A season unceremoniously ended by the coronavirus in May, and a new one kicking off amidst little clarity on Covid-19 testing and cost affordability!
Such has been, still is, 2020. For the start though, Fufa pledged to pre-finance costs for the first tests.
Clubs, however, still cry out to Fufa and government to agree on further subsidising of testing if the exercise is to be adhered to to the dot.
Thirteen-time national champions, KCCA FC, have so far done three tests - with the help of their mother body KCCA; the final being 72 hours before today’s kickoff.
Manager Mike Mutebi’s men start the quest to reclaim the StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) title they lost to Vipers when the 2019/20 competition was ended with five games to go, today. The three-time winning coach believes this will be a very competitive season, saying about eight teams will all be challenging. “All,” he said, drawing laughs from journalists before narrowing it down, “Express have a lot of strength, URA, of course Vipers, Police.
“And oh, SC Villa, yes... People maybe underestimating Villa but quietly Villa are doing their thing. “They performed well last season (third). About eight clubs are capable of winning the league. But of course we believe we shall win it.”
Tricky Bright Stars
KCCA begin their 2020/21 campaign against stubborn Soltilo Bright Stars, who they lost five points to last season, at Kavumba. A 1-1 draw at MTN Omondi Stadium, Lugogo and 2-1 win for the Stars in Matugga last campaign played a big part in KCCA’s loss of the title. Vipers won it by four points.
Mutebi, who says they operated at 40 per cent last season, wants to start this at 50. He admits they will have be at their best to upstage the Stars.
“They have always given us a problem, Bright Stars,” he said at a pre-match conference yesterday.
“But our target is to win the league. We believe we have enough in our armoury to negotiate the tie.”
He will, however, have to do that without long term injury concern John Revita in defence, Gift Ali, Moses Aliro, vice captain Julius Poloto and young striker Sadat Anaku.
But with new arrivals Denis Iguma, Samson Kigozi, striker Brian Ahebwa, Allan Okello’s heir Bright Anukani - on loan from Proline, and the old core of the group, KCCA indeed have a loaded arsenal.
Bright Stars new coach Baker Mbowa, hardly a stranger at Lugogo having trained Proline there, will hope his boys give him a good birthday treat.
The Stars signed over 10 new players including experienced goalkeeper Nicholas Sebwato from Onduparaka and Joseph Jjanjali on loan an from Vipers, while maintaining a core of their old team. The match will be played behind closed doors with full compliance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) expected.