By James Bakama and Swalley Kenyi
National Beach Soccer League
Nkumba 14 Fisheries 1
Fisheries 1 MUBS 8
St Lawrence 8 Zai Plaza 1
Mengo 2 Buwanika 3
Kabalagala 0 Real 3
KIU 2 Richmond 4
Kira Young 4(1) Zaba SM 4(0)
Braza 5 Stomers 3
BIG names in the FUFA Super League are flooding the Pepsi Beach Soccer League raising serious questions on whether the influx won’t stifle the new sport.
World soccer governing body FIFA discourages players engaged in association football to also be actively involved in beach soccer competitions.
This is aimed at encouraging growth of emerging variants of association football like beach, futsal and indoor soccer. FIFA presides over all these forms of football.
Cranes players Steven Bengo and Saidi Kyeyune are the latest in a long list of association players flooding the local beach league.
Kyeyune, who plays for Super League side URA, on Sunday turned out for St Lawrence University while KCCA midfielder Bengo featured for Buwanika Boys at Lido Beach.
FUFA Super League side Kira Young has virtually its entire team also involved on the beach. It is a similar story for most of the teams that were in the just concluded University League.
Uganda Beach Soccer Association chairman Deo Mutabazi said they are well aware of the urgent need for the sport to develop its own players.
“But we found it necessary to use big names in association football if the game was to grow,” he explained however adding that effective next season players in established association football leagues will not be allowed on the beach.
There is a need for players to be focused on a particular brand of football. Each of these requires specific skills that might not apply elsewhere. In a busy beach league, it would be hard for instance for Kyeyune to perform well when he is committed elsewhere.