Detained Jinja Arsenal fans didn't know anything about club, police say

Police officers arrest an Arsenal supporter who was involved in 'premier league' trophy parade in Jinja on January 23, 2023. PHOTO/PHILIP WAFULA

What you need to know:

  • Police say only one fan knew at least a fact about the North London based club, Arsenal. 
  • Police emphasize that arrest was in line with "principles of the Ugandan law."

Police in Jinja have said Arsenal supporters who were arrested while celebrating on the city’s streets following the league leader’s 3-2 victory over Manchester United on Sunday, “don’t know anything about the English Premier League club.”

Eight football fans were taken in on Monday after they were intercepted by police along Iganga Road as they began drawing crowds to their five-car convoy which had a trophy believed to have been bought from a sports shop.

Those detained include Felix Bagiire aka Shamlove, who hosts an entertainment programme on a local radio station, and Baker Kasule among others.

On Monday, Kasule said a police patrol vehicle pulled in front and asked him to drive to Jinja Police Station.

He added: “We were arrested because we were celebrating our 3-2 victory over Manchester United.”

James Mubi, the Kira Region Police Spokesperson later said the football fans who were arrested for holding a procession without being cleared by security demonstrated lack of basic knowledge about the club which cast doubts on what their real intentions were.

According to Mubi, only Bagiire of the arrestees passed an investigative audition aimed at sifting facts from fiction.

“We asked for the name of the Arsenal coach, the number of premier league teams, number of games Arsenal has so far played, number of wins and losses Arsenal has registered this season and the top-four teams but there was no answer,” Mubi told Monitor.

“They don’t know anything about Arsenal. That’s why our issue wasn’t about them being Arsenal supporters,” Mubi said disclosing that the group was rallied through phone calls.

Suspects released

After spending Monday night in police custody, all the suspects were January 23 unconditionally sent home, without any undertaking to return and continue with their charges - of participating in an illegal procession.

“There was no witch-hunt based on which team the suspects were supporting, but ‘principles of the law’ caught up with them,” police noted.

“If their intention was to taunt Manchester United fans, they should have taken to social media where such banter is exchanged or recorded a Tik Tok video from a bar, instead of going on the streets where there is traffic and businesses,” Mubu advised on Tuesday.