The 2021 Nile Special 5’s (5-aside) social football league has been deferred to 2022, the brand has announced.
Even the 2020 edition didn’t happen due to COVID-19 disruptions. Last year’s event was cancelled even after an exhibition promotional event was held in Bugolobi.
The brand (Nile Special), which has been responsible for putting together the much-loved league since 2018, made the announcement recently, saying that the decision, sad as it may be for all concerned, comes out of great care for the health and safety of all participants in every region the 5’s is held.
“We take the utmost care for consumers, staff and participants in all that we do. Given the current climate, as the country continues to battle against the scourge of COVID-19, we felt it best to hold off on moving forward with the tournament this year,” said Nile Special brand manager Francis Nyende.
“Public gatherings are prohibited at this time as they pose a great threat to the public in their ability to be super spreaders of the virus. And since we want people to come together in their numbers to enjoy the incredible experience that is the annual Africa 5’s league, we had to hold off for this year and focus our efforts on protecting our consumers,” Nyende continued.
The Nile Special 5’s league is engagement-centric and only works when fans can come out to enjoy and participate in the tournament. It is unfathomable for the tournament to work without the involvement of the fans that have made it such an esteemed event on the Uganda footballing calendar.
Although this will be the second year in a row without the prestigious tournament, Nile Special says it remains hopeful that the country will see better days as vaccination efforts begin to roll out across our nations. Fingers crossed, from next year the tournament will move ahead uninterrupted.
Cameroonian footballing legend, Samuel Eto’o, who was meant to serve as the ambassador of the tournament in 2020 has also joined Nile Special in asking fans to remain safe and hopeful.
“We are as disappointed as the fans will be at the news of the 2021 Nile Special 5’s is postponed. But we must all stand united in our fight against the coronavirus so that we may all see the day when we can come together once again and enjoy the beautiful game together ,” said Eto’o.
Not all is lost though, all received entries from teams who wished to participate in the League in 2020, will gain automatic promotion into the tournamentas soon as it is safe to proceed. Entrants will also be the first to be notified by Nile Special should anything change regarding the tournament and its entries.