On Saturday during the SMACK Open at Kisubi, ugly scenes were evident in the last game between Weatherhead and Kampala.
Hockey players have one too many times gone native in local events! With keeping a clean public image, a presumed responsibility for virtually all stakeholders, the joke is on the fraternity for harbouring a cast of hooligans.
On-pitch violence continues to unfold in the beautiful game, which inevitably makes one fear for the worst going forward. The critics are surely in a fair position to give a lot of stick to the infamous perpetrators.
They could perhaps in their minds get away with it for violence is a common aspect in sports world over, but then there is a quick reminder of their status; hockey is a small sport that needs to attract more numbers and technically such incidents could stand in the way of would-be players and sponsors.
On Saturday during the SMACK Open at Kisubi, ugly scenes were evident in the last game between Weatherhead and Kampala. For Kampala, to some degree this could be seen as effects of frustration especially that Weatherhead literally took last year's league trophy at their expense. The former were headed for the revered title but could not last the distance!
Weatherhead on the other hand are to blame for a lack of emotional control in the face of conflict.
"As club, we have suspended our players Charles Kapolon and Ashiraf Tumwesigye who were heavily involved in the conflict on Saturday" weatherhead coach Vincent Kasasa said. For Richard Ssemwogere who is believed to have ignited the fight, his fate regarding the matter remains to be seen.
A flash back into last season shows how Wananchi and Kampala Stallions got into a fight during one of the league games. The raucous was sparked when Eugene Miheso and Derrick Akuwa of Wananchi beat stallion's youngster Brian Okodi.
The aftermath involved cases filled at Police. When the Uganda Hockey Association reacted to the matters, a committee to arbitrate the issues was set up. It included some big names in Ugandan sport; Swimming's Don Rukare and NCS' David Katende among others. But then when the violence continues like at the weekend, the effectiveness of such a committee comes into question.
Now, with a deal to land major sponsors for the league still in the pipeline, it is only right for clubs to maintain discipline which in turn could even tame more sponsorship.