FUFA Competitions Disciplinary Panel (CDP), has ruled to dock six points and six goal on top of levying a UGX 5 million fine against Star Times Uganda Premier league side Proline FC for bringing the game into disrepute.
The decision comes after Proline decided not to honour their league fixture against SC Villa that was scheduled for Saturday, September 7th, at the Star Times stadium, Lugogo.
Proline become the second team to be docked points this season for failing to honour a league fixture after Police were docked three points for failing to honour their game against Onduparaka on match day one of the league as they were engaged with the East Africa Police games.
Case for Proline
The Uganda cup champions argued and informed FUFA and the UPL secretariat that they will not be honoring the aforementioned fixture because of what they believed to be an unfair sporting ground.
Proline defender Mustafa Mujuzi and midfielder Bright Anukani were included in the squad that traveled to Kenya for the international friendly that was played on Sunday.
While Mujuzi’s was summon was communicated on time, Anukani was a late addition to Abdallah Mubiru’s squad. Proline then argued that without the two players, their squad was significantly weakened.
Additionally, it being a FIFA gazetted international week, Proline felt that the league fixture could not take priority over an international fixture inside a FIFA sanctioned international week and therefore should be called off.
The newly promoted side also quoted the 2001 FIFA circular 792, which states that international friendly matches to be played on fixed/set dates take priority over matches in a national championship and that national championships or cup competitions should not be arranged on one for the fixed/set dates.
However, the CDP had the following findings;
The panel depended on the match officials report that indicated that that Proline FC (The home team) did not turn up for the match against SC Villa.
The 2001 FIFA circular 792, the document upon which Proline depended on to file their defence in the case, came into effect on 1st January 2002 but was found to be no longer in line with the prevailing FIFA statutes.
It was determined that the regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. Annex 1 of the regulations on the status and transfer of players of June 2019 provides that clubs are obliged to release their players to the representative country that they are eligible to play if they are called.
The panel also found that Star Times Uganda Premier League was justified in upholding the fixture according to Article 19 of the FUFA Competition rules that provides that a fixture involving a club with three (3) or more players called up to the national team may be called off three (3) days before or after the national team engagement.
With Proline having only two players called up to the national team, it was justified for UPL to uphold the fixture.
Proline were further found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute through their various public communications and pronouncements about the matter, actions which depicted that UPL and the entire football management as ignorant of football regulations.
The panel headed by FUFA disciplinary Committee chairman Deo Mutabaazi therefore passed the following ruling.
1. Proline FC loses the match against SC Villa by forfeiture.
2. Proline FC be docked six points and six goals from those accumulated or to be accumulated in accordance with Article 24 (9) of the FUFA Competition rules.
3. That the table standings be updated accordingly.
4. For bringing the game into disrepute, Proline FC is fined UGX 5,000,000 (Five Million shillings only) to be paid by 18th September 2019.
The decision therefore means that Proline moves bottom of the league with -3 points; they had accumulated three points after defeating Onduparaka 1-0. While Villa move joint top of the league on seven points, level on points with Wakiso Giants.
Proline FC director Mujib Kasule had earlier made it clear that they will appeal any decisions that goes against them to the FIFA court of Appeal.