Ahead of the eagerly awaited start of the 2021/22 StarTimes Uganda Premier League season, the league secretariat and organizers (UPL) released what appears to be the final fixtures but to everyone’s surprise, SC Villa is nonexistent.
Trying to make a case for why the record 16-time champions have been left out? Well, it won’t surprise you to know that the decision stems from the leadership fracas that has marginalized work at the club but that just isn’t the core reason.
The dilemma arising from the suspended elections was also overlooked by the secretariat never mind the fact that FUFA had given a directive and an ultimatum of October 23, for the club to have conducted polls.
The real reason, as highlighted by the boss of the secretariat, Bernard Bainamani, is the lack of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Villa who is deemed as the main link between the clubs and the UPL.
“Having a CEO is a mandatory requirement for every club for licensing because that is the connection between the UPL and the clubs but at the moment Villa has no one in that position,” Bainamani told Football256 in an exclusive interview.
“They also have issues to sort about the leadership of the club but that would not have been a concern for us because it is between them and FUFA, for us, we are only bothered about their lack of a CEO so we can not have them on the fixture unless that is sorted.”
“There is still room for them to appeal our decision and if the appeals committee allows them back, that will be well and good but I think sorting the CEO problem would be the best way possible to approach this matter.”
“If they do it late and come back after other clubs have played a number of games, that would mean that they will automatically have a congested and fully packed fixture. The earlier the better as regards solving the CEO problem,” he added.
The club find themselves in this predicament after the trustees decided to part ways with Shawn Mubiru and replaced him with one Brenda Nambalirwa Kawuma, the same lady that had dragged the Villa Members Trustees (VMTs) to court prior to the elections.
The federation responded by suspending the incumbent earlier last week barely a week since sitting in her new office. Nambalirwa’s charges involve taking football matters in ordinary courts of law which according to FUFA contravenes with the CAF, FIFA and club statutes.
The management had earlier this week called for an extraordinary assembly slated for Saturday, October 23 with the VMTs in an effort to resolve the leadership issues burdening the club. This was prior to this current revelation by UPL.
Busoga United who found themselves in the same state a fortnight ago seem to have put their house in order in fulfilment of licensing requirements to appear on the final fixture list.
“Last time out Busoga had fallen short of the minimum requirement of 15 players which they have sorted now by registering up to 16 players and that is how they are back,” Bainamani noted.
The Jinja based side will open their campaign against newbies Gaddafi FC in a newly created Eastern derby, a game that promises have come with a lot of excitement.
What is clear though is that Villa have a window to contest the decision but just like Bainamani highlighted, sorting the CEO issue could be the shortcut if they harbour any hopes of taking part in the new UPL season.
The season gets underway this Friday, October 15, with reigning champions, Express FC hosting newly league debutants Arua Hill SC at the Betway Muteesa II Stadium, Wankululuku.