URA are against the calling off of games because of the impact of such decisions on their Champions League participation. They voiced their concerns during the Uganda Super League (USL) clubs heated meeting at Sheraton Hotel on Monday evening.
The tone was set earlier in the day by the champions’ coach, Alex Isabirye, when he assured us they were ready to play their fixtures against Hoima-Busia yesterday and Water on Friday.
"We want to get them out of the way so as to prepare for the Champions League game against Djoliba (from Mali)," he said.
URA secretary Henry Mayeku preferred to go civil before cameras after the meeting attended by 13 of 16 league clubs. "Because it is a team decision I will accept it," he conceded.
But before the clubs finalized their resolution, Mayeku, who vehemently opposed calling off games throughout the meeting, submitted his club’s final stance. "As URA, we have always been for football and we wanted these games played. That remains our virtue."
The USL called off this week’s eight Bell Super League games on Monday to allow clubs and players address the issues that led to the strike by footballers, starting last Friday.
They are demanding improved welfare and the resignation of the Fufa hierarchy for "incompetence", among others.
But rather than dwell on the league mess, the table leaders on 37 points, who could have opened a seven-mark gap with victory over Hoima yesterday, have now decided to embark on early preparations ahead of the maiden leg of the Caf Champions League first round.
March 24 is the date at Namboole when URA, who eliminated Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS) in the preliminaries, welcome the Malians, Djoliