It was big news for the entire sports fraternity when President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni reinstated sports activities last month (September).
However, sports resumption is tied around strict guidelines, that is; mandatory testing of all players 72 hours before competition, testing players after every 14 days, mandatory quarantine of all players in case of a tournament and games without fans.
These guidelines have delayed actual return of competitive play with the issue of testing costs bothering federation heads.
In their recent meeting with local sports governing bodies, NCS (National Council of Sports) categorized sports disciplines into low risk, medium risk and high risk.
For American Football who are categorized as high risk due to its high contact nature, the budding game could take long to return though the federation leaders are hopeful for a final green light now that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
According to American Football Federation of Uganda (AFFU) President Steven George Okeng, the issue of testing which costs 240,000 Uganda Shillings per player is the biggest bottle neck at the moment.
“There is no money for testing players. It is now tricky for us and everything is messed up. On top of that we don’t know when we shall actually resume activities,” Okeng said.
Banking on hope, Okeng believes that if the situation on testing doesn’t change, they will find ways of minimizing costs in various aspects.
“We shall centralize our training to one place (Kyambogo University grounds). That will be less costly and also easy to monitor athletes,” Okeng said adding that; ” we might also schedule trainings so that we don’t have big crowds.”
AFFU are finalizing on their alternative activity calendar that they are required to submit to NCS not later than this Saturday, 02/10/2020.
However, most events will not happen with AFFU now focusing on motivating athletes rather than focusing on competitive play.
“Most events have been cancelled, others have been revised. Majority of the events will not happen this year because of the current situation,” Okeng added.
Inter-University try outs and National Coaches And Referees Training Camp among others will happen this year. Regions (5) Football Training Camp, Trevin Howard Football Camp 2020, National Schools Demonstrations (Selected Schools), USA Football Training Clinic 2020 have been cancelled while the Joshua Akena Football Camp and IFAF Africa Coaches and Referees Clinic have been pushed to next year.
AFFU is also open on holding extra events, both major and low key.
However, all trainings and competitive football activities still remain on hold until NCS gives the final green light.