Vipers Sports Club has maintained its ground on the availability of its players ahead of the kickoff of the newly introduced FUFA Drum tournament.
Club patron, Dr. Lawrence Mulindwa on Friday cleared the air on rumors indicating Vipers SC as a team are against the tournament but rather indicated the concerns that he thinks needs to be addressed to have a good competition.
In a press briefing held at St.Mary’s stadium, Mr. Mulindwa stressed that Vipers was part of the passing of the FUFA Drum tournament but feels there are issues that were not put before clubs to come up with a common ground.
“There have been rumors going on that we are not in support of the FUFA DRUM but I want to categorically state that as Vipers SC we are fully behind the initiative because we believe talent identification is very crucial,” he stated.
“ We were part of the FUFA assembly in September last year that passed the existence of the tournament because we are members of FUFA and our thinking was that tapping into unearthed talent was important from across the entire country,” he added.
However, the patron indicates that using already established players does not make sense and that is why the Venoms wrote to the Federation indicating Vipers SC players will not feature in the tournament.
“As Vipers SC, we do not believe Ismail Watenga, Nicholas Wadada and the like playing in a tournament aimed at giving chance to the unknown makes value. It leaves one wondering whether the cause is still talent identification or fans recruitment because you want to bring the established players,” the patron explained.
Additionally Dr.Mulindwa believes there are some key issues that have not been addressed before the players are summoned for instance availability and insurance.
“The tournament comes at such a crucial tournament when every team needs their full squad because of the stiff competition in the league and the Uganda Cup. I believe the timing was bad. Why not at the end of the season?” He asked before adding, “Besides, what is the insurance of our players if they get injured in such games? The scenario of Halid Lwaliwa is still fresh in our minds and he has been on the sidelines since May last year. We have used a lot of money to make sure he returns to full fitness.”
The patron was also disappointed that the Federation came out with threats, orders and ultimatums instead of looking at the dire concerns and seek ways on how to address them.
“These rules don’t reflect sporting justice. Sending threatening documents and ultimatums, I don’t think it works. Let’s not have rules and regulations to benefit individuals. “We are well aware of the FUFA jurisdiction as the mother body and we respect that. This thing of bringing politics can’t work – I can’t fight my kid, why should I? They must know that clubs own these players and they have binding contracts,” he asserted.
This was in reply to the FUFA order that indicated all players summoned in respective provinces must show up lest they face suspension and their clubs will be docked points.