Kyetume in ICU over licensing hurdles

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What you need to know:

At the end of April, Kyetume were celebrating promotion back to the top tier, but they were already enduring a torrid time off the pitch. The club was already in financial trouble with players being paid late

When the news broke out of Kyetume's expulsion from the Star Times Uganda Premier League, there was a huge cry from football fans - for help and disbelief among the owners.

Club chief executive Martin Namugera said it was "one of the darkest days" in the club's history.

“This is deeply upsetting and devastating for the players, staff, fans and the whole football family," Namugera said.

Kyetume, who were promoted to the top flight alongside Maroons and Blacks Power, were demoted to the third tier, the Buganda Regional League by Fufa for lack of enough contracted players by deadline day (August 10, 2022) of club licensing.

With the league expected to kick off on September 30, the draft fixtures were released without Kyetume.

Fear has gripped the club with Namugera only revealing during an interview for this story that they "are in ICU" without further explanation.

Formerly known as Lufula, Kyetume administration is working valiantly to ensure the almost half-decade history of the Mukono-based team is not lost.

Daily Monitor understands that the club is continuing to work around the clock to save the club from playing regional league football.


Tough position

The Fufa Licensing Committee expelled Kyetume asking them to play in the regional league because by the end of club licensing, only four players were in their system. They include: Baker Buyala, Ezra Kaye, loanee goalkeeper Mugoloofa from Vipers and Yusuf Saka.

The scenario raises questions for a club like Kyetume who played in the Big League last season with similar licensing requirements.

"No one wants to be in this position but it is all about money. We did not have money to contract players. All in-coming players wanted cash before they could be tied down," Namugera explained the scenario.

With time running out on the club, it is understood that they have managed to convince up to 17 players, one less than the required 18 to be eligible for licensing.

It is also understood that there are other players awaiting passports before they can be uploaded onto the Fufa Connect system, an online portal for accredited clubs.

But with the Fufa Appeals Committee throwing out Kyetume's petition, it remains to be seen whether the club will be allowed to stay. If not, all attempts could be in vain as other Super League clubs remain silent on Kyetume's fate.

Founded in 1974 as a team for the famous abattoir in Mukono, Kyetume, which at one time came to be known as Kyetume Black Stars, were first promoted to the top flight in 1980. They stayed in the top until 1984 when they finished second from bottom.

Nick-named The Slaughters, Kyetume returned to the super league after 35 years in 2019 but suffered relegation after just one season in the top tier before gaining instant promotion last season.

When they were expelled, former coach Jackson Mayanja asked Fufa to grant the club more time.


How did it come to this?

At the end of April, Kyetume were celebrating promotion back to the top tier, but they were already enduring a torrid time off the pitch. The club was already in financial trouble with players being paid late.

The club mainly relies on financing from Reuben Mubiru Kaggwa, the Programmes Manager Kyetume Community-Based Health Care Programme. Rosefoam and MelBet have been playing a supplementary role.

It is not yet known what will happen to Kyetume, its staff or players.

David Mutono is already coaching the available players but Namugera says it is unimaginable to play regional league football.

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