By Fred Kaweesi in Lubumbashi
CAF Confederations Cup
Don Bosco v SCVU 4pm
CAF Champions League
El Merriekh v KCCA 8pm
UGANDA’S CAF Confederations Cup representatives SCVU have designed a foul-proof strategy that will enable them overcome DR Congo outfit Don Bosco in the country’s mining capital Lubumbashi.
“We are ready,” SCVU head coach Morley Byekwaso stated ahead of his side’s historic clash at the 18,000-capacity Stade TP Mazembe tomorrow.
Just three years ago, Victoria University were embroiled in Big League football which culminated into promotion to the top flight.
Interestingly, SCVU earned their maiden continental berth after winning the Uganda Cup in just their debut season.
But what a baptism of fire awaits them.
“The boys are aware that it will not be easy at all. They are aware of the obstacles they are likely to face. But we have mentally prepared the team and hope to get a decent result,” Byekwaso pointed.
To accomplish a fairytale run on the continent, SCVU, founded in 2011, will have to first dispatch DR Congo opposition —adversaries with an established reputation of foul play.
Apart from accommodating visiting teams in hotels far from the official match-day stadium, DR Congo sides have also been accused of unfair treatment that includes, keeping teams at the airport lobby in Lubumbashi for long.
Last year, South Africa giants Orlando Pirates fi led an official complaint to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) against TP Mazembe, who are coincidentally Don Bosco’s parent club.
Back then, Pirates players and officials described the trip to Lubumbashi as “hell” after two travelling reporters were arrested and another had equipment confiscated, and the team was allegedly intimidated throughout the trip.
“It was a terrifying experience,” said South Africa Football Association (SAFA) official Elvis Shishana, who also travelled to Lubumbashi as the head the delegation.
“Our lives were at risk,” Shishana told BBC. Pirates’ midfielder Lehlohonolo Masalesa was also quoted as saying that: “We were scared for our lives after the match. The fans of Mazembe started burning cars outside the stadium.”
South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC, were prevented from broadcasting the game with two of their crew arrested and only released after the game.
The refereeing was also bizarre. Apart from controversially sending off Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi, the hosts were awarded two dubious penalty kicks — both of which were saved.
There were then about 10 minutes of injury time.
In 2012, St Eloi Lupopo fans shocked Black Leopards players (that included Ugandan goalkeeper Posnet Omony), when they arrived at their Grand Karava hotel in four minibuses and hurled a barrage of insults at them on match day.
Incidentally, its the same hotel that Victoria University will be accomodated. CAF appointed Kenyan officials to handle the fixture.
Centre referee Davies Ogenche Omweno will be assisted by Peter Ssabatia and Gilbert Cheruiyot. The same reception is expected for KCCA during their CAF Champions League adventure in Khartoum.
However, unlike SCVU, the defending league champions have gathered enough experience playing around the continent over the years and should know better of what to expect.
Goalkeepers: Benjamin Ochan, Ali Kimera
Defenders: Fred Agandu, Isaac Muleme, Bernard Agele, Martin Mpuga, Hamza Delu, Murshid Jjuko
Midfielders: David Ndihabwe, Yasser Mugerwa, Noah Semakula, Muzamir Mutyaba, Muwadda Mawejje, Peter Otai
Forwards: Simon Okwi, Dan Nsubuga, Dan Isiagi, Mathew Odong