FUFA has hailed Eastern region for the massive participation in the inaugural Odilo primary schools tournament that climaxes on August 3-7 with the finals at the FUFA technical centre, Njeru.
The Eastern region registered high number of district participation (14) at the regional qualifiers. “I want to commend the Eastern region for the highest number of district participation. FUFA has 95 active district football associations and 62 of those participated in this inaugural Odilo tournament. That is a very good start and we thank every stakeholder who has supported this tournament. The Odilo is a very young idea that needs a lot of support from everyone. It gives kids opportunity to kick the ball,” noted Eng. Moses Magogo, the FUFA President on Wednesday at FUFA House, Mengo during the draws for the finals.
Magogo revealed that the main objective of Odilo tournament is to cultivate interest in young people to love the game of football at the right age.
“More players, coaches, referees and parents are involved which is a multiplier effect. 375 schools and 750 coaches were involved in the 575 matches played. Over 12000 players and about 500 referees,” added Magogo.
Justus Mugisha, the FUFA first Vice President and also chairman organizing committee revealed that the second edition will have both Girls and Boys unlike this year’s edition that only catered for Boys.
The winning school has a trophy at stake which they will take for keeps while the two finalists in the finals will represent the country in this year’s Federation of East African second schools sports association (FEASSSA) with all expenses catered for by FUFA.
To attest legitimate players, FUFA used immunization cards and the winning school at the regional level is allowed to pick good players from the teams they competed with at the regional championship to beef up their squad at the finals.
The same applied at the district level. “A player may be good but his school fails to make it to the finals. By letting him play for the school that qualified, we give a chance to this player to get exposure to the national scouts that will be in Njeru,” explained Aisha Nalule, the FUFA Competitions director.
The eight teams representing the eight FUFA regions at the final are; Citizens Parents primary school (Makindye-Kampala), Bright Valley (Gulu –Northern), Green Valley (Mbarara –Western), Oasis Annex primary school (Arua –West Nile), Busungu primary (Manafa –Eastern), Rays of Grace (Buikwe –Buganda), Tooro boarding primary school (Kabalore –Kitara) and God’s Grace (Serere –North East).