KAMPALA- Fufa Women Super League (FWSL) generally welcomed the federation’s decision to null and void the 2019/2020 inaugural season as the Coronavirus-forced lockdown on local sport continues at least until June 9.
At the time of the decision, the seven sides had completed the first of the three rounds in the league meaning less than 50 per cent of the competition had been taken care of. Before that Muteesa I Royal University’s fate had been sealed – they had been ejected from the competition for failing to honour three fixtures on the bounce.
Article 18 (a) of Fufa’s competition rules (FCR) on failure to complete the league due to force majeure states that “before each and every Club has completed its first round fixture the league shall be declared null and void.”
“Pursuant to the FCR Article 18(a) the Fufa Women Super League season 2019/2020 is hereby declared null and void,” Magogo stated in a virtual address to the stakeholders, where he communicated decisions of Fufa’s Emergency Executive Committee. “All disciplinary decisions taken during the period the league was played remain applicable. To put the record clear, Muteesa University remains relegated to the respective Fufa Women Regional League.”
Fufa also cancelled the Women Cup while in the second tier league – the Fufa Women Elite League (FWEL), the table as at the end of first round was considered final as per FCR Article 18(b), since all teams had completed the first of two rounds and were yet to get to 75% of their fixtures.
Consequently, Isra Soccer Academy (Victoria Group) and Makerere University (Elizabeth) sportingly qualified to next season’s FWSL.
Kawempe, were leading the 2019/20 FWSL table with 17 points from seven matches just four ahead of Uganda Martyrs High Schol – Lubaga and Lady Doves.
“It is a tough decision for the players to take but we all see where it is coming from. Now the trick is to teach players more of these rules in case something like this happens again,” Kawempe coach Ayub Khalifan, said.
“We had gathered lots of momentum after failing to win the league last season. Then games were postponed because a number of players had national team. But it is not all bad as most of our players gathered experience from those games.”
Khalifan’s point is reiterated by Kampala Queens coach Farida Bulega, Olila High School’s Saddam Pande and Uganda Christian University (UCU) Lady Cardinals captain Moureen Kinavudori.
“Of course the players want to play because we had started to move up the table but then life is more important,” Kinavudori said about her side, which had managed four points in two games just before lockdown including a 2-2 home draw with Kawempe.
Bulega, whose side had struggled with just seven points in seven games, says the decision arrived unexpectedly but “Fufa must have taken into account a lot of things.”
“First of all, most players in our leagues are students and they could come back with different priorities forcing some teams to play without enough players.
“We can instead use the time between when we are opened and the start of the new season to sort out and rebuild our teams.”