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Masaza cup: Gomba, Kyadondo in opener

Kabaka waves to Masaza cup supporters

Kabaka waves to Masaza cup supporters

Kyadondo will have the honour of facing the defending champions of the Masaza Cup Gomba, in the opening fixture of this year’s tournament on November 20.

This will be at the Fufa Technical Centre in Njeru. This will be the first time that Kyadondo appears in either the opening or closing fixture of this celebrated tournament since they won it back in 2008.

However, although Kyadondo is urban, it is a football team that has struggled, and not appeared in a final since 2008. It should be noted that because of its location, many would assume that Kyadondo is a well-to-do team since they are around the central business district, the epicentre of financial power in the country.

Yet, that has not been replicated in the performance of Kyadondo. Frank Kyazze, the former Uganda Cranes and KCCA FC striker, was the team manager when the team won the Masaza Cup in 2008. He told The Observer that back then, they had the good will of many people, who supported the team both from a financial and moral stand-point.

Kyazze quit Kyadondo after the 2009 tournament. But Kyazze said that in the 2008 tournament, they used about Shs 50 million to finance the team.

Paul Kiwanuka, the former Bright Stars and Vipers coach, was the man in charge of Kyadondo, when they dominated the Masaza Cup. Players like Brian Umony, Daniel Muzeyi Sserunkuma, former Express winger Sulaiman Jjingo and defender Ayub Kisaliita were instrumental in bringing home the silverware.

In light of that, Frank Ssekandi, who was part of the Kyadondo team management as coordinator, said that unlike the other Masaza, particularly the rural ones, theirs suffers from a lack of support. Ssekandi said people in the villages are so passionate about their Saza teams; so, they render all the necessary support, to enable the team win.

The same does not apply to Kyadondo where there are very few urban people that endear themselves to the team. Ssekandi noted that most people they have reached out to, instead claim that they only work in Kyadondo (Kampala and Wakiso), but do not hail from there.

Thus, such people have no sense of attachment to Kyadondo, the same way people from Kooki (Rakai), Buddu (Masaka), Bulemezi (Luweero) feel.

Although in 2019, Kyadondo surprised many and reached the semi-finals, it was only in 2011 and 2012, that the team reached the quarters and semis respectively. From 2013 to 20017, they did not qualify out of the groups. Such was the case in 2018 and 2020.

Kyadondo has 14 members of parliament. It is the clout of such individuals that is expected to offer support to the team, so that it can be competitive. Hopefully this time they can offer themselves. The winner of the Masaza Cup will bag Shs 12 million.

The first runner-up will take Shs 9 million while the third and fourth-placed teams will bag Shs 7 million and Shs 5m respectively.

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