Bugangaizi West kicked off their campaign in the 2017 Bunyoro Kitara Amasaza Cup on a winning note after beating Bugangaizi East 2-0 in a highly-contested match.
The Omukama Solomon Gafabusa Iguru of Bunyoro Kitara flagged off the sixth edition of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)-sponsored tournament on November 16 in Kakumiro district.
Sixteen teams are participating in the tournament, which features counties in the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. The tournament, played on knockout basis, is set to climax on December 8 in Hoima district.
The champions will walk away with a bull and gold medals. Buruli are the defending champions, having beaten Buyaga 2-0 at Sir Tito Winyi grounds at last year’s finals.
Iguru commended CNOOC, operators of the Kingfisher Development Area in Hoima district, for sponsoring the tournament. He noted that the company has engaged the youth and also helped them to nurture their sporting talent.
CNOOC has bankrolled the competition since 2012, offering referee allowances, kit and footballs to a tune of Shs 100 million this year alone. Last year, the Chinese oil firm injected Shs 87 million into the tournament.
Zakalia Lubega, CNOOC’s corporate social responsibility and social performance manager, said the key objective of the tournament is to promote talent and unite the youths through sports. Similar Cup football competitions have been hugely succesful in Buganda and Busoga kingdoms, with the blueprint from the former.
Buganda’s pioneering tournament has not only churned out as many players to the national level, but also attracted massive sponsorship over the years. The current sponsor Airtel committed up to Shs 1 billion for the tournmanet last year alone.