Fufa TV Cup returns with numbers

St Mary's College Kisubi won the inaugural edition. PHOTO/COURTESY OF FUFA MEDIA 

What you need to know:

The competition does not come with prize money per se but last year, Fufa rewarded Smack and Butiki with materials of their choice worth millions of money.

The second edition of the Fufa TV Cup, launched Friday at Fufa House – Mengo, has attracted 65 schools from all over the country.

The tournament, which was organized for traditional schools, started yesterday afternoon with a preliminary round two-legged clash between Sheema-based sides Nganwa and St. Kagwa High Schools.

The winner will join the other 63 schools at the round of 64 due June 29-30.

“After the first edition, we received overwhelming interest from across the country which we considered because traditional schools stretch beyond Wakiso, Mukono and Kampala,” Fufa executive committee member Apollo Ahimbisibwe, who also doubles as the chairperson of the organising committee for the competition, said.

The first edition featured eight schools with the final hosted at Muteesa II Stadium Wankulukuku, where St. Mary’s College Kisubi (Smack) beat Kiira College Butiki 2-1 to clinch the title.

Smack was rewarded with an opportunity to compete at the International (Secondary) Schools Sports Federation (ISF) World Cup in China.

Now they must defend their title in an even tougher format. The 64 teams have been divided into 12 chapters depending on their location and provinces.

“We did this to ensure the tournament is not expensive for the schools. Since they also have to play the games on a home and away basis, they will also be able to get support when they host and probably to attract old students of the respective schools for support,” Ahimisibwe said.

All to do

Smack is grouped with St. Balikudembe Mitala Maria, King’s College Budo, Gombe SSS with whom they will battle with to make the ‘Round of 32’, which will be played over two legs on July 6 and 20 while the ‘Round of 16’ will be held on the weekends of July 27-28 and August 3-4.

The top eight teams will then be hosted at Fufa Technical Centre, Njeru for the business end of the season.

The competition does not come with prize money per se but last year, Fufa rewarded Smack and Butiki with materials of their choice worth millions of money.

With 65 schools in, the competition that was started to unearth some of the talent that had found it hard to break into the Uganda Secondary School Sports Association (USSSA) football competition, finds itself in a dilemma. At least 12 schools that attended the USSSA nationals in Masaka are also traditional and have entered this competition but there is a caveat.

“We will allow these schools to use just three of the players they had in Masaka. We want to make the competition fair because if you let the ‘elite’ schools use them (squads used in Masaka), we will have a one-sided competition. Our aim is to develop talent and not just winning,” Ahimisibwe added.

Fufa’s deputy CEO, in charge of football, Decolas Kiiza believes the tournament is part of their bigger picture Technical Master Plan and they will also use it to nurture referees, media officers and coaches by encouraging schools to use the instructors that have gone through Fufa training sessions over the past few years.

With the stakes high, the vice chairperson of the tournament’s organizing committee Jeremiah Mugerwa has also warned that they have strict rules to fight age cheating in the competition.

Fufa TV Cup

Dates

Round of 64: June 29-30

Round of 32: July 6 & 20

Round of 16: July 27-28 & August 3-4

Last 8: August 28 – September 15

Chapters

Western: Mbarara High, Mbarara SSS, Muntuyera, Nganwa, St. Kagwa; Kigezi HS, Makobere, Kigezi College, Mutolere

Buganda-Masaka: St. Henry’s Kitovu, Kako SSS, Masaka SSS, St. Charles Lwanga Kasasa

Buganda: St. Mary’s College Kisubi, St. Balikudembe Mitala Maria, King’s College Budo, Gombe SSS

East Buganda: Namilyango College, Metha SS, Bishop SS Mukono, St. Joseph’s College Naggalama

Rwenzori: Nyakasura, Mpanga, St. Leo’s, Kilembe SSS

Busoga: Bukoyo SSS, Iganga High, Bukoli College, Jinja College, Busoga College Mwiri, Kiira College Butiki, Jinja SSS, St. Don Bosco Kamuli

Kampala: Makerere College, Mengo SS, Lubiri SSS, Ndejje SSS, Kololo SSS, Old Kampala SSS, Kibuli SSS, Kololo High

Luo: Sir Samuel Baker, St. Joseph’s College Layibi, Kitgum High School, Gulu High School; Lango College, Dr. Obote College, Comboni College, Aduku SSS

Elgon: Teso College, Ngora High School, Nabumali High School, Mbale SSS

Bukedi: St. Peter’s College Tororo, Manjasi High School, Bukedi College Kachonga, Sebei College Tegeres

Bunyoro: Sir Toto Winyi, St. Edwards Bukumi, Duhaga SSS, Kabalega SSS

West Nile: St. Joseph’s College Ombach, St. Charles Lwanga Koboko, St. Aloysius College Nyapea, Mvara SSS