December 9, 2021

UPL / FSLL warns MTN over fans awards

By Baron Kironde
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FUFA Super League Limited has cautioned MTN Uganda to stop ‘unlawful use and exploitation’ of football products of Uganda Premier League Limited (UPLL) or be ready to face legal implications if they proceed otherwise.

In a letter dated 25th August 2021, FUFA Super League Limited (FSLL) through their lawyers Newmark Advocates wrote to the Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda.

The letter was a notice to demand that several activities dealing with UPL football be absconded from by Uganda’s leading mobile network service provider.

“UPLL is together with FUFA the joint owners of the UPL and all other products thereto albeit they by contract grant rights over some of their products to third parties and or partners on such terms as per the respective contractual arrangements entered,” Newmark Advocates noted, on behalf of their client.

“Our client concerns and reference is made to your just concluded “MTN SUPL Fans Awards” and the consistent use of PL logos and signage and holding out as Official SUPL Broadcast Partner without their consent and or approval in a number of your media broadcasts and other print and virtual platforms,” the law firm added.

Dubbed the MTN SUPL Fans Awards, the initiative followed the completion of the 2020-2021 SUPL season that involved fans voting for their best performing players, coaches, and clubs online (via the MTN website and Sanyuka TV Facebook page).

The awards also followed the successful five-month online engagement spearheaded by MTN to keep the football passion alive amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the mobile network company standing out as ‘the number one football supporter in Uganda’ also identified itself as the official broadcasting partner of the SUPL.

Well, the UPL expressed appreciation towards MTN’s intention to recognize the excelling and or outstanding stakeholders in the UPL but hastened to add that the same and other use and ‘exploitation’ of the League products can only be done following well-established procedures and mandate.

UPPL, therefore, demanded that MTN forthwith ceases using the SUPL logos and insignia on their communication and desist from holding out as the Official Broadcast Partner of the UPL.

“The FSSL and FUFA have never authorized you (MTN) as one further not to unlawful exploit other commercial properties of the league without authority,” Newmark Advocates further cautioned.

The law firm also tipped MTN that they are under specific instructions that should they (MTN) proceed with their actions of holding out as stated above.

Newmark Advocates are under instructions to commence legal action against the mobile network company against their peril and embarrassment.

Signed by Newmark Advocates, the notice letter was copied to, as to notify all relevant offices and authorities accordingly including the CEO.

The others are, Uganda Premier League, CEO, FUFA President, FUFA, UPL Club Chairmen, Media & Cyber Crimes Department, Police Headquarters and StarTimes Uganda DTV

Meanwhile, the 2021 MTN SUPL Fans Awards were held successfully without any interruption as among categories, Express was voted the best team to take home 30 million

URA striker Steven Mukwala and Express coach Wasswa Bbosa both bagged 10 million after being voted the fans’ player and coach of the season respectively.

Mukwala finished the season with 13 goals in the league to complement his impressive performance as Bbosa guided the Red Eagles to their first league trophy in close to ten years.

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