Despite serving a four-match ban over his comments on alleged match-fixing in Ugandan football, KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi has no regrets, reports JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE.
In his football work, Mike Mutebi is known for being a strict disciplinarian and a stickler to a no-nonsense approach and frankness.
And along the way, Mutebi has made friends and foes in equal measure; and at times sparked controversies in his one-and-half decade coaching career. His recent comments on match-fixing in Ugandan football earned him a four-match ban and a Shs 2 million fine from local governing body Fufa, who charged him for bringing into the game to disrepute.
But Mutebi, who served the ban and returned to the KCCA bench in style by guiding the Yellows to a 4-2 victory over SC Villa on March 2, sticks to his stance.
“I will not retract my comments,” Mutebi told The Observer last weekend in reference to his controversial views that match-fixing had been a norm in Ugandan football for the last 30 years.
Mutebi submitted the same views to a Fufa-instituted commission of inquiry last year but was reprimanded when he re-echoed them during a KCCA FC weekly press conference.
Some of his critics wanted Mutebi suspended for a longer haul. They argue that since former KCCA coach Sam Ssimbwa was suspended for eight months from active football in 2016 for comments alluding to match-fixing, Mutebi’s comments should never have been treated any differently. However, KCCA chairman Aggrey Ashaba dismissed such suggestions, saying Fufa only reprimanded Mutebi, because he used a wrong forum to express his views.
“The two incidents are incomparable. Mutebi made a general view that the game was in the past blighted by match-fixing. Ssimbwa was suspended for suggesting involvement,” Ashaba explained.
He added that it should be in Fufa’s interest to investigate whatever leads from Mutebi’s comments. Meanwhile, KCCA travel to Buhinga grounds today for a scheduled match against Tooro United.
Buoyed by last week’s victory over SC Villa, Mutebi’s side will be out to maintain their lead in the Uganda Premier League. KCCA laboured to a 2-1 win over Tooro United in the first round and Mutebi expects today’s fixture to be a tough one. Yet, he remains confident that his charges are good enough to win KCCA’s thirteenth league title.