By James Bakama
THE Uganda Super League kick-off is in jeopardy if soccer governing body FUFA does not prove to the High Court today that it had powers to halt the Pro-Line and Nalubaale merger, and that their August 15 general assembly was legal.
Pro-Line, a soccer academy side from the first division that wanted to merge with Super League side Nalubaale FC, have taken FUFA to court for refusal to sanction the takeover.
The applicants want an injunctive order restraining FUFA from organizing the 2009/10 Super league without the participation of Nalubaale. Kick-off is scheduled for Saturday.
Pro-Line is also questioning the legality of the executive particularly after the recent annual general meeting that they argue dissolved the federationâ€™s general assembly.
Why Pro-line were snubbed
FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa defended their decision not to allow Pro-Line join the league, saying the deal was not sanctioned by his executive as required in article 53 of the constitution, and also that the alleged merger infringes FIFA statutes that Uganda must abide by.
He quoted rule 19 of the FIFA statutes on the principle of promotion and relegation. It reads: â€œAltering the legal form or company structure of a club to facilitate its qualification on sporting merit and/or its receipt of a license for a domestic league championship, to the detriment of the integrity of a sports competition, is prohibited.â€
He said Nalubaaleâ€™s financial plight came to their attention when they sought to merge with Pro-Line, but on close examination of the club, it lacked the mandatory club structures as per FUFA regulations.
Pro-Line are basing their appeal to the courts on the grounds that the assembly that dismissed Nalubaale from the league was made by a body â€œthat had been dissolved.â€ â€œThe current FUFA Constitution does not provide for dissolving the General Assembly neither the FUFA Executive,â€ said Mulindwa, adding that whoever is making the allegation must be reading an old copy of the laws.
Was FUFA assembly illegal
FUFA competitions committee sec retary Moses Magogo clarified earlier that, â€œWhat actually happened on August 15 2009 was just yet another ordinary general assembly.â€
Article 20(c)I of the constitution says the executive committee shall be elected every four years by the general assembly specifically convened for this purpose.
During this assembly no other business other than matters relating to the election of the executive committee shall be conducted. The current executive was elected on December 17, 2005 and the four years expire on December 17, 2009.
Magogo said elections will be organised before then and the new Executive Committee will not assume office until December.
Mulindwa also dismissed claims that the August 15 assembly involved ineligible delegates. â€œI am surprised that even districts like Yumbe and Kabarole are mentioned. The two not only met all requirements like having leagues, but also hosted super mini-league.â€
Mulindwa also wondered on what grounds Pro-Line, which is not a super league team, was suing. â€œIt would have probably made more sense if it was Nalubaale complaining.â€
Patrick Okanya will officially start his role as FUFA returning officer when he unveils the election programme at the bodyâ€™s headquarters today, reports Swalley Kenyi.
Okanya is expected to receive verified list of FUFA delegates at all levels, active, and suspend districts to help him conduct business.
The district delegates will be nominated on October 8 -10 before the elections on October 17. Elections of special interest group delegates that include women, coaches, schools, youth, players, referees and Super Division Club Association will take place on October 19.
Presidential candidates nominations will take place at FUFA House, Mengo, on October 23 - 24 and the elections on November 7.