, what about the level of the DRUM.
In my own view, the tournament needs to be shifted to off season when there is less club activity to enable both scouting of new talents and also keep the players busy to have more football in their legs – in case of already established players.
And again, let the guidelines have sporting justice but not just of benefit to a couple of individuals.
Away from that, lets “Celebrating Our Ancestry” It is our Game, it is Our Country.
Team Buganda we go!!