head of state Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Tuesday April 14th announced an extension of a countrywide lockdown and curfew for a further 21 days as a precaution to curb the novel coronavirus spread in the country.
To date, Uganda has registered 54 cases, with up to eight people cleared of the virus with no deaths registered as yet, while up to 46 cases remain active by press time.
The imposed lockdown extending till May 5, the day which the StarTimes Uganda Premier League was initially set to return affects the resumption of the league.
According to UPL chief executive officer Bernard Bainamani, they are to examine a couple of possibilities and outcomes before they can take a stand on the next case of action.
Bainamani stated that currently, they will follow the guidelines set by the government while they closely follow how the situation unfolds before they make a decision.
“The government has extended the lockdown to May 5, when we were set to return,” Bainamani told Football256.
“This means we cannot resume according to schedule, but we shall have a decision to make then.”
“We are going to look at how the situation around the coronavirus pandemic, and await what decision is taken next; whether the lockdown is lifted and Uganda is declared corona free, or it is extended.”
“In the event that the lockdown is lifted, then we shall have to resume but we shall allow more time for clubs to prepare well because their activities have been affected for this while so its unfair competition wise to resume instantly.”
“However, if it is extended and it goes beyond June 30th, then we shall have to liaison with the stakeholders including FUFA and the clubs for alternative ways on how we can find a fitting conclusion. But at the moment we wait and see what happens,” he added.
Article 18 of the FUFA Competition Rules, indicates that in case the league cannot be concluded due to a force majeure, but with 75% of the games covered, then the current league standings will be taken as the final league standings.
But Bainamani argues that it is still a wayward possibility to invoke the rule because they lean towards having a natural conclusion.
Adding that they also can seek the guidance of FIFA and CAF if they advise their member associations on the future of the respective national competitions.
“Invoking article 18 is still an outside possibility for now because we would rather have a natural conclusion.”
“And still we await the guidance from FIFA or CAF on how their member associations deal with their leagues, we shall look to that and find a favorite position of course by involving FUFA and the clubs.”
“However, if the current situation carries on to an unfavorable time, then we have no option but to invoke it,” Bainamani stated.
Vipers are top of the league standings with 54 points from 25 games, four points ahead of defending champions KCCA who are second, with five games to play.
This post was written by, Shafic Kiyaga and initially published by football256.com and reproduced under license.
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