The 15th edition of the annual Airtel-Masaza Cup football tournament was officially launched on Monday at Bulange, Mengo by the 1st deputy Katikiro (deputy premier) Owek. Hajji Twaha Kawaase.
The launch was also graced by representatives from sponsors led by Airtel-Uganda –the headline sponsors, Centenary bank, Total-Uganda, BBS TV, CBS FM, Majesic Brand and Engule beer. There were also representatives from the teams, Buganda kingdom, oranising committee, FUFA among others.
Owek. urged everyone to support the tournament is his or her capacity for the development of football in Buganda and Uganda at large.
“This competition (Masaza Cup) has contributed immensely to the national football teams. I want to confirm that the Kabaka (King) will grace the opening match in his Singo County –Mityana district next month,” noted Kawaase.
The 2019 tournament will be officially opened by the Kabaka with defending champions Singo hosting Ssese at Mityana Ssazza Grounds on June 1. Remmy Kisakye, the Airtel-Uganda marketing manager unveiled a package f Shs400m for this year’s tournament.
“We inject Shs400m annually in the tournament as headline sponsors and we have done this for the last three years. I urge the teams to keep the competition brand high. As Airtel-Uganda, we cherish the partnership we have with Buganda kingdom,” she noted.
Centenary bank offered Shs90m, Engule also extended Shs51m. Masaza Cup organizing committee chairman Hajj Suleiman Sejjengo urged the team managers to ensure discipline before warning the match officials against biased officiating.
“We shall follow the rules and team managers should read the rules clearly to avoid mistakes. Most of you get the copies of rules and throw them under the carpet only to be caught off guard,” noted Sejjengo, also the Mayor Ndejje division in Wakiso district.
Buganda minister of sports and youth Owek Henry Sekabembe Kiberu asked team managers to have books of accountability in order to properly run their teams.
“We shall in the near future not allow teams to host the opening match which is graced by the Kabaka, if that county (Ssaza) has no stadium of their own. So teams must save and have own grounds,” he warned.
Each of the 18 participating teams gets Shs5m for start, three balls and two sets of jersey. Meanwhile the teams were grouped into four groups named after the historical building in Buganda. Gomba county are the record 4-time champions.
Masengere: Ssingo, Bugerere, Buvuma, Gomba, Ssese
Butikkiro: Buddu, Mawogola, Mawokota, Bulemezi, Kooki
Muganzirwaza: Busujju, Kabula, Kyaggwe, Butambala
Bulange: Buwekula, Busiro, Kyadondo, Buluuli.