The StarTimes Uganda Premier League (UPL) at long last kicked off last week to the relief of many who had feared until the last moment that the December 4 start date would be cold in ice for further delay.
A punter staking his boda boda on the odds of the league start being littered with dramatic scenes reminiscent of the days when Villa turned up in France national team jersey could be have been grinning wider than a bunny in a bank lobby today.
Kyetume’s match against Kitara kicked off 58 minutes late with some players joining action and the bench as their licenses kept being approved. As if that is not dramatic enough, Kitara arrived in Njeru way ahead of some of their jerseys, and their host, Kyetume, were apparently happy to make some quick bucks by renting their stockings to their opponents!
Yes, the league kicked off with several players’ licences in the oven and the change of some venues after Fufa initially indicated different ones suggests the approval process itself was not complete.
But who is complaining? Possibly none. At this point, it is best to join hands in not only patting UPL Secretariat on the back but also helping them complete the due diligence so that anomalies are behind us.
In October, this newspaper argued that by waiting to complete all the licensing for teams and players as well as stadium inspections before releasing the league fixtures, UPL was fomenting the slimy snail trail syndrome. This would only be a precursor for delaying league start.
The argument was that if UPL really meant to kick off the league, all they had to do was release the fixtures and let the clubs sort themselves out with the necessary paperwork. Those who failed would forfeit games and prized points.
Last week’s enforced start must have showed UPL that waiting for sleeping dogs never works. Either you whip them into action or move on. They would always follow the bone (points) scent after all.
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