The Uganda Premier League (UPL) originally scheduled to resume on October 17 has been pushed back with a tentative date for the season opener by a month.
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni had earlier given the go-ahead for resumption of football in the country, but FUFA, UPL and their stakeholders must adhere to certain stringent health and coronavirus precautions before football kickstarts.
The postponement of the topflight league was announced by FUFA and UPL at their general assembly with clubs unable to meet some of the requirements issued by the president, with their inability to pay for bi-monthly Covid-19 tests.
“We’ve been making preparations, licensing and doing everything to ensure October 17 kick-off. We’ve been negotiating with government,” FUFA first vice president Justus Mugisha said.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, we were allowed to play but the conditions are not favourable for the October 17 kick-off. Therefore, in order to allow more time for negotiations and preparations, we have postponed (league resumption) by one month.”
“In the same vein, we’ve extended registration of players by a month,” added Mugisha.
The promotional league playoffs are yet to be completed as the final UPL slot is still up for grabs, with Kataka set to play Kitara and Kiboga Young to play Ndejje University in the semi-final on a yet to be decided date.
With Covid-19 tests costing Shs240,000 per person, clubs now hope for government or FUFA intervention.
“We’ve had a couple of deliberations around Covid interventions and how they can be mitigated and we’ve been given some assurance by the federation and UPL that they will engage the Ministry of Health to support with the testing,” said Aggrey Ashaba, KCCA vice-chairman.
“At current rate, it will cost clubs almost Shs11m every 14 days to run the test and that is besides the rest of the SOPs. We believe they will work on our concerns and support football clubs to meaningfully get back to action because of the implications of not having fans into the stadiums means revenues are going to be lower than anticipated.”
The National Council of Sports (NCS) Assistant General Secretary-Technical David Katende said that the national team would be given first priority when sports resumes in the country, while NCS chairman Don Rukare said that the government was still unable to help clubs with financial contributions.
Peres Jepchirchir & Jacob Kiplimo Win World Half-Marathon Titles
Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir and Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo won gold medals at the World Athletics Half-Marathon Championships in the Polish seaside city of Gdynia.
27-year-old Jepchirchir earned her second world title in the half-marathon discipline and broke her own women-only world record by 16 seconds in 1:05:18. In a race marred by falls, Jepchirchir kept her cool and her balance to stay clear of the following pack.
The first incident occurred at the 9km mark. Running on the downhill section of the 5440-meter loop towards the water, defending champion Netsanet Gudeta tripped trying to make the sharp left turn to the road along the seafront. The Ethiopian hit her left knee hard and scraped both her hands. Although she bounced up quickly, she had lost valuable time and was five seconds back when the leaders hit the 10-kilometer mark in a blistering 30:47.
Disater struck again at the 18km mark when reigning TCS New York City Marathon champion Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh tangled their legs with both women crashing to the pavement. Yeshaneh, the world record holder with a 1:04:31 personal best, fell hard landing on her right shoulder.
As the three front runners Jepchirchir, Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Germany’s Melat Kejeta made the slight right turn onto the carpeted finish straight built on a platform on the beach, Yehualaw lost traction due to the surface change and slipped. Although she did not fall, her momentum was interrupted just enough for Kejeta to pass her and take the silver medal in 1:05:18, a new European record for an all-women’s race. Yehualaw got the bronze in a personal best 1:05:19.
“I’m feeling good,” said Jepchirchir in her post-race interview. “I thank God for the energy he has given me today. It’s unbelievable; I was not expecting it (a new world record) but God planned for me.”
Jepchirchir will enjoy only a week’s rest after her record-breaking victory as she will immediately begin preparations for the Valencia Marathon on December 6.
“My season is not yet complete,” she said. “I still have Valencia Marathon in December so I’ll prepare for that. I think this win gave me a lot. I’d like to run 2:17 or 2:18 for the marathon.
“This pandemic was difficult and it affected a lot of people. I used this time to train, I didn’t stop my training because I was trying to reach my shape.
“I am so happy with this. It’s a gift to all the Kenyans, to my family. I am going to rest now for one week to recover then I’ll continue training for Valencia,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kiplimo won his first global title setting a championship and Ugandan record of 58:49. Prior to the meet, he had only run one half-marathon, but it was only a national-class race in Uganda and he had never really been tested at the distance.
50 minutes into the race, Kiplimo began to pull away from Kibiwott Kandie of Kenya who would have to settle for second place. 5,000 and 10,000m world record holder Kenya’s Joshua Cheptegei, who was in third, was passed by Ethiopia’s Amedework Walelegn and had to settle for fourth at the finish.
