Jinja Progressive Academy will not be part of this year’s National Copa Coca-Cola finals that kick off on May 7 at Jinja College School after the national organising committee found them guilty of using an ineligible player in names Franka Mulimi.
The ‘questionable’ player appears in different names in different competitions. Agape SSS from Namutumba first logged in their complaint at the Busoga regional organisation stage after they were eliminated by JIPRA at quarter finals following a 1-0 loss early this month.
They claimed that JIPRA had used two non-bonafide players in Francis Busingire and Franka Mulimi. Agape provided evidence to show that the player who used the name Busingire used another person’s documents and particulars to register for JIPRA and that the passport photo in the album was different from the person in question -who was a student at Jinja SSS.
At the regional level, the committee ruled that the player wasn’t fielded in the match between Jinja Progressive and Agape thus rendering the complaint invalid.
“Although the complainant produces correct information about Busingire Francis, basing on the referee’s form for the game between JIPRA and Agape, he did not participate and as a committee, it is no case to answer,” the Busoga committee ruled.
Agape also provided further showed that midfielder Franka Mulimi, had previous registered for Primary Leaving Exams at Nawankonge P/S under the name Abbey Mukose.
They went ahead to provide a photo album of the said school with Mukose’s photo resembling that of Mulimi. However, JIPRA, with UNEB results sheet, showed that Mukose did not sit exams as alleged and refuted claims that the person was Mulimi.
“I brought this evidence to prove that the player had used other names previously with another date of birth while registering for primary exams but they (Busoga committee) decided to stick on the fact that the said person didn’t sit exams!” Agape SS director Herbert Baligasima exclaimed.
Agape SS also provided a copy of a Fufa license from Busoga third-division side Magamaga FC that had a one Erisa Mugadi with an identical face/photo to that of Mulimi.
The license was issued by the Fufa Eastern regional FA in 2017 bearing different dates of birth (1997) which, by Copa Coca Cola standards, would mean the bearer would be ineligible to play this year at that age.
The Busoga Organising committee proved that the different documents provided by Agape on the petition of Mulimi indeed had his face but ruled that the accompanying signatures were not identical and therefore, based on that to throw out the petition.
“The committee has failed to completely disprove Mulimi’s identity and resolved that JIPRA should proceed in the tournament,” the 18-worded ruling read. Agape’s Herbert Baligasima immediately requested for the ruling so that they file an appeal to the national organising committee. They filed an appeal on Wednesday and the National organising committee ruled in their favor on Friday afternoon. The committee chaired by Raphael Mbidde, looked through the appeal and ruled: “The person in the names of Franka Mulimi of Jinja Progressive Academy has been found guilty of using multiple names and dates of birth. The committee has found him ineligible to play in the Copa Coca Cola tournament. “Jinja Progressive Academy has also been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player and therefore banned for one-year ban,” the ruling read. JIPRA director Swaibu Kitezaala trashed the ruling and vowed to head to high court for an injunction on the competition. “We are going to court to seek an injunction. The committee was biased and bribed to throw us out by our rivals in the region. We knew it but we shall now got to both the civil court and the public court –good enough the games are in Jinja. Agape will not play in this competition and we shall ensure that we see that achieved,” noted Kitezaala on Friday after receiving the committee ruling at National council of sports (NCS), Lugogo. Away from the one-year ban, JIPRA also lost the Eastern region (Jinja) title to rivals Jinja SSS whom they had beaten in the final. Now, Jinja SS, Agape SS, Iganga Parents, Busoga College –Mwiri and Jinja College will represent the region at the finals.