On Monday, news filtered through different platforms that Tooro United was travelling to Vietnam for the 2018 Binh Durong Television Cup (BTV Cup). Currently, Tooro is on a break until December 23 when they face Entebbe in a Stanbic Uganda Cup tie.
They were supposed to travel in the early hours of Tuesday, but apparently missed their flight. The delegation was meant to be led by FUFA second Vice President, Darius Mugoye.
By press time, it was thought that they would travel Tuesday afternoon but it is yet to be established if they did.
This trip is as peculiar as they come. For example, a number of players who are not registered with Tooro United are on the list meant to travel. Kirinya Jinja SSS striker Joel Madondo is one. His coach, Charles Ayiekoh is another.
Initially, midfielder Abel Eturude (Onduparaka) and defender Mustafa Mujuzi (Proline) were also on the list but news shows that they might not make the trip as they have allegedly not received clearance from their respective clubs.
Kirinya Jinja SSS CEO Paul Mukembo confirmed that they allowed Madondo and Ayiekoh to travel.
“Football is about fair play and it’s true we cleared them. Tooro United requested for them, we wrote to FUFA who gave us a go ahead to clear them and we did exactly that,” Mukembo told Football256.
Proline CEO William Bakkabulindi’s response about Mujjuzi making the trip was more puzzling.
“I am just getting to learn about this because no one in Proline can authorize that apart from me. I have talked to my executive and everyone denies being party to this. We can’t confirm whether the player travelled or not but if he did, then it was against the club’s wish,” Bakkabulindi added.
This website later learnt that Bakkabulindi managed to get in touch with Mujjuzi who was in the country and trained with Proline on Tuesday morning.
According to Bakkabulindi, Tooro United and U23 head coach Wasswa Bossa (who is not travelling) asked Mujjuzi for his passport while on national duty, without any clear reason.
“Bossa asked Mujjuzi for his passport and told him, ‘Jiba (Mujib kasule, the Proline director) would be briefing you’”
“They have never gotten in touch with us, not even Jiba but they are on the boy’s case forcing him to travel without permission from us. But we have told him not to even try thinking about travelling,” Bakabulindi remarked.
Proline have a FUFA Big League game on Wednesday against Bumate in Bundibugyo. Onduparaka got a verbal request from Tooro United to travel with Eturude, which the club apparently turned down.
“There was no way he was going to travel; we don’t work like that. He (Eturude) is even injured and just recovering,” Onduparaka CEO Pius Bamwange noted.
Our reporter had an opportunity to speak to Eturude, who confirmed he was recovering from Brucella and there was no way he was going to travel if not given permission.
“I play for a professionally organized club, and I have a contract to respect. I can’t breach my contract and the faith of my team,” Eturude said.
The travelling team also has Susan Nakanjako as the media officer and not the club’s known media officer Isa Musoke Nsereko.
Tooro United, who are expected back in the country on January 1, have a Stanbic Uganda Cup tie on December 23 against Entebbe in Buhinga. They then play Vipers on December 28 in Kitende in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.
According to an official statement on www.fufa.co.ug, Tooro United FC was asked to meet certain requirement among them was presenting a list of players of those at the club or attached to it under the FUFA data system but currently playing in other clubs.
Such players would need clearance from the clubs they are playing for currently. This exercise is ongoing but some players haven’t been cleared yet.