Running along the seafront to the finish, Kiplimo maintained his pace and cruised to the finish in 58:49, a new championships record. Kandie crossed second in 58:54 becoming the first man ever to run three sub-59:00 half-marathons in the same year. Third went to Walelegn in 59:08, a personal best.
“After five kilometers I know I was going to win,” an elated Kiplimo said in his post-race interview while wearing a surgical mask. He continued: “It was great to win.”
The team titles went to Ethiopia (women) and Kenya (men), and both individual champions earned $30,000 in prize money. Jepchirchir also earned a $50,000 world record bonus.
CAF President Ahmad Congratulates Mwenda on FKF Re-Election
President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad has written to congratulate Nick Mwendwa on his re-election as Football Kenya Federation(FKF) president.
In long awaited elections held at Nairobi’s Safari Park Hotel, Mwenda won a landslide victory with 77 votes from the 85 cast with closest challenger Omondi Aduda managing only five votes. Herbert Mwachiro managed to get three while Dan Mule and Boniface Osano got zero votes.
“I was not surprised when I learned about your brilliant re-election as the head of the Football Kenya Federation, thus confirming the high performance and the high efficiency of your work since 2016, the year of your first taking office, and I hasten to present you my most warm and sincere congratulations,” Ahmad said.
“On behalf of the Executive Committee of Caf and personally, I wish you every success in your endeavours.
“This second term, which you obtained by an impressive majority, is the demonstration that your entire term has been appreciated and strongly supported.”
“Considered as one of our youngest National Association president, you represent a role model and an example of pride to follow for African sports youth, and I remain convinced that you will continue all of your actions with the same vigour and the same determination,” the letter added.
“I encourage you on this path to success which reflects the prestigious ambition of the Kenyan nation which has made the sport a national priority.
“Kindly accept, Mr President, dear friend Nick once again my warm congratulations and friendly greetings.”
On his part, Mwenda was quick to extend the olive branch to his rivals after what had been a particularly bitter and often fractious contest.
“I am very humbled for the overwhelming win we scooped as Team Blue,” he said.
“I knew going into the elections that I will retain my seat but I didn’t know I will do it with such an emphatic style, I thank the delegates for giving me another mandate to lead them and I promise I will achieve my targets in the next four years.
“I also want to ask those who were competing against me, and even those who lost in various positions here today [Saturday] I am welcoming them to my side, let them come we work together, let us put our heads together to improve our football.
“I cannot do this on my own or with the team you have given me, I need everyone on board so we can achieve our set targets.
“We have several targets we must achieve in the next four years, I want to see Kenya in the World Cup, for both men and women national teams, I know it might sound like a dream or even a joke, but we can make it, we need proper planning and that is why I want everyone on board.”
The 41 year old was keen to hit the ground running urging haste.
“We are starting work immediately, on Monday it will be business as usual at the secretariat, we don’t have time to waste, we have wasted time-fighting in courts but now that we are done with elections, then it is time to give back and fight for football, we want to make sure football is back with a bang.
“The overwhelming win is a clear indication that delegates have trust in our management, they have trusted us again with football, and we will do our best to make sure that everyone enjoys every bit of football in the country.”
Mwenda also assured fans that the federation was still engaing the government in order to find an acceptable and safe way to restart the league.
“We are still talking to the government and I want to request them to help us open football but under protocols set by the Ministry of Health and start the league matches,” he said.
“We want to make sure our league starts in November 20, because it is the only date that can allow us to finish the season well on time, we don’t have much time left, we want to have a cautious approach towards resuming football and that is why we are pleading with the government to guide us, we will continue to talk to them.”
Top 5 Sports Preview
Wondering what is on this weekend, here is a preview of the top 5 African-sports stories this weekend – October 16 – 18, 2020.
”Government Sent Soldiers To Kill Innocent Civilians For Their Economic Gain” – Chioma good hair
Actress Ada Ameh Loses Her Only Child
#Endsars protest day 14 second eyewitness account
Aishat Yesufu Says Buhari and Osinbajo Are Callous, Heartless, Irresponsible And Pathetic
NC Reports #Endsars protest day 14 eyewitness account
Zambian Musician, Daev, Is Dead
Breaking: Tanker Explodes In Lagos Nigeria
Tanzania’s NEC Summoms Chadema Candidate Over Rigging Claim
Hoffenheim Star Akpoguma Keen On Nigeria Switch
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Nigeria’s Central Bank Denies Anonymous Hacked Its Website Over #EndSARS Protests
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Art4 days ago
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