What is a derby like behind closed doors? Yes, it remains a derby and when the first whistle goes, there will be no relenting between these two traditional rivals of Ugandan football.
SC Villa will host KCCA in the first Kampala derby of the season at the Bombo Barracks Grounds in Bombo on Tuesday afternoon.
Current procedures pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic allow for only 200 fans to attend matches, but that is also subject to clearance from FUFA.
Villa, the hosts have launched an attempt to have that number attend the epic clash in Bombo, but even with the 200 who will be in presence, the stadium will feel as hollow.
Of course, there will be WhatsApp group chats, banter and the Facebook coaches will have their time to analyze both teams’ approach, but for those to whom such games call for madness and a bit of body painting, this derby will feel less of one.
But will the rivalry lose a bit of its true meaning without the fans in the stands? Both sets of fans had their say.
You love the tension, missing the game never bodes well – SC Villa fans
Desmond Lobi from Nakulabye: Well, it’s not one of the fixtures one would think of missing especially when we are playing at home.
But due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation makes it hard for majority of our fans not to rally the lads.
It’s quite disappointing especially at the moment when we as fans are expecting to get revenge given the fact that the recent results have not always been in our favour. However, we will not be broken by that, we will support the team from home and we expect positive results.
Musa Matovu from Kawempe: I will miss the tension, fear and uncertainty before the match. I have always prayed for damage control (we don’t concede many goals) in the recent past whenever we pray against KCCA.
I will also miss the passion among Villa fans before the game it is always a festival when such games come around few moments compare to it in Ugandan football.
We shall be looking for Isaac Ogwang and Ronald Ssekiganda for inspiration, they are Masaza products and that gives KCCA an advantage with what they have at their disposal with the experience and leadership.
Wilson Kibwakikaire from Jinja: To me, I think SC Villa will miss the cheering from the crowd. I don’t think it will be an easy game for my club because KCCA always gives us hard time in recent seasons.
Ssenyonjo Richard: It is hard to think of a derby with no fans, but we ave to respect the protocols from government.
The fans mean a lot to Villa, and Villa means a lot to the club, but if times call for no fans, then we can do much. It is now down to the players to wear their hearts on their sleeves and carry the thoughts and feelings of the fans to the stadium and win the pride for us.
Remmy Namuli currently working in Dubai: For the last five or six seasons, I have never missed any Villa game be it home or away.
Missing a Villa game is really hard especially when am following through internet, the pressure is unbearable. I have never dreamt of not being able to cheer on the boys when they are playing, I really miss cheering them on from the stands.
KCCA is a tough game for us and recently they have picked results over us, but regardless I will take a draw though victory would be the perfect derby gift.
Sultan Sheba from Buwate: This is the first Kampala derby am missing in five years, it doesn’t bode well with me but being there’s a pandemic going on all over the country we got to accept.
The Kampala derby comes so well with very many things; The fans always attend in good numbers for the game and the quality of football displayed by the two teams is always good no matter the result.
We have conceded in all the games making us a little vulnerable at the back compared to last season, while KCCA is scoring goals for fan this season and being a derby, it won’t be an easy game for the Jogoo who will be assembling an inexperienced team.
Francis Onyango, Bugoloobi (a Villa fan since 1992): I have said this before; I never would have imagined that there would ever be a time in my life when the world would come to a stand-still.
It’s hard to imagine that I can’t go to the stadium for games, COVID-19 has really got to us. It’s a hard feeling that we can’t watch games as is supposed to be.
The fun we have when in the Stadium is unmatched. I’ll miss that. Villa is like a family. We stand in unison in bad and good times. Sc Villa gives us so much to smile about and missing out is absolute pain.
Derbies are derbies and it matters less where the game happens. The results are hard to predict. But being a Villa fan, may the Jogoo emerge supreme. Our players should appreciate the value of donning an SC Villa Jersey.
Villa a team we love to beat – KCCA fans
Umar Kiddah from Kawempe: Obviously, we will miss out on one of the best attended matches of the UPL annually.
Villa is one of the teams we enjoy to beat because our rivalry has stood for long. Many people say Express vs Villa is the biggest game in league but I differ. It has always been Villa and KCCA since our rivalry is entirely on the pitch.
Villa and KCCA have always had the best players compared to any other team in the history of the league. On the other hand, the rivalry of Express and Villa sometimes goes off the pitch and you find fans fighting each other and officials.
So, we are going to miss out on the absolute performance on the pitch and the atmosphere.
Nankya Rahmat from Mukono: Well, I think my team will probably miss us because there’s a way we help boost players morale and make them even more hungry for goals.
Though as a fan, I’ll also miss watching my team play. But regardless, this won’t stop KCCA from bagging the three points against Villa because we have a good squad, and the best coach so we expect a win and my prediction is a 3-0 victory.
Love Rogers from Entebbe Abayita Ababiri: It is really painful for me as fan to miss this game against Villa.
Because watching the game put me on that nail biting, edge of the seat pressure because the two teams are huge and your never sure until it’s done. No KCCA FC fan would wish to miss this one.
Then you want to be cheering on the beautiful goals from your side and your favourite players.
Villa always wants to give us a hard time but we always end up taking the three points and it is one thing you love to go back home with then the vibe in the stands from both sets of fans is world-class.
Matovu Tom: This is one of the traditional rivalries in Ugandan football, so many fans await this tie and mark their calendars whenever the league starts.
So many words are shared from both set of fans and the players themselves and on the eve to the game all fans from both teams will be already fighting both virtually and physically.
With all the history of this game in both fans and players for both teams, it is going to be a big blow to miss out on this game.
Villa would love to prove something to its fans as KCCA FC has registered a little bit better results in the latest meetings. KCCA FC fans would love to continue the winning culture against the rivals.