Over 60 teams took part in the district qualifiers of the inaugural FUFA ‘Odilo’ tournament; a nation-wide primary schools football competition played in the
eight FUFA Football regions of Kampala, Buganda, Kitara, Western, North East, West Nile, Eastern and Northern. The eight (8) regional winners battled in the
National finals at the FUFA Technical Centre Njeru in early August. The eight teams that represented the eight FUFA regions 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).
FUFA impressed with the tournament progress FUFA Development Director Ali Mwebe said that the Odilo tournament came in the right period for implementation of FUFA’s strategic plan at the grassroots and youth football development. He said that FUFA’s goal set way back in 2017 was to increase the number of young players in the game through undertaking a number of initiatives to develop the game at the grassroots –working with the Government and Uganda Secondary School Sports Association (USSSA).
“Partners like Airtel have contributed to youth football. Such programmes like Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) have seen over 15,000 boys and close to 7,000 girls kick the ball every football season. The player development pathway resembles a pyramid shape with a wider base and narrow top. Therefore Odilo expands our base touching primary schools level (U14) and every corner of the FUFA Regions,” noted Ali, who said that other follow-up support development activities like coaching development, talent identification, equipment and facilities shall be strengthened in the near future. He says that such projects are highly
recommended by FIFA under its new plan-Football for Schools Project supported by the FIFA Forward Programme to grow football for boys and girls within Member Associations.
Why the name ‘Odilo’ was preferred FUFA launched the ‘Odilo’ tournament in May this year as a new championship on the 13 strong Competitions list organsied by FUFA. The federation’s Finance director Decolas Kiiza revealed that the story of two brothers; Gipir and Labongo, who moved south from Bahel-Gazel and settled in present-day West Nile with their families and children, are the root of the tournament’s code name.
Due to inter-family jostles and glitches, the two brothers decided to part ways with Gipir and his family taking the area west of the Nile and became the Alur Community while Labongo moved eastwards settling off through Acholi, Lango, Bunyoro, Bukedi up to areas of Western Kenya as Luo Community. Amongst the Alur was born a boy called Odilo in the remote village of Pavungu.
While a teenager, Odilo while in Kampala found a group of boys kicking around object which excited him very much. He maneuvered and sneaked away with the round object up to Pavungu in two days.
The youths and men of Pavungu started playing using the round object on the guidelines of Odilo and easily named it Odilo which would later turn out to be the BALL and the game –football. Odilo spread out to the Greater Northern Uganda that hosts two FUFA Regional Football Associations of West Nile and Northern like wildfire.
“In recognition of the Alur, the people of Pavungu, the Greater Northern Uganda and Odilo himself, the FUFA Executive Committee decided that the newly introduced FUFA Primary Schools Championship to be played across Uganda hereby named Odilo,” narrated Kiiza.
Final team Classification:
1st -Rays of Grace PS (Buikwe/Buganda)
2nd-Oasis Annex PS (Arua/West Nile)
3rd -Bright Valley PS (Gulu/Northern)
4th -Busumbu PS (Manafwa/Eastern)
5th -Tooro Boarding PS (Kabarole/Kitara)
6th -Citizen Parents PS (Makindye/Kampala)
7th -Green Valley PS (Mbarara/Western)
8th -God’s Grace PS (Serere/North Eastern)
Most Valuable Player: Kasanya Leonard – Rays of Grace
Best Goalkeeper: Amongot Francis – Rays of Grace
Top Scorer: Aryatwijuka Viera (7 goals) – Green Valley
Fair Play Award: Green Valley
Top Scorer: Aryatwijuka Viera (7 goals) –Green Valley