By Baron Kironde
After the 2021 FUFA Big League (FBL) climaxing on Sunday, history has been made as anxiety continues to prevail.
Arua Hill Sports Club will for the first time play in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL) come next season after qualifying unbeaten.
From 14 games in the just concluded FBL season, the Leopards have dominantly won eight, drawing six and losing none in Elgon Group.
Tooro United on the other hand made a return to the UPL, qualifying automatically after finishing top of the Rwenzori group with 31 points, two more than second placed Proline FC.
Only one of Proline, Nyamityobora, Gaddafi and Blacks Power after finishing second and third in their respective groups can join the UPL through promotional playoffs.
In the Rwenzori group, Kigezi Homeboyz like Tiles and Terazo both finished the season in the danger zone.
Mbale Heroes and Phaidha Black Angels in Elgon group finished below the red line, and are as well relegated to the third division (Regionals league) unless otherwise.
Mbale Heroes and Paidha Black Angels have both played in the UPL before, and are now headed for the third division league in the country.
Mbale Heroes on a mission of seeking lost glory from the nineties finished the season in the relegation zone after a goalless draw against Kataka at the Mbale Stadium.
Paidha Black Angels played were just relegated from the UPL in 2019, less than two years later, they are set to play in the regional league.
According to the FBL set up, the two last teams in each of the two groups (Elgon and Rwenzori) have been relegated until only when FUFA officially announces that there will be no relegation from the same league due to the cancellation of Regional leagues.
FUFA, on Friday, 11th June resolved that there will be no regional leagues played until next season following a surge in Covid-19 related deaths and positive cases.
The local football governing body only ascertained that efforts will be diverted to an early and timely kickoff of the 2021/2022 Regional League season.
However, FUFA did not clarify whether or not the Big League will relegate teams to the third division given that the non-played Regional leagues can not promote to the second division.
The relegated teams are heavily relying on the above fact for survival, but some reports are still indicating that FUFA has plans to change the format of the Big League into one unified league not divided into two groups.
Awaiting official communication, relegated teams have fingers crossed as FUFA is still contemplating, but if the decision is taken to play one league in FBL next season, that could be a reasonable way of relegating without promoting.
If two teams are relegated from both groups, the FBL can be combined for a single fourteen-team league.
Until then, the fate of all the relegated teams from the FBL solely relies on what the local football governing body will decide.