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    FUFA Tasks Kiboga Young FC To Complete Necessary Requirements Before Officially Changing Name To Mbale Heroes FC…

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    Kiboga Young FC and Mbale Heroes FC have since merged

    The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) Executive has granted Kiboga Young FC permission to change its name to Mbale Heroes FC, only if they fulfill all the requirements.

    Mbale Heroes will be required to complete a few necessary legal requirements in a bid to meet the FUFA Club Licensing regulations, before their new name can be endorsed by the football governing body.

    The football fanatics in Mbale have been anxiously waiting for such a resolution to be reached by the governing body and they are most excited by the move.

    “Now it’s time to reclaim our glory as Mbale Heroes. This is a very historical club and we’re so ready to bring back the old glory days to Mbale, wait for us in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League next season,” Bosco Wamududa, the chief fans mobiliser of the team said with excitement.

    He was expressing his excitement following FUFA’s decision to allow Kiboga Young FC which has been stationed in Mbale to change to the preferred name that is synonymous with the Eastern Uganda district.

    Wamududa noted that the local fans now have a sense of belonging.

    Heroes: Since 90s

    Mbale Heroes FC is a household name in Eastern Uganda. They boast of two Uganda Cup titles won in 1976 and 1999.

    Commonly referred to as “Heroes”, the Eastern Giants by then featured on the continent in ensuing years of 1977 and 2000.

    In the Heroes good old days, it nurtured and housed talent from Bugisu region like former Uganda Cranes captain Andrew Mwesigwa, Geoffrey Massa, Charles Namakhola, Ibrahim Maruti, Hussein Mbalangu, Golf Malanda, Henry Okubasu, Eugene Ssepuuya, Fred Wamukota, and Sam Ssimbwa who graced the grand stage of club football in the country.

    Mbale has since lost its shine ever since the most powerful club in the region’s history (Mbale Heroes) suffered relegation after the 2006-07 season.

    How Did Kiboga Young Come To Be In Mbale?

    Mbale businessman, Wycliffe Mwambu, in 2019 bought off Kiboga Young FC, a FUFA Big League soccer team from Central Uganda.

    An ardent Mbale Heroes supporter since the 90s, Mwambu’s primary intention was to buy a better placed team and change its name to Mbale Heroes, to earn quicker promotion back to the most precious league in Uganda for the Eastern “Giant Slayers” as they were known in their heydays.

    Mwambu’s vision was inspired by a rather taller hurdle having to promote the then local Mbale Heroes name holders who were, and are still currently playing 4 divisions below Uganda’s Supreme League.

    Infighting and wrangles ensued between two factions on who genuinely could own up the prestigious name. The two rival factions could not decide how best to go over the challenge for a full year.

    United We Stand, Divided We Fall

    However, the good times could be back after Mbale Heroes completed the takeover of Kiboga Young with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) late last year.

    Kiboga Young and Mbale Heroes merged after a series of extended talks for over a year. But a press conference in Mbale City on Monday cleared the uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the club.

    Prior, there had been a standoff between the two clubs when Mwambu, who bought Kiboga Young in 2019,  claimed he had bought the club for Mbale Heroes, which raised concern among officials and fans.

    “Our main difference has always been about the shares of the team,” said Uthuma Mugoya, who has been the chairman of Mbale Heroes, at Mt Elgon Hotel.

    “If Mwambu had bought this team for Mbale Heroes, how come all documents were reading that all shares are 100 percent are for him? That was our concern and yet Mbale Heroes is a community team.”

    The period over the last year helped both parties to come to terms and Mwambu agreed to relinquish 51 percent to the community and 49 percent for shareholders as highlighted in the MoU.

    “Being a businessman, he had invested in a lot of money, we engaged him and told him that if he wants the name of Mbale Heroes then he had to relinquish 51 percent to the community and 49 for shareholders which he accepted,” Mugoya added.

    According to a consensus reached by both parties, the club would retain the name Mbale Heroes FC, given the fact that Mbale Heroes previously owned by Mugoya was a community-based club, which feeds into the dream of having a club backed by the community.

    Management Restructuring

    This means that the community will have a 51% share of the club while Mwambu (former owner of Kiboga Young) will hold a share of 49%.

    Meanwhile, Mwambu was voted the club Chairman, Geoffrey Ojok the club Vice Chairman with Mugoya named as the club’s General Secretary.

    The club is now governed by a 20-member secretariat which is headed by Chris Omony as the Chief Executive Officer, with the club calling for harmony from both sets of fans.

    “We therefore take this opportunity to call upon the community to come together and support Mbale Heroes FC, regain our place in Uganda top flight football where we belong. We would also like to call upon all the fans of the ‘two teams’ that had disagreements to forgive each other for the good of the game because we are now one family,” the club statement said after the agreement in September last year.

