If these were normal times, Express captain Enoch Walusimbi would have lifted the StarTimes Uganda Premier League trophy at Wankulukuku. He didn’t.
Walusimbi is in a bio-bubble with the U-23 national team, the Kobs, due to travel this week for the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Ethiopia.
Instead the 2020/21 trophy was raised at a restrained title handover party at StarTimes offices on Soliz-House along Lumumba Avenue yesterday in Kampala.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions that led to the premature end to the league for a second successive season, they were no fans to ululate about Express’ seventh title and first in nine years.
Open bus parade?
There was no traditional party and there is unlikely to be no open bus parade amid the ongoing lockdown after Fufa invoked the 75 per cent rule to end the league early and award the leaders.
Red Eagles goalkeeper Mathias Muwanga did the job for an absent Walusimbi. Coach Wasswa Bbosa joined him. “It wasn’t easy. I have worked for this success for the last four seasons,” Bbosa said.
“I dedicate it to the late Abdul Kinobe and I’m happy to have won it for the first time as full-time,” he added. Kinobe, a former club manager for nearly 40 years, died last month. Fans countrywide will be on cloud nine. Muwanga also collected the Golden Glove. “The season was important not only to me but the entire Express family.
“We played like as a unit. I’m glad to have emerged as the best goalkeeper. I dedicate this award to the late Kinobe, my mother and wife,” Muwanga, who had 13 clean sheets, said.
Express board member Suubi Kiwanuka, who represented his brother and club chairman Kiryowa Kiwanuka, vowed that this is just start.
“This is Express. We are back. We promised this as the board and we delivered,” Suubi said. “We intend to fly Uganda colours high on the continent, the days of talking about Ugandan football in the negative are gone.”
Perhaps the frowns for the day went to fact that the 2019/20 champions Vipers have never been crowned, something Fufa president Moses Magogo explained briefly. Fufa president Moses Magogo highlited the abnormality of Vipers missing out on the trophy last season.
“Last year, the champions were offered the chance to get the trophy but they were not interested,” Magogo stressed.
Magogo, a confessed SC Villa fan, added that: “I’m glad that express has used the right means to become champions although saddened as a Villa fan but we will also get back.”
StarTimes chief Franklin Wang said they were happy to be putting money in Ugandan football so that players realise their dreams.
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202107140729.html
Author : Monitor
Publish date : 2021-07-14 10:59:04