Players of Masaka Local Council football club have boycotted pre-season friendly matches to protest none payment of their salaries.
The 22 players have refused to return from holiday to participate in the club’s pre-season matches ahead of the next season slated for August 20th. They claim that they have not been paid for the last three months. Worse still, Uganda Cares, an HIV AIDS organization which sponsored the team last month, has declined to renew the player’s contracts, living the club in a mess.
Ronald Lukungu, the Masaka LC FC Team Captain says only five players have so far shown up for training at Masaka Recreation ground. He says the remaining 22 players resolved to stay away saying the conditions are unbearable. He says the players are finding it hard to provide for their families because their only source of income was Masaka LC FC. Some of the players have vowed not to renew their contracts saying they are unable to concentrate because the club doesn’t pay them.
The players are calling for the sacking of Joseph Kalungi, the Masaka LC Club Chairman for incompetence. They accuse him of mismanaging funds coming from the Club Omnibus which used to clear part of its financial obligations. Moses Bogere, the Spokesperson Masaka LC FC has confirmed the nonpayment of players saying there is no money. He however says the club management is hunting for sponsors to address the financial crisis. He says the failure by the players to participate in the pre-season will affect its performance in the upcoming season.
Vincent Ssempijja, the Masaka LC Club Patron has not yet commented as he was reportedly away in South Africa. But Joseph Kalungi, the embattled Masaka LC FC chairperson who is also accused of mismanaging funds from the club omnibus has denied the allegations. Kalungi, who is also the Masaka LC5 Chairperson, says the players will be paid very soon. He says the district council plans to earmark some funds this financial year to facilitate the club. In 2011, -Alex Willington Kasujja, the UK International Special Olympics Ambassador to Africa expressed interest in buying off the club but management declined to sale it saying they had secured funds.
Last season, Masaka LC FC finished 8th on the FUFA Super League table after enduring a season marred by financial woes and confusion between FUFA and Uganda Super League Limited-USLL.