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Coronavirus: Ugandan MP Ssewanyana on when UPL could commence

18:34 GMT 26/03/2020
Vipers SC vs Wakiso Giants.
The legislator has pointed out numerous reasons as to why he thinks it is not probable for the current campaign to resume and conclude

Makindye West Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana has urged the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) to suspend the Premier League for a longer period.

The UPL was suspended following the measures put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus and the legislator has asked the federation to postpone the league entirely until when the environment will be conducive for players and fans alike.

“I sympathize with all sportsmen and women who are being affected by this situation,” Ssewanyana said as he was quoted by Kawowo Sports.

“But I think Fufa and sports organizations should start thinking about how to organize next season [2020/21] because I don’t think the league will be allowed to resume not until after September 2020 because of the social distance preventive measure by World Health Organization [WHO] especially in countries like Uganda where we have a few cases of coronavirus.

“It is even going to be difficult for clubs to maintain the players plus players themselves maintain fit and resume. Covid-19, as the disease is officially known, has infected more than 420,000 people worldwide and the WHO are scrambling to stop the spread of the virus, advising against public gatherings.

“In several countries including Uganda, people have been cautioned not to shake hands to minimize risks of contamination, so since sports involves mainly the above, I don’t think we can be able to have these games played again until when the country feels it is safe and can ably manage the spread.”

The MP, who is also the Fufa Big League side Katwe United chairman, gave examples of world events which have shifted their calendar to 2021 adding the UPL should follow suit.

“We have so far witnessed the shifting of global sports events to next year such as Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Euro 2020, Copa America Championship, Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have been postponed,” said Ssewanyana.

“The Confederation of African Football [Caf] has postponed two rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers scheduled for March 25-31.

“The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13 to 15, have been postponed until next year. Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona marathons have also been postponed and others.”

UPL was suspended as it readied to enter Matchday 26 action while the Uganda Cup was headed into the quarter-final round.