November 27, 2020

Obua sends plea to government to resume sporting activities in Uganda

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The outspoken former Cranes captain believes with low cases of Covid-19 recorded the in country, they can resume sports activities

Former Uganda captain David Obua has called on the government to lift the ban slapped on sporting activities in the country.

Like many East African nations and across the world, Uganda moved to ban all its social gatherings and sporting activities immediately after the coronavirus pandemic struck the country.

Football was not spared either as the Ugandan Premier League (UPL) was halted for some weeks before it was prematurely ended, and the Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) moved to award the league title to Vipers SC, who were sitting top at the time the league was suspended.

Since Uganda has only registered 1,000 cases since the virus struck the East African nation, Obua now feels it is high time the government moved to lift the ban on sporting activities.

“In spite of the unfortunate realities of Covid-19, I’d wish for African countries to find a way through consultations, naturally through the ministries of health, to have our football leagues getting back gradually. I hope it’s not done [too] late which can affect team preparations,” Obua, who captained the Cranes, is quoted by Daily Monitor.

Obua’s sentiments have also been supported by Cranes keeper Denis Onyango, who plays in South Africa for Mamelodi Sundowns, where football returned at the weekend, who called on the government to relax the rules and allow football to return in Uganda.

“But at the same time, my humble appeal goes to the government to look at measures that will enable sports activities to resume soon,” Onyango also told Daily Monitor.

“In Uganda’s case, I think the deaths have been few and the infection has not been so high. Sports employs a lot of people and a lot of youths play football. Sports in general has not been mentioned anywhere in the President’s speeches.”

Seven days ago, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni sent a strong indication that sporting activities could resume in the country soon.

The long-serving head of state has left Ugandan sportsmen and women in joy after he tweeted he was considering lifting the ban of sporting activities so that sports can be played without fans.

“On the Covid-19 pandemic, I welcome the positive suggestions like the idea of sports without audiences that have been tried in other countries of Europe,” Museveni tweeted.

Initially, the UPL was set to return on April 19 after the elapsing of the initial 32 days of lockdown, only for time to be extended after the situation failed to normalise. Already, teams in the top-flight are currently busy in the transfer window as they wait for the date to resume the league.

Vipers, who will carry the country’s flag in the Champions League, have already signed three players, among them midfielders Ibrahim Orit from Mbarara City, Jamil Kalisa from Bright Stars, and defender David Galiwango from Express FC.

KCCA have also signed midfielder Bright Anukani from Proline, midfielders Denis Iguma from Kazma FC, Stefano Mazengo Loro from Sheffield FC (Futsal), Charles Lwanga from SC Villa, Ashraf ‘Fadiga’ Mugume from Police FC and Brian Aheebwa from Mbarara City.