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Panic As Masaza Tournament Hangs In Balance, Buganda Officials, Players, Coaches And Managers Set To Lose Millions….

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This year’s Masaza Cup tournament hangs in balance over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Masaza Cup is Buganda’s most prestigious tournament that takes place every year in the different counties in Buganda with the final held at Namboole stadium.

According to Haji Sulaiman Ssejjengo, the chairman Masaza organizing committee, they still have hope that the tournament may take place without fans in the stadiums. Ssejjengo stressed that their hope now lies in the hands of the government.

“If government permits us, we may be forced to play the tournament without fans in the stadiums,” Ssejjengo said.

Because of the prominence of the tournament, it has recently attracted huge sponsorship deals from big companies. Among them is telecom giants Airtel who pumped UGX1.2 billion in the tournament and Centenary bank who injected UGx490million last year alone.

However, this may not happen this year especially once these companies are not assured of the numbers (supporters).

Abbey Musinguzi alias Abtex, who was the first person to organise the finals in Namboole stadium told Grapevine Sport that the Masaza lukiiko is likely to lose over 200 million in the final alone.

“I don’t think this year’s tournament will take place. Coronavirus has affected every sector especially those that gather huge crowds. Buganda will lose millions especially those in administration and at different levels,” Abtex said.

Benard Bainamani, the Kyaggwe county administrator told Grapevine Sport that indeed there is panic after so many questions raised by different teams on how they are going to survive without fans went unanswered.

Bainamani disclosed that on average, each county team has a budget of around Shs.200 million for the four months of the tournament.

“On average, a player of Kyaggwe needs a sign on fee of Shs.3million, so counties may not afford to pay that money once they realise that fans will be absent,” Bainamani said.

Bainamani  also expressed his worry on where the money to pay players and pay for match day expenses is going to come from.

He said that Kyaggwe, an average team that has not reached the class of Buddu, Gomba and Ssingo counties has a budget of Shs.70 million to recruit players, cater for their bonuses and the coaching staff  which cannot be recovered once there are no fans during home matches.

The tournament normally starts in the second week of June every year and Bulemeezi were last year’s champions.

 

By Juma Ali

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COVID19 Has Left Us Penniless, We Now Need Support – Boxing Council Boss Katongole Cries Out…

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Uganda Professional Boxing Council (UPBC) Vice President, Simon Katongole has said that their lives have been negatively affected since the outbreak of the COVID19.

In an interview with theGrapevine, Katongole said that the cancellation of all boxing fights buried their source of income.

Katongole disclosed that before the lockdown, three international fights had been arranged, one at Hotel Africana and two at International University of East Africa (IUEA).

Frank Kiwalabye was scheduled to take on a South African opponent while heavy weight boxer Shafic Kiwanuka was set to face an Egyptian.

Katongole said that they now need support like all the other organisations that have been affected by COVID19, “We are broke, we don’t have anything in our pockets.”

Katongole further hinted that even if government opens up sporting activities including boxing, as long as fans are excluded from attending these events, they will still struggle financially.

 

By Juma Ali

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Express FC Boss Bbosa Saved My Football Career After Being Frustrated And Fought By Onduparaka – Etrude Narrates…

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New Express signing Abel Etrude

Former SC Villa and Ondupraka FC midfielder Abel Etrude has praised Express FC head coach Wasswa Bbosa for saving his football career.

Etrude says that after leaving Ondupraka FC, upon having a disagreement with his bosses for not paying him for five months, he spent a year without playing football because his former bosses were frustrating his moves.

The midfielder says that Onduparaka blocked his moves to BUL FC and to SC Villa claiming that he had to first complete the two years left on his contract which forced him to first hang up his boots.

He narrates that fortunately, coach Bbosa called him and asked him what happened.

“I told him everything. He discussed my issue with Express FC chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka and FUFA. We later met and agreed on a two year contract with Express,” Etrude told theGrapevine.

“I did not think that one day I will play football again, that’s why I call coach Bbosa my father in football,” a happy Etrude told this website.

Etrude says that he is now going to concentrate on working hard to compete for a place on the national team, “I know coach Bbosa will work on my fitness because he knows my strength and weaknesses.”

Etrude, a resident of Luzira, a Kampala suburb started his football career at Kampala University, he then joined Maroons FC, SC Villa and Ondupraka FC.

 

By Juma Ali

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My Landlord Is Chasing Me Out Of The House – Ladies Boxing Champion Nakalema…

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Emily Nakalema (in Red) against Joy Namabiro in the Welter Weight bout recently

Welter weight National Open boxing champion and bomber ladies captain Emily Nakalema has told theGrapevine that her landlord is chasing her out of the house because of the Covid19 lockdown.

Emily says that since the lockdown started in March, she has lost one million two hundred fifty thousand shillings (1,250,000/=) from the Somali community in Kisenyi which she used to pay her rent and take care of herself.

Emily says that as an instructor at Gold gym in Kisenyi, she used to earn two hundred and fifty thousand shillings (250,000/=) per month from training youth from the Somali community physical fitness and some boxing skills.

Emily Nakalema (in Red) against Joy Namabiro in the Welter Weight bout recently (Photo: Batanudde.com)

She says that now that she can no longer earn that money, her landlord is breathing down her neck and threatening to throw her out of the house.

She however says that despite such challenges, she is still training hard and focused on the Olympics qualifiers in Paris.

“Despite all this, I train everyday with my coach Abdu Kabuye in preparations for the Olympics qualifiers in Paris,” Nakalema says.

Emily, who missed a chance of qualify for Olympics in Senegal this year after losing in the semifinals said that once she qualifies for the Olympics, her life will change for the better since she hopes to get good scouts and promoters after qualifying.

 

By Juma Ali

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