The tournament has attracted teams from the various counties in the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom.
PIC: Buyaga East's Ali Oza (right) beats Buyaga West's Jeremy Bedirwoth during their match. West beat East 4-3 on penalties. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
Bunyoro kingdom prime minister Norman Lukumu has urged the Banyoro to embrace and engage in other sports like wrestling to continue building cohesion among the king's subjects.
He was addressing a large crowd that turned up for the official launch of the 5th edition of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) Amasaza ga Bunyoro football tournament played at Kagadi Model Primary School pitch.
In the opening game of the tournament graced by the Omukama Rukirabasaija Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1, Buzaya East beat defending champions Buzaya West 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to advance to the next round.
The tournament has attracted teams from the various counties in the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom including Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kiryandogo, Buliisa, Hoima, Kibaale and Masindi.
Robert Uketchi’s first half strike was cancelled out by Vincent Ategeka's effort later in the second half to take the match into the penalty shoot-out.
Today (Sunday), another match involving teams from Kibaale will be played in the second qualifier of the tournament from which the winner will emerge to join Buyaga West in the next round of matches to be played in Hoima.
Omukama Rukirabasaija Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1 kicks-off the Amasaza ga Bunyoro soccer tournament flanked by Prime Minister Norman Lukumu (left). (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
Omukama Rukirabasaija Solomon Gafabusa Iguru 1 inspects the Buyaga West FC team before kick off. (Credit: Michael Nsubuga)
According to Bunyoro Kingdom sports minister John Baguma, other teams will play qualifiers to the penultimate stage on November 19 in Masindi, November 20 in Buliisa and Kiryandongo before the next set of matches in Hoima on November 26, ahead of the finals in Hoima on December 3.
A select team from the tournament will then prepare to face another from the Buganda Masaza tournament in a friendly on December 15.
CNOOC head of CSR Zakaria Lubega, whose company has injected sh87m in this year's tournament and supports it with logistics such as jerseys, balls and first aid kit among others, said the tournament had achieved its aim of identifying and grooming talent as many players have been assimilated into other big teams across the country.
"As we carry out core activities in the Bunyoro region, it is important for us to engage with the residents to embrace their culture and contribute to the community as a sign of appreciation for their support to our company and employees," said public relations supervisor Aminah Bukenya.
"Sponsoring the Amasaza cup for the fifth year is a demonstration of CNOOC Uganda’s dedication to the growth of sport in this Albertine region," she added.
The company has also supported education and health in the region and the country at large.