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    Emery Is Set To Return To The Emirates Next Week, But He Wants To First Inflict Pain On Arteta In Spain…

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    Villarreal's Unai Emery (L) and Arsenal's Mikel Arteta face off in the Europa League tonight

    Revenge is on the cards for former Arsenal manager Unai Emery as his Villarreal host the London side tonight in this season’s first leg Europa League semi final match.

    Mikel Arteta could need to win the Europa League to save his job, but standing in his way is the man who preceded him at the Emirates.

    Unai Emery was a Europa League stalwart before mixed spells at PSG and Arsenal and he’s returned to that form with Villarreal.

    The Spanish giants have fallen short of a Champions League spot domestically and they’ll view this competition as their last shot, much like Arteta’s Arsenal. However, this is Emery’s sixth Europa League semi-final. Having won four of his previous five ties at this stage, it’s that experience that could lead the Yellow Submarines to victory.

    Arsenal Inconsistent

    Arsenal looked good in the last round of this competition as they blew away Slavia Prague. That boost has evaporated for the Gunners, who have been poor since. Arteta’s side needed a 97th-minute equaliser to draw at home to Fulham and they were unable to repeat that in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Everton.

    The visitors haven’t looked that solid in this competition so far. They needed a late comeback to avoid elimination in the last 16, they lost at home to Olympiakos in the last eight and they toiled for much of the first leg meeting with Slavia. Next up is arguably the competition’s strongest side.

    Villarreal in fine form

    Villarreal have suffered a few La Liga defeats of late, but they’ve switched focus to this competition. Even while dealing with league action, the Yellow Submarine have been brilliant in Europe. They’ve won 11 of 12 matches in the competition, including their last eight.

    Villarreal is most likely to prove too strong for Arsenal in this one. Their excellent record in Europe makes them look well-priced against the inconsistent Gunners.

    Finally, Gerard Moreno has either scored or assisted in all six of his UEFA Europa League starts this season, netting six goals while assisting another two. He’s scored 10 times in his last nine starts for Villarreal and he’s notched five times in his last three home Europa League games.

    In the other Europa League game tonight, Manchester United hosts Italian side Roma in England.

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    NEWS

    I’m Going To Win Commonwealth Medal For My Mum Who Was Knocked By Speeding Boda Boda – Bombers Captain Vows…

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    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa in action

    Bombers captain Joshua Tukamuhebwa has told theGrapevine that he is determined to win a medal at this year’s commonwealth games in Birmingham, England for his late mother.

    Tukamuhebwa’s mother, Enid Bindishanga died after she was knocked by a speeding motor bike along Jinja Road.

    Enid had gone at the meat parker along Port Bell Road to buy meat for the family.

    She was rushed to hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

    “I am going to do everything possible to win a medal in this competition for my mum,” the Naguru based boxer said.

    Tukamuhebwa narrated that after his mother’s death, life became meaningless because she meant a lot to him and his siblings, “that’s why I want to win a medal in her memory.”

    I AM THE FATHER NOW

    Tukamuhebwa  also disclosed that after his mum’s death, he is now the bread winner at home and has to act like a parent to his young siblings and also look for their school fees.

    I WILL USE THE MONEY I GET TO HELP MY SIBLINGS

    He added that he is going to use the money government will give him as his facilitation, funds from Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF) president Moses Muhangi and President Museveni’s pledge if he wins a medal, to cater for his siblings.

    This will be Tukamuhebwa’s second international competition after the all Africa games in 2019 in Morocco, where he was defeated in the first encounter.

    The commonwealth games are scheduled to take place between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball.

    theGrapevine wishes our men and women the best in Birmingham.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    SPORTS

    UOC President Discusses How Team Uganda Is Prepared To Sweep Medals In Commonwealth Games And How They Are Going To Handle Issue Of Athletes Disappearing…

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    President Museveni with wife Janet flagging off Teams for the Commonwealth games. Bottom right is UOC boss Donald Rukare

    Few days are left to the commonwealth games that are scheduled to take place in Birmingham in England, between 28th July to 8th August 2022.

    Uganda will be represented in several sports disciplines which include; boxing, athletics, swimming, squash, table tennis, badminton, rugby 7’s and netball .

    In the last edition, in 2018, bomber’s boxers Reagan Ssimbwa, Nasir Bashir and table tennis player Halimah Nambooze disappeared in Gold Coast in Australia and never returned with the team.

