Story By Andrew Cohen Amvesi: Thousands of excited football fans in West Nile region may end up following the long awaited Arua City derby between Arua Hill Sports Club (SC) and Onduparaka Football Club (FC) on television (TV) and other social media platforms following the Covid-19 restrictions put in place by the home team.
Among the restrictions, Arua Hill SC has made it public that they will only entertain 200 fans at Barifa Stadium in Arua on Tuesday October 26, 2021 so as to minimize the risk of spreading the deadly Covid-19 disease.
Speaking to journalists during a pre-match press conference at Desert Breeze Hotel in Arua town on Monday, Adams Lematia Otelul, the Arua Hill SC Media and Public Relations Officer said the mandatory number given to them by the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) is strictly 200 fans.
“The main focus here for people who are creating hype for the game tomorrow for which the crowd is energizing to make sure that they all reach at Barifa stadium is that the mandatory number given by FUFA is that only 200 fans are supposed to be in the stadium to watch this game between Arua Hill SC and Onduparaka FC,” Otelul said.
“I see some people promoting the game, but they don’t tell people outside there that only 200 people are being allowed. However, some people have done a very good job; apart from promoting the game itself, they have gone forward to tell people that only 200 people will be eligible to watch this game,” Otelul added.
According to Otelul, the club has printed out only 200 tickets of which 100 were offered for Onduparaka fans through the club management. He said any fan who would have not got a ticket on the match day should prepare to follow the game on TV.
Otelul observed that the decision to print a maximum of 200 tickets was reached at, in respect of the set Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs). He stressed that as a young football club, they are not in the position of starting to break rules.
“We are a community club and we have to preach the right things to the community because life comes before football. Life comes first and football comes second, but people think football comes first, no! If there is no life, who is going to play the game?” Otelul asked.
On the technical preparedness, Swadick Ssempigi, the Arua Hill SC Assistant Coach said tomorrow’s game is a game they have prepared for.
“We expect a lot of positives tomorrow and we think that we shall give this game what it requires for us to pick maximum points. We are looking forward to getting 3 points to add on the three we picked from Express FC to make our points six. This is our first game at home, we think we have to do what it takes to win the game,” Ssempigi said.
In the same spirit, Godfrey Drabe, the Onduparaka FC Public Relations Officer said his team is well prepared to pick 3 points at Barifa Stadium on Tuesday.
Onduparaka drew 1-1 with UPDF FC during their first Uganda Premier League (UPL) game played at AbaBet Green Light Stadium in Arua.