The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has over the years embarked on a rigorous project of improving its administrative structures to match the demands of the modern game.
The slogan ‘We need to protect the game’ has often been floated around by the federation every time they have been confronted with the questions about how viable whatever reforms they are taking to grow the game.
However, there have been steps taken to move the administration of football in the country in the right direction, and the statement may be a subject of contention according to which school of thought or background you represent.
The latest reform in the federation’s structures is in line with its judicial system where they are forming the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.
FUFA’s judicial system has been found to be gullible, pertinent to the various vices that pose a threat to the local game.
The FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Committee will be headed by Dr. Azaah Taibu and Kaggwa Yusuf as the Chairman and assistant. Their mandate will be to direct Judicial processes at FUFA, ensure fast & fair justice
The targeted vices are; gaining unfair advantage, corruption, predetermination of results for both sporting and betting reasons, hooliganism and violence, discrimination, defamation and use of banned substances.
But most of these vices have been facilitated by the referees who have been often at the pinnacle of the fracas.
For example, Marrons FC was docked points after they were found to have played goalkeeper Hannington Ssebwalunyo while he was supposed to be suspended for accumulating three yellow cards.
Maroons’ records didn’t match the records of the referees of the different games Ssebwalunyo featured in during that period.
Additionally, hooliganism was on the rise, with referees, players and coaches not spared.
Referee Masood Ssali was attacked by KCCA fans, while female referee Shamirah Nabadda was verbally abused by a Vipers shareholder after showing an unclear red card to forward Fahad Bayo.
Ronnie Kalema, the head of the Referees body and a member of the FUFA Executive Committee was welcoming of the new judicial reforms.
“Every day there is a sanctioned match in the country, whether in the Big League, the top division or in the Women’s league,” Kalema told Football256.
“So there was a need to answer the call for the vices that were affecting the game.”
“While referees have a mandate to manage the game within the FIFA rules of the game, they too are bound to error as humans. However, in some cases, there may be a deliberate move by a said official.”
“It is human to error, but there may be deliberate efforts by officials to distort the facts from the game.”
“While we have the Referees’ disciplinary panel which handles technical issues, the adjudicatory panel will intercede on matters like bribery, corruption and match-fixing,” Kalema explained.
The reforms in the judicial bodies will be guided by a completely reformed and amended FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Code now called ‘The 2020 FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary (FED) Code’.