    This has been a norm after several international games. Some athletes disappear after the games in search for greener pastures.

    theGrapevine sat down with Uganda Olympic Committee president Donald Rukare to discuss how the Ugandan team is prepared for the games and how they are going to handle the issue of athletes disappearing.

    Grapevine: How are you prepared for the commonwealth games as team Uganda?

    Rukare: The preparation are good and we are ready to win medals.

    Grapevine: How many medals do you hope to win this time around?

    Rukare: In 2014, we got 5 medals, in 2018 we scooped 6 medals, this time around we hope to double the medals we got in 2018 to twelve or more.

    Grapevine: Of all athletes, who do you think has more chances of getting a medal?

    Rukare: All the athletes have equal chances of getting medals.

    Grapevine: What were the challenges you are facing as you prepare the teams for the commonwealth games?

    Rukare: We still need financial assistance to help us prepare our athletes.

    Grapevine: Will athletes like Joshua Cheptegei, Jacob Kiplimo, Halimah Nakayi, Peruth Chemutai, who competed in World Athletics Championship in Oregon also compete in commonwealth games? And will it not affect them?

    Rukare: Are you a coach? Hahaha [he laughs], they will definitely participate and it will not affect them because they are sportsmen and women. So, they are aware of the tight sports schedules sometimes.

    Grapevine: Have you prepared any incentives like prizes for those who will win medal?

    Rukare: We are still discussing that, but the prize money from President Museveni is there. Gold medal winners get Shs.5 million, silver medal winners get Shs.3 million and bronze medal winners get Shs.2 million.

    Grapevine: Why were you given few athlete slots [18 athletes] yet Uganda’s hope is in athletics?

    Rukare: We were given only 41 slots which were supposed to be shared with other federations.

    Grapevine: What challenges do athletes face when they go to such competitions?

    Rukare: The issue of food. Sometimes they are not used to the food in some of these countries.

    Grapevine: So, are you going with your own cook this time around?

    Rukare: Yes, we hope to go with our own cook.

    Grapevine: Let us talk about the issue of athletes who escape during international games, how do you plan to handle it this time around?

    Rukare: (Jokingly says) I think if it is possible, we need to hire the services of Maama Fiina to come to our rescue and tell us those who are going to escape since she is a traditional doctor who can see things before they happen.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    SPORTS

    It Will Be A Tight Race This Year – Dr. Nsereko Reveals Who Will Win Rally Championship This Year and Why Female Drivers Are Not Part Of This Year’s Challenge…

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    Dr. Godfrey Nsereko

    Uganda rally driver, Dr. Godfrey Nsereko has told theGrapevine that the national rally championship race will be tight this year.

    In an interview with this website, Nsereko also disclosed why female rally drivers have not been part of the race this time around.

    Below is his conversation with theGrapevine;

    Grapevine: How competitive is the race for NRC title this year?

    Nsereko : The title is still competitive because the gap between the leader, Ponsiano Lwakataka and his competitors is small with only three races remind.

    Grapevine: Who do you think will win the NRC title?

    Nsereko: Ponsiano Lwakataka because he is leading and has led most of the races. I can see him performing well in the remaining three races.

    Grapevine: You are also a rally driver, what has hindered you from winning the NRC title?

    Nsereko: I’m still driving a 2 wheel drive car which is not powerful like those of Jas Mangat, Arthur Blick, Duncan Mubiru and others.

    Grapevine: What are the challenges you are facing in this sport?

    Nsereko: Most challenges are financial because I don’t have sponsors to support me.

    Grapevine: Why do you think, female rally drivers don’t drive now days?

    Nsereko: I will still state that the problem is financial. Apart from Suzan Muwonge who can manage herself, Rose Lwakataka has financial problem and Leila Mayanja is a federation secretary and is not allowed to take part.

    Grapevine: What challenges still hinder this sport from growing?

    Nsereko: When a sport lacks enough funds to push it and help the sportsmen and women in that sport, it will always struggle. Secondly, the money which is coming from the government is still small yet a lot of money is needed to organise rally events.

    Grapevine: There was a conflict recently because rally drivers and bikers, how far with this beef?

    Nsereko: Talks are still ongoing; I believe very soon they will reach an understanding.

    Grapevine: What was the cause of that conflict?

    Nsereko: It was a Fight for power. Each group was fighting to lead.

    Grapevine: By the way, why did you decide to join motor sport?

    Nsereko: At first, I was a footballer, but later, I realized that my future was in motor sport.

    Grapevine: Which rally drivers, do you fear most?

    Nsereko: Ponsiano Lwakataka and Jas Mangat because of their tactics and driving skills.

     

    By Juma Ali

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