Vipers declared Ugandan champions as Fufa end virus-hit season

Vipers SC players celebrate after scoring a goal against Mbarara City FC in Pilsner Super 8 tournament in August, 2019. PHOTO | FILE |

What you need to know:

  • Tooro United, Proline (all on 22 points) and Maroons (24) have been relegated as per table standings.
  • Fufa also applied the less than 50 per cent of matches played rule to declare the Women Super League null and void, with no champions and no relegation.
  • The District Leagues, fourth and fifth Divisions, have also been cancelled.

Vipers SC were on Wednesday declared the 2019/20 StarTimes Uganda Premier League (SUPL) champions after Uganda's football governing body, Fufa, invoked the 75 per cent clause of the Competitions Committee Rules to decide the season.

The decision has been necessitated by the continued uncertainly due to the coronavirus, which has ravaged the world, bringing economies and sport to a halt.

Vipers were top of the standings by four points at 54, with dethroned champions KCCA second with five matches left to play. Tooro United, Proline (all on 22 points) and Maroons (24) have been relegated as per table standings.

“The Fufa Executive has decided to apply the 75 per cent rule and declared Vipers the Uganda Premier League champions,” announced Fufa president, Moses Magogo, on Wednesday at Mengo.

“Maroons, Proline and Tooro United are (also) sportingly eligible to apply for club licensing for 2020/21 Fufa Big League Club License.”

Article 18 (ii) of Fufa’s competition rules on failure to complete the league due to force majeure states that “where all the clubs in the league have completed the first round fixtures but less than 75 per cent league games have been played, the table standings at the end of the first round shall be considered as the final table standing of the league.”

Currently, 83 per cent of games have been played; meaning that with the league unable to continue because of social distancing rules, Vipers are now champions for the fourth time, and bottom sides Proline, Tooro United and Maroons have been relegated.

As it stands, Vipers will represent Uganda in next season’s Caf Champions League. Fufa said they will continue monitoring the situation to see if the Uganda Cup can be completed to decide who represents the country in the Caf Confederation Cup.

Should that fail to materialise, KCCA – as the second placed team on the table – will represent the country.

Down in the Big League, pace setters Myda FC, UPDF are now sportingly eligible to apply for club licensing for the 2020/21 UPL license.

However, Kiboga Young, Kataka, Kitara and Ndejje University will battle in a play-off before next season starts to determine the third for sporting eligibility to apply for club licensing for the 2020/21 club licensing.

Fufa also applied the less than 50 per cent of matches played rule to declare the Women Super League null and void, with no champions and no relegation.

The District Leagues, fourth and fifth Divisions have also been cancelled.

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This story first appeared on the Daily Monitor website.