The 2020 Pepsi University football league (UFL) promises to be even more exciting after its expansion to 20 teams from the 16 that took part in last year’s edition. The 9th edition was launched on Tuesday at Katikati restaurant, Lugogo and the organizers expressed satisfaction in the way the league has grown over the years since its inaugural season in 2012.
Vincent Kisenyi, the UFL organizing committee chairman said that the expansion is in line of the Association of University sport of Uganda (AUUS) vision of providing all university students in the country a platform to showcase and develop their skills.
“Last season we had preliminary stage where bottom teams from each group of the previous season took on the new entrants for a place in the group stage. This season, however, we shall not be having a preliminary knockout stage. Instead, all 20 teams are going to compete in the group sage with the 20 teams being pooled in 5 groups of 4 each. The top team in each group plus the three best second placed teams will then progress to the knockout stage,” Kisenyi explained to the well attended press launch. AUUS President Peninah Kabenge welcomes the expansion –saying that it will make the league even more competitive and exciting.
“As AUUS, we are excited about the growth of the competition about the growth of the competition and we again thank Red Rhino and league sponsors Pepsi and Nile special for their support that has made this possible. The new format enables more teams to participate and play a good number of games. Te fact that only the top team in each group is guaranteed a place in the knockout stage will make it more exciting,” noted Kabenge.
Crown Beverages Corporate communications manager Tracy Kakuru said that they are proud to associate with the university football league as it prepares to celebrate its 10th edition anniversary next year.
“As Pepsi, we are proud of our relation with UFL which is arguably the most exciting football competition in the country today. Pepsi alongside Nile Special were the inaugural sponsors and as Pepsi, we are pleased to be the title sponsors for the third successive year,” she noted, adding that Pepsi sponsorship is part of the global commitment to football and is helping develop the game at the grassroots level by encouraging football talents to join university and enabling football talents in universities to showcase their skills.
Muni university, Kabale University and University of Kisubi join the league while Mbarara University of science and technology makes a return. All the 20 teams shall be grouped into five with each group having four teams that will play on home and away basis.
The top team from each group progresses to the last eight where they will be joined by the three best losers. The group stage will be played from February to May while the knockout is scheduled for August to November.
Kabale University, Kyambogo University, Mbarara University of Science & Technology, University of Kisubi
Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala International University, Kumi University, Uganda Christian University
Busitema University, International University of East Africa, Kampala University, Uganda Martyrs University
Bishop Stuart, Makerere University Business School, St. Lawrence University, YMCA Comprehensive
Bugema University, Gulu University, Muni University, Nkumba University