The coronavirus pandemic might have crippled sports globally, but somewhere on Entebbe Road, a soccer tactian is spending sleepless nights drawing strategic plans to lay a final assault on StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL) when sporting events finally resume.
League leaders Vipers SC still have to play Busoga United, Tooro United, Bright Stars, Express FC and Police, matches coach Fred Kajoba has branded ‘five must win finals’.
“I’m in constant touch with the players and remind them to behave like professionals during this break so that we resume strongly,” Kajoba told Daily Monitor.
All is not gloom with the current coronavirus-enforced league break as Kajoba sees positives in the fact that he could have his injured players ready when the league resumes, possibly in May.
“There is hope that Muhammad Shaban, Rashid Toha, Livingstone Mulondo and Halid Lwaliwa will all be fit when we get back. The trophy is ours to lose,” he added.
Enjoying a four-point cushion over second placed KCCA after 25 matches, Vipers can, by law, be granted the league title in case the pandemic spilled out of control.
Article 18 of the Fufa Competition Rules and Regulations on ‘Failure to Complete the League’ states that where the league format, due to circumstances of force majeure, fails to be completed within the season, the winner will be determined if at least one club has played 75 per cent of the league games.
“I was a part of that Coffee FC side that lost out to then KCC when the league was suspended with three matches to go due to unfavourable conditions in 1991. It would be interesting and rewarding to me if we are also declared champions now with the uncertainty of the coronavirus,” Kajoba said.
With 25 rounds of the league done, Vipers on 54 points, can be declared champions since 75 per cent of the league has been played, and meet the total number of points earned from the number of games played multiplied by the total number of games supposed to be played divided by the number of games played as mandated by article 18.
“I had planned to win the league title after 12 games I handle but if it comes from the seven so far, the better. With God’s blessings we will be champions,” he added.