The Coronavirus (Covid-19) threat is real and it continues to massively hurt with each passing day if the death numbers are anything to go by.
Like the whole sporting world, the football sphere hasn’t been spared. It is on a standstill with almost all national leagues suspended due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic that has claimed lots of lives especially in Italy, Spain, USA, United Kingdom and China.
The StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) has been no exception. Before hell broke loose, the SUPL was first called off to allow the national team – Cranes – prepare for the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) showpiece. The latter was called off by Confederation of African Football (CAF) in the early stages of the virus outbreak. President Museveni added his discerning voice by further suspending all sports activities for 32 days in a bid to contain virus’ rate of infection. But now the hugely anticipated wait for sportsmen and women to return to action could be longer.
Amidst lingering fears and without any knowledge on when the virus could be curbed, the rumour-mill is alive with many a football fanatic alleging that the league might not either resume or be completed.
It will not be a new scenario for the Ugandan scene if the SUPL resumption doesn’t see the light of day. One should fast rewind to 1991 when the league didn’t climax due to club politicking. Then KCCA were crowned champions with ‘Three Match Days’ on card after the authorities invoked an article within the regulations.
Fast forward to to-date. Article 18 in the current Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Competition Rules clearly states the next course of action if there is failure to complete the league – in case of a force majeure.
In the light of all that, Vipers Sports Club could arguably be gifted the 2019-2020 season title.
But following the rule book might not augur well with many in the soccer circles. Surprising Vipers coach Fred Kajoba, too, prefers going the hard way and winning the title on the field of play.
If the Venoms are to scoop the ‘Holy Grail’, it will be Kajoba’s first as a tactician.
“In these testing moments where the whole world is under intense panic and fear due to the corona virus pandemic, suspending football activities to combat the disease is the best option because peoples’ lives are very important,” said the gaffer.
“I grieve together with the families that have lost dear ones worldwide during this time and in that spirit, I also urge those still breathing to maintain the safety measures put in place by the health authorities.”
On his thoughts if the SUPL does not come to the desired climax due to the prevailing situation, Kajoba refuses to bask in glory but instead reinstates that it is his utmost wish that Vipers notch the league crown on field of play and not in the boardroom.
“Of course every coach wants success but how you achieve it also matters a lot,” said the inspirational coach. “Frankly speaking, fair play is key thus I prefer winning it on a sporting merit with pitch action not via a boardroom decision. Why? Because I believe we have what it takes to pick positive results from matches as a club,” concludedthe Uganda Cranes goalkeeping coach.
Vipers remain four points clear at the top of the SUPL logand Kajoba’s desperate wish is that the season will resume after the Coronavirus crisis so that the clubs’ efforts and celebrations are justified.
ENTATIVE VIPERS’ SCHEDULED LAST FIVE MATCHES
Vipers vs. Busoga United
Tooro United vs. Vipers
Vipers vs. Bright Stars
Express vs. Vipers
Vipers vs. Police
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