December 9, 2021

SUPL: Suspensions, fines the biggest highlight to the season’s start

By Allan Damba
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SC Villa's Oscar Mawa (M) dispossessed by Wakiso's Simon Namwanja (L) and Lawrence Bukenya (R) at Kavumba on Tuesday November 3rd, 2021 / Sanyuka Image

The 2021/22 StarTimes Uganda Premier League campaign is barely a month since it kicked off and has already painted glimpses of a tough rough ride ahead.

Despite a series of mouthwatering action, nerve-wracking moments and breathtaking events, what has caught the eye though, has been an ugly tale.

From the hideous discipline or rather indiscipline showcased by players, coaches, officials at clubs to the heartbreaking incompetences displayed by the match officials.

All of these have forced the iron and unsparing hand of the FUFA Competitions Disciplinary Panel.

The Committee has been busy in the last three weeks, handing bans, suspensions and fines to all those charged and found guilty of respective offences.

Express FC head coach Wasswa Bbosa is not a man entirely new to indiscipline and suspensions.

This season, during their opening day 2-0 loss at the hands of newbies Arua Hill SC, the motormouthed tactician alleged that their CEO, Isaac Mwesigwa had paid the referee to induce the loss to his own team.

The disciplinarians responded by slapping a UGX One million fine and a three match suspension to Bbosa. To open his account for this season? We will have to wait and see.

The shameful event was followed by an even more barbaric and unsporting one. In Vipers SC’s 5-0 thumping of Wakiso Giants, the latter’s player George Kaddu came up with one of the most shameful acts to the beautiful game.

A reckless tackle on Milton Karisa earned Kaddu a second yellow card but before referee Ronald Kirangwa handed it out, the former slapped it from his hands. He was later manhandled by his own teammates as they forced him off the pitch.

The ‘FFU’ of football responded by handing him a one million fine along with a two month ban off FUFA Competitions.

In the same game, center referee Kirangwa also received his own portion of punishment.

The panel found him guilty of shying away from granting Wakiso’s goalkeeper Samson Kirya a red card after the latter had denied Ibrahim Orit a goalscoring opportunity with a nasty foul.

Kirangwa was sentenced up to three weeks off officiating as he evaluates his performances.

In the same St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende fixture, Wakiso Giants Photographer Phillip Mugabi was fined five hundred thousand Shillings (UGX 500,000) for what the Competitions Disciplinary Panel found as an attack on match officials in his Facebook post. It was reported Mugabi used abusive language towards Kirangwa.

Referee Lucky Kasalirwe also received a three week ban for his poor officiating in Gaddafi FC’s 1-0 win over Soltilo Bright Stars.

His decision to disallow a seemingly correct Emmanuel Loki goal affected the match’s final result, hence the uncompromise from the Ali Tomusange-led Referee disciplinary panel.

Another match official, center referee Rajab Bakasambe was given a forced break off his duties for failure to spot Express’ Arthur Kiggundu’s antics.

Kiggundu ‘turned’ goalkeeper and grabbed Yunus Sentamu’s goal-bound effort in the Red Eagles’ two all draw with Vipers.

The defender should have been sent off with a penalty given to the visitors as well, but, Bakasambe did neither, instead, awarding a corner.

In the aftermath of the events, the culprit himself, Kiggundu was given a board-room red card which meant he would sit two games.

The latest of this trend have been Bright Stars head coach Baker Mbowa and Mbarara City FC player Jasper Aheebwa.

The former who made comments about poor officiating during his side’s 1-0 loss to Gaddafi was slapped with a UGX one million fine.

Meanwhile, Aheebwa’s violent conduct during his side’s 1-1 stalemate with Tooro United has had him suspended for three matches by the Disciplinary Panel on November 5.

With just five match days on the cards, it is likely that quite a number of players, club officials and referees will suffer at the hands of their own misdeeds.

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