    The club then agreed to run a membership structure with four categories including Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum membership.

    To qualify for a Bronze membership a fan pays UGX 50,000, Silver goes for UGX 150,000 and it comes with the benefit of watching all home matches and a replica jersey.

    Additionally, Gold goes for UGX 300,000 along with a seasonal ticket, a replica jersey and refreshments during the match.

    While Premium membership is worth UGX 500,000 with access to all home games, a replica jersey, refreshments at the match, parking space and a plus one admission to games.

    Mbale Heroes Heroes Interim Committee after merger:

    • Chairman – Wycliffe Mwambu
    • Vice-Chairman – Goeffrey Ojok
    • Secretary – Uthaman Mugoya
    • CEO – Chris Boutron Omony
    • Technical Director – Tonny Etonu
    • Finance/Events Management– Jessica Muduwa (head) and Susan Akello
    • Team Manager/Welfare – Meddie Waswa (head), Adarusi Jaffar
    • Media – Joseph Mukhooli (head), Tonnie Bulenda, Yasin Matende and Meddie Musosi
    • Marketing – Emma Eteng (Head) and Abdallah Magambo
    • Head of fans – Khambo Felix Mayatsa (head) and Bosco Wamududa
    • Youth Development – Ali Muyenda aka Prince Igwe and Kenneth Adriko
    • Security – Shaban Ondowa (head) and Yiga Muhammad

     

    By Baron Kironde

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    SPORTS

    Who Is Fooling Who: Express FC Unveils New Sponsor, Cancels Melbet Contract Few Weeks After Signing…

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    Express FC players celebrate their goal in their new jersey in their first game of the season against UPDF yesterday

    Just a month after Express FC unveiled Melbet betting company as their sponsor, the Wankulukuku based club have terminated the contract.

    Last week, Express FC unveiled sure bet, another betting company as their new sponsor.

    When Grapevine asked, Express CEO, Isaac Mwesigwa what happened to the Melbet deal, he refused to reveal more details but disclosed that the club went into mutual understanding with melbet to terminate the contract.

    “We are happy with this new deal because it will help us more during the league,” he said.

    Former, Express chairperson, Nakiwala Kiyingi told theGrapevine that, “we are happy to have this wonderful deal and it will help us.”

    When asked her whether the current chairman, Kiryowa Kiwanuka is still a club chairman, she said that she cannot comment on the matter.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    Tension As Real Stars Awards Shortlists Best Performing Sports Stars For September…

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    L-R: Basketball's Tony Drileba, Jacob Kiplimo, Ambrose Kigozi of Sand Cranes and JKL's Brenda Ekon

    Real Stars Awards has shortlisted the best performing Ugandan sports personalities in different sports disciplines.

    This time, in the September monthly awards, four disciplines will be awarded and these include; football, athletics, cricket and basketball.

    The awards will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 4th October, at 256 route, Lugogo.

    The nominees are: In football, three players are contesting for the award and these include; Ambrose Kigozi of Sand Cranes, for his good performance in COSAF championship  where Sand Cranes reached semifinal, Bruno Bunyaga of Buddu and St. Lawrence University where he took the university into the semifinals and Buddu to quarter finals and Blacha Mulamba of Gomba who played a big role to Gomba performance.

    In Cricket, the nominees are; Juma Miyaji, Riazat Ali Shah and Patricia Timogo for their good performance for the cricket Cranes, where they won the African T20 challenge.

    In Basketball, the nominees are; Tony Drireba of city oilers, who helped his team reach the finals of National basketball league, Ariael Okai of Nam blazers, who helped the club to reach its first final of National basketball league and Brenda Ekon of JKL Lady Dolphins who helped her club to reach the finals.

    In Athletics, the nominees are, Jacob Kiplimo, Abel Chebet and Andrew Komoi.

     

    By Juma Ali

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    Express FC Unveils New Sponsorship Deal..

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    Express FC team

    Express FC yesterday unveiled a partnership with betting company, Melbet at Wakulukuku stadium.

    This was after their previous sponsors betway refused to renew their partship with the club.

    The details of what is in the sponsorship package are not known but according to Melbet country director, Andrew Kamwesigye, the betting company is going to support Express in everything they need to compete favourably in all tournaments from the Super League to continental competitions.

    Addressing journalist at Wakulukuku, Express Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Isaac Mwesigwa said, “Melbet will help us in our journey to defend the CECAFA club Championship, branding the stadium and providing players’ kits for both home and away games.”

    The deal is for one year and will be renewable.

    Melbet was the official shirt sponsor for Kyetume FC last season.

     

    By Juma Ali

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