Since 2015, Uganda Premier league (UPL) clubs have had to endure the strenuous licensing process from home grounds, to administration and above all that, players licensing.
According to the 2015 FUFA Executive Committee regulations, players and their clubs are required to submit national passports issued by the Government of Uganda or respective government authorities for foreign players in order to be issued with a license for the UPL and the FUFA Big league.
The federation has been strict and and ardent in implementing many of the regulations, but on some occasions, they have been found guilty of bending their own guidelines and regulations.
And as they try to cover-up mediocrity, it has often come back to bite them and expose the federation.
In the wake of the Uganda Hippos preparations for the CECAFA U-20, the side has been rocked with players failing to get licensing to represent the country in the tournament due to a lack of passports.
Surprisingly, the players involved in the saga, are UPL licensed player. And one will wonder how they were licensed to play in the league minus such a fundamental requirement in licensing.
According to sources close to the team, Head coach Morley Byekwaso has already expressed his worry after having to drop some of the established players he had in camp.
When Byekwaso revealed his final 20-man squad that will represent the country in the CECAFA tournament, there was a number of notable absentees; including Vipers forward Abdul Karim Watambala and Busoga United’s Lawrence Tezikya.
KCCA’s lofty defender Musa Ramathan and SC Villa’s forward Charles Lwanga also missed out on the team after their documents had contradicting documents.
The Hippos will get their tournament underway against Eritrea, on Saturday 21st, at the Pecce War memorial stadium, Gulu.
Byekwaso however, sounded confident and content with the attitude his players have shown in training ahead of the tournament.
“Since we came this side everything is moving on well, but our man power was limited due to lack of passports by some players,” Byekwaso told www.football-256.com.
“We have trained well and the boys are willing to learn. Even on the first sight you can realize that their main aim is to improve their talents,”
They are willing to learn but most importantly, they are looking forward to our first fixture in the tournament.” Byekwaso added.
The Hippos Full squad
Goal Keepers: Jack Komakech (Football for Good), Dennis Otim (Mbarara FC) & Patrick Mubiru (Bright stars)
Defenders: Kevin Ssekimbegga (Express FC), Justine Opiro(KCCA JT), Aziz Kayondo (Vipers SC), Robert Kitabalwa (St Mary’s Kitende), Gavin Kizito Mugweri (SC Villa), Kenneth Semakula (Busoga United), Derrick Kigundu (Buddo SS),
Midfielders: Joseph Kafumbe (KCCA FC), Davis Ssekajja (B Stars), Hassan Ssenyonjo (Wakiso Giants), Bright Anukani (Proline FC), Steven Sserwadda (KCCA FC)
Forwards: Sadat Anaku (KCCA FC), Isma Mugulusi (Busoga United), Ivan Bogere (Proline FC), Ivan Asaba (St Mary’s Kitende), Sadam Maseruka (Bul FC), Najib Yiga (Vipers Junior Team)