What you need to know:
- The issue: Sc Villa leadership woes
- Our view: We can always discuss sports infrastructure and funding but ownership and governance must go hand in hand.
The 2021/2022 StarTimes Uganda Premier League, the country’s premier football competition for what is the most popular sport, started on Friday.
There was a great result for football as newcomers Arua Hill, a team only promoted this season from the lower tier, beat champions Express.
That the 2-0 victory was earned at the latter’s Wankulukuku home made it even sweeter. Sport is made for such moments.
It is an equaliser to life where inequality is profound. No one will pick Arua Hill to replace Express as champions come mid-next year but that doesn’t matter.
The Fufa Big League winners delivered the standout moment of the opening weekend which will leave an indelible mark on the season.
There could be a lot to celebrate as organisers have promised to have at least half of the 240 games televised by the right holders.
In these Covid-19 times where only 200 are allowed into stadiums, having sport on television is the oxygen the doctor ordered.
However, it was tough to ignore that SC Villa, the most successful side in league football with 16 titles, didn’t take part in any games on Friday or Sunday.
That left a stain on the league as Villa fight off one of their worst periods since inception in 1975.
The cause of the latest low is an impasse between the football federation, Fufa, and the club’s trustees.
Villa has been under interim leadership for three years from 2018 until the current Fufa president Mr Moses Magogo, a Villa fan, guided a process that made it a community club owned by fans.
The club was due to organise elections which were aborted after one member, Brenda Nambalirwa, obtained a court order stopping the voting on D-Day.
Fufa has since banned her and threatened Villa with a suspension if the process of installing a new leadership is not completed soon.
Both parties aren’t relenting though Fufa has promised to reach a decision this week after Villa re-submitted the pre-requisite documents to obtain a licence.
The loser now is Villa and football as one of the most supported clubs cannot undertake what it is known for – kicking the onion bag.
Though Villa have had ownership and registration challenges time immemorial, this is as low as they could get.
It’s a reminder of how far we still have to go. We can always discuss sports infrastructure and funding but ownership and governance must go hand in hand.
The current Fufa-Villa impasse shows that we are still at ground zero.