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Legal floods batter soccer body

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th September 2009 03:00 AM

THE country’s football governing body FUFA is set to be embroiled in another legal battle after Express Football Club filed a civil suit yesterday contesting its eligibility to run football activities in the country.

THE country’s football governing body FUFA is set to be embroiled in another legal battle after Express Football Club filed a civil suit yesterday contesting its eligibility to run football activities in the country.

By Paul Mnuga
Douglas Mazune
and Hillary Nsambu


THE country’s football governing body FUFA is set to be embroiled in another legal battle after Express Football Club filed a civil suit yesterday contesting its eligibility to run football activities in the country.

Attaching FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa, CEO Edgar Watson and returning officer Patrick Okanya as defendants, Express, through Muwema and Mugerwa Advocates, seeks an order restraining FUFA from organising football-related activities, assemblies and elections.

In a related development, National Super League Committee member Julius Kavuma-Kabenge has resigned his position, also citing the questionable legal status under which FUFA operates as a reason. He is an Express official.

The Express suit comes hot on the heels of another application filed by Pro-Line Academy on Wednesday seeking to bar FUFA from sanctioning the start of the 2009-10 Super League season without the participation of Nalubaale FC, whose rights Pro-Line claim to have purchased.

Express filed a plaint challenging FUFA’s legality in the Kampala High Court, averring that FUFA is not properly constituted as a national association under the National Council of Sports Act.

The NCS Act

Section 10 of the Act stipulates that the establishment of a national association, its functions and composition shall be conducted through the issuance of a statutory instrument and accompanying regulations by the Minister of Education and Sports.

Express contends that no such regulations exist in FUFA’s case and as a result, Mulindwa and Co have not been vested with any legal authority of office to run national football activities in Uganda. NCS could not be reached for a comment last night.

FUFA’s lawyer, Kiwanuka and Karugire Advocates, have 15 days within which to respond.

Alex Luganda, the FUFA legal officer, yesterday acknowledged receipt of the plaint but alleged that political undercurrents surround the institution of the suit.

“This is clearly an attempt to disorganise the start of the league,” Luganda told The New Vision. “FUFA has existed for many years. It was not born with [Lawrence] Mulindwa.”

It is doubtful whether the Express suit will affect the commencement of the Super League, which is slated for tomorrow.

League to kick-off

“The league will start as scheduled unless the FUFA Executive decides otherwise,” Moses Magogo, FUFA Competitions Committee secretary, affirmed yesterday.

A dramatic Thursday in the city started with news of Kavuma-Kabenge’s decision to quit FUFA.

“As a lover of the sport, I have an obligation to make public the fact that certain things are not right,” Kabenge told The New Vision,/i>.

“FUFA’s current status is inadequate. It means its officials cannot be held properly accountable. What we have is a personal [Mulindwa] endeavour.”

FUFA and the law

By Paul Mbuga

Currently presided over by Lawrence Mulindwa, FUFA was formed in 1924 and it governs all football activities in the country. Affiliated to FIFA in 1960, it is a non-registered body, is not a partnership and neither does it qualify for corporate status under the Trustees Incorporation Act.If not validly constituted under the NCS Act as Express contends, does FUFA have a legal status?
  • FUFA’s status as the supreme football-governing body in Uganda has been recognised by FIFA since 1960.
    Article 10 of the FIFA Statutes drafted by the FIFA Congress stipulate that any Association responsible for organising and supervising football in its country may become a Member. There is no requirement in the FIFA Statutes that Member Associations must be legal entities.
    If, as Express alleges, FUFA was illegally constituted, FIFA has the power to suspend the Associate Member and/or issue the relevant directives. This has happened in Kenya and Iraq.

  • FUFA can lay claim to being a quasi-corporate body; that is, an entity not incorporated in law but one which in reality possesses the attributes of an incorporated body, like ownership of property. But, High Court Judge Yorokamu Bamwine rejected a preliminary objection in the Pro-Line-FUFA dispute last week that FUFA is a non-legal entity that cannot be sued.

  • Legal floods batter soccer body

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