By Baron Kironde
The 2020/21 StarTimes FUFA Big League will climax on Sunday, June 13, in what has been a hotly contested season, producing unprecedented drama and nail-biting action amid the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.
Arua Hill SC and newly promoted Gadaffi FC have dominated the Elgon group. Tooro United and Proline seek for a direct way back to the top flight from the Rwenzori group.
Arua Hill have one foot in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League given that they hold a massive three-point lead and a huge goal difference over Gadaffi with one game to play of the regular season.
The Leopards are good for promotion realistically especially, after their goalless draw against challengers Gadaffi, but mathematically need to collect at least a point from their final game against already relegated Paidha Black Angels to ensure promotion.
The Soldier Boys have to win by eight goals against Calvary FC and hope Arua Hill lose their game to gain direct promotion.
It is a straight-up fight for direct promotion between Proline and Rwenzori group leaders Tooro United. Two points separate the two going into the final game week on Sunday.
Victory for Tooro United at home to Kigezi Home Boyz – who are fighting for survival themselves – will guarantee promotion. Proline also must win at home against Water FC – who themselves are not safe from relegation. However, if Proline wins and Tooro draws against Kigezi, the former will directly be promoted via goal difference.
Kataka, Blacks Power, Nyamityobora have play-off slots in sight
Important to note that three slots are available for promotion to the top division. Group leaders automatically qualify, while the second and third teams from either group have a chance of promotion via play-offs.
In the Rwenzori group, as Proline strains to achieve direct promotion, Nyamityobora FC has sealed their place in the play-off semi-finals. They hold a five-point advantage over Luweero United with a game to go.
Meanwhile, Arua Hill and Gadaffi are certain of a promotion slot (regardless of the outcome of their games), but the final promotion slot remains at large.
Blacks Power holds the advantage heading into the weekend. They are three points above Kataka FC, who are on 18 points after 13 games.
A point is good enough to see Blacks Power through to the play-offs regardless of the result from the Kataka game. But they can relinquish the slot should they fall to Maroons FC in Luzira.
Kataka, on the other hand, needs nothing short of victory for a shot at the play-offs. Kataka should ensure that they defeat Mbale Heroes by five goals and hope that the result at Luzira goes their way.
Paidha relegated, Kataka lies in the balance
Paidha Black Angles will walk into their game against Arua Hills with only the ambition of spoiling their neighbour’s party, but their fate is sealed.
The team from Zombo reached the top division in 2018 and also played in the Uganda Cup finals that same year, but fortunes have turned for the worst and will be playing in the third tier next year.
A single relegation slot remains in the Elgon group, and only three top two are safe from relegation. Much as Kataka, who lie fourth, can secure a play-off slot, they can also spiral down into the third tier depending on how the results go.
Two points separate Calvary (who cover the final relegation slot on 16 points) from Kataka. Only three points can save them, but that means it could condemn Mbale Heroes – level on points with Calvary – to relegation should Calvary better their result.
Maroons as well need to better or match Mbale Heroes and Calvary results to ensure safety. Such is the importance of three points on Sunday.
In the Rwenzori group, Ndejje University covers the final relegation spot as Terrazo and Tiles’ fate was confirmed.
Ndejje has to ensure they win against fourth-placed Luweero United. A draw may be good if Kigezi Home Boys lose by at least two goals to Tooro United or Water FC lose by at least three goals against Proline.
• Mbale Heroes FC vs Kataka FC – Mbale Stadium
• Calvary FC vs Gaddafi FC – Green Light Stadium
• Maroons vs Blacks Power FC – Luzira Prisons Grounds
• Arua Hill SC vs Phaidha Black Angels FC – Barifa Grounds
• Tooro United vs Kigezi Home Boys – Buhinga Stadium
• Proline FC vs Water FC – MTN Omondi Stadium
• Nayamityobora FC vs Terazzo and Tiles FC – Kakyeka Stadium
• Luwero United vs Nedejje University – Kosovo Grounds