UPL kick-off set for December as FUFA agrees to finance players and official testing

The 2020/21 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season has been set to kick-off on December 3, 2020, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations has confirmed.

FUFA has also said that clubs will be issued with their respective licenses for the season by November 3, while players and coach licenses will be issued by November 10.

UPL fixtures are expected to be released by the UPL secretariat on November 10.

“The UPL Secretariat will release the fixtures by 10th November 2020 and the Uganda Premier League kick-off is set for December 3, 2020.”

“The FUFA Club Licensing Committee will issue 2020/21 UPL Club Licenses by November 3, 2020, while the FUFA Competitions Directorate shall issue Players’ Licenses and bench permits by November 10, 2020,” FUFA said in a statement.

Given the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic and in order to secure the health and safety of players and officials.

FUFA has also released strict Standard Operating Procedures which will be adhered to during the running of the league.

Crucial to that will be the creation of a COVID-Testing Center and only results issued by the center will be recognised as only players and officials found to be negative cleared to take part in training and matches.

The expenses incurred from testing players and officials have been pre-financed by FUFA, but, the federation will make deductions from future income to clubs as reimbursement for the expenses incurred.

If a club is found to have less than 10 outfield players and one goalkeeper available for a game, that particular fixture involving the club will be called off.

The set SOPs to be followed during the running of the league are

FUFA will procure a Government-authorised authority as the official FUFA COVID-Testing Centre and only results from such a centre will be recognised by the football regulations.

FUFA will procure in-house medical personnel on a fulltime basis for a renewable period of 6-months to undertake COVID-19 responsibilities as required of FUFA.

Licensed players and technical staff for the 2020/2021 season who will undertake sporting roles at training and matches will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test.

Only persons who test negative and get issued with a FUFA COVID-19 Clearance Certificate shall be eligible to participate in the team training and matches.

All Referees and Match Commissioners for the 2020/21 UPL Season will undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test. Only persons who test negative and get issued with a FUFA COVID-19 Clearance Certificate shall be eligible to officiate the matches.

The FUFA COVID-19 personnel and the official FUFA COVID-Testing Centre will administer the bi-weekly testing of players and technical staff.

FUFA shall undertake the cost of testing referees and match commissioners and will also pre-finance the cost of COVID-19 tests for club players and officials.

Corresponding deductions will be made against future club incomes as reimbursement for this medical exercise.

Players and officials found to be positive of COVID-19 shall be ineligible to make contact with the rest of the players and technical staff for training and matches.

A match shall only be rescheduled if a club has less than 10 outfield players and one goalkeeper that are not positive with COVID-19.

Training and match venues are out of bounds to persons that are not members of the playing or technical staff that have been issued with FUFA COVID-19 Clearance Certificate.

An inspection will be conducted by FUFA and only authorised venues will be issued with the FUFA COVID-19 Venue Clearance Certificate to host training and matches.

FUFA will issue COVID-19 Competitions Regulations to detail the execution of the authorised matches and training by November 15, 2020, with the strict observation of training grounds and Stadium SOPs.

There will be sanctions and fines up to exclusion of the club from FUFA Competitions for repeated and gross violation of the COVID-19 Competitions Regulations.

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