High Court Judge Stephen Musota has asked the Sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi to mediate in the football row involving Maroons Football Club and Uganda’s governing football body FUFA.
The mediation option was prompted by the presiding Judge when the substantive case had come up before him for its first hearing on today.
Justice Musota explained to the lawyer for Maroons, Sam Kyozira, that according to the regulations of the world football governing body—FIFA, football clubs are barred from seeking redress from ordinary courts once engulfed in disputes.
Justice Musota also explained that such football disputes should be settled before football tribunals but not ordinary courts of law.
Subsequently, the judge asked the two warring parties to report back to his court at 10am on Thursday to report on the progress of their mediation before the minister. Justice Musota to that effect ordered that the status quo of the registrar Charles Emuria in blocking the kickoff of the league stays in place until further orders of the court.
But the judge slightly varied the registrar’s orders to allow the preparations for the kick off but not the actual kick off.
The league was scheduled to start today.
This matter arose last week when Maroons petitioned court alleging that FUFA unfairly excluded it from taking part in the new Uganda Premier League kick off and yet it had not been relegated to the lower league.
Maroons successfully secured an injunctive order last Friday against Uganda Super League Ltd, and FUFA and its president Moses Magogo blocking the kickoff of the Uganda Premier League until its issues are heard and determined.
Court records indicate that Maroons’ legal suit was as a result of breaching a contract it had with them to play in the top flight football but instead excluded them under unclear circumstances.
Further in its complaint, Maroons states that in the football season of 2012/13, two parallel football leagues—Uganda Super League and the Fufa Super League—were created and that a deed of adherence was signed by it to play in the Uganda Super League. The deed indicated how clubs would be relegated to the lower league.
It further complains that to its astonishment, FUFA started engaging in talks to bring sanity into Ugandan football by way of merging the two parallel leagues and form one league, the Uganda Premier League, which excluded Maroons.
The 2012/13 champions to that effect, on August 13 this year, wrote to FUFA president Moses Magogo demanding to know why they had been excluded from the new season of Uganda Premier League without a lawful excuse since they were missing from the new match fixtures.
But in its response dated August 25 this year to the chairman of Maroons Tommy Ochen, Fufa through the Chief Executive Officer, Edgar Watson, held that Maroons was not eligible to play in the Uganda Premier League. Watson argued that Maroons was not among the clubs that stayed in the top tier or those promoted from FUFA Big League in the 2013/14 season and that besides, it had not been included in the electronic registration already submitted.
Watson instead advised Maroons to register and participate in the lower Fufa Big league saying it’s not possible now to play in the top flight football league.