No one disputes the concerns raised by the Federation of Football Players Association (Fofpa) but certainly their hard-nosed approach.
The player strike coordinated by the said association under the stewardship of not a very civil but proactive Dan Walusimbi going by his erratic conduct on radio shows lately – has, like any upraising, cost fans and clubs money. Most crucially it has cost players and the league four games but there is a unifying voice the players raise genuine points.
"It’s true the players have deep concerns but I told them…they are my friends," said Water coach Charles Ayiekoh after their game with Proline fell victim of the strike on Saturday.
"I told them that we could have engaged with the clubs and at least left the games to be played as the issues are being looked into."
Ayiekoh’s sentiments were echoed by SC Villa’s Mike Mutebi, who said, "We are all working towards a footballer’s best but this must be through the correct manner."
Apart from standard contracts, the players’ want among others things Fufa president Lawrence Mulindwa, Cranes coach Bobby Williamson and Fufa CEO Edgar Watson out of office.
"The person supposed to enforce rules so that players are not abused has failed. We have petitioned Fufa several times but they have responded only to petty issues," said Walusimbi, a former Villa striker.
But Watson told Kfm Sports on Saturday they supported the players’ cause from the start but "the players lost way when they demanded Fufa’s resignation."
The Uganda Super League (USL) meets clubs this afternoon over the subject.
"We shall discuss with the clubs and try to get to the bottom of the matter," said league manager Paul Kabaikaramu. Particularly not in their petition but all over the place when you speak to the Fopfa executive, players also want insurance cover for the 400 registered league stars, image rights for TV appearance and a minimum wage.
Oh image rights! Granted but let’s be realistic. Which images or products here? Why not exploit the TV platform first to attract back fans and sell themselves?
"Okay, if they claim some of them can’t give their best on the pitch because they may have slept hungry, what of those who had supper? Have they given their best?" wondered Proline director Mujib Kasule.
Most crucially, though, the system that be must sensitize club administrators and players on the industry’s operation.