The government’s decision to lift the suspension on sports activities has generated mixed reactions from sports administrators. During his latest nationwide address on the Covid19 pandemic in the country on Sunday, president, Yoweri Museveni, said sports should resume provided the organisers of different sports disciplines comply with the Standard Operating Procedures-SOPs, test players and officials every after two weeks and quarantine players in case of any tournament.
The president’s pronouncement has generated mixed reactions from different sports administrators with some claiming they cannot afford the cost of implementing the SOPs while others say they are waiting for guidance from the federations to see how to deal with the measures set by the Government.
The Police FC Chairperson, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Asan Kasingye, says they can’t afford to test their players as directed by the president. “We can’t afford the testing fees, it’s too much, and most teams will fall out on that account unless something is done to support us in testing our players,” Kasingye told Pearl FM. A standard Covid19 test costs US$65 about Shillings 240,000.
This means the team would require at least Shillings 4.8million to test 20 people including players and officials every two weeks. Kasingye said Uganda Premier League stakeholders are set to meet urgently to discuss the issues in detail.
“We have a UPL meeting on Saturday 26th at Mukono. The issues will be discussed in detail,” he said. Patrick Ocheng, the Public Relations Officer Uganda Revenue Authority couldn’t confirm whether they are capable of complying with the directives.
“Right now I cannot tell whether it will be possible because it is a huge sum of money,” he said. He, however, said even if the tax players could be able to meet the costs, many other clubs can’t do so because of budgetary constraints. “If it is the only way for football to resume, URA FC can do it, but the challenge is, can other teams meet these costs, we may be affected by other teams, which may not be financially stable to meet these costs,” Ocheng said.
Moses Magero, the KCCA FC Public Relations Officer declined to comment saying that they will wait to hear from the local football governing body- the Federation of Football Association-FUFA. “About the Standards operating procedures we are waiting for guidance from the federation,” Magero told URN.
Adding that, “Whether KCCA FC is able to meet the SOPs it is not a matter of KCCA FC, it is a matter of football in the country, because if KCCA FC is able, what about the other clubs?” if all goes according to plan, sports activities will resume in October following a break of seven months because of the Covid19 pandemic.