Hooliganism has no space in world sport. It is a vice that hurts sports and humanity.
It can have a long-lasting effect negatively. Over the years, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) has been at the forefront to sensitize the different stakeholders of football on how to protect the image of the game.
Fufa competitions are run with application of various sets of rules and regulations in a bid to instill discipline and follow systems. All football competitions, either sanctioned or organized by Fufa, must have sets of rules to apply when the tournaments kick-off.
It applies to the mass football at district, regional and even national levels. The authorised tournaments like Masaza Cup, Xmas Cup and many others also create their own rules but cannot deviate from the main rules and regulations for the reason why they were started.
Fufa has observed a new trend of acts of hooliganism and whereas the criminal elements of any kind of hooliganism are adequately addressed by the National Sports Act 2023, the current Fufa rules did not provide for incidents outside the precincts of the match venue and game time.
Pursuant to section 43 of the Fufa Competitions Rules 2023 and circular No.1179 issued on November 10, 2023 by Fufa, the Fufa Executive Committee issued amendments.
Section 39 of the Fufa Competitions Rules has been amended to include; “If acts of hooliganism and violence as defined in the Fufa Rules occur outside the precincts of the match venue or outside Game Time but logically linked to a match or a Fufa Competition, the defaulting parties shall be sanctioned in accordance with the Ethics and Disciplinary Code.”
The amended articles will keep every party alert before, during and after the game. It is imperative to note that the clubs may not be the brains behind the acts of hooliganism but have a bigger idea of the perpetrators of these acts.
Incidentally, they are known to almost everyone at these clubs and their acts are always given a blind eye especially when their teams are on the losing side. The clubs will be used to identify the offenders and the work should be make so much easier to reach out these persons. Fufa’s interest is not to slap sanctions on the clubs but we can clean up the game together.
If acts of hooliganism and violence as defined in the Fufa Rules occur outside the precincts of the match venue or outside Game Time but logically linked to a just concluded match, the defaulting club, if found liable, will lose two points and two goals from those already accumulated while for a knock-out format the defaulting club will be fined Shs 3m or excluded from that particular competition the following season or both sanctions.
If the defaulting club is the winner of the match and does not pay the fine of Shs 3m before the next knock-out match, it will be eliminated from the competition.
Further disciplinary sanctions may be applied to any party found guilty of the same incidents. In the event that the individual perpetrator(s) are identified by the defaulting club and it is established that their acts were without the influence of the club, the club will be exonerated from the
Hooliganism should be fought against by all those involved in sports as it will have adverse effects like loss of lives, sponsors running away, destruction of property, loss of interest by media and public and, above all, causes insecurity at games.
The author is Fufa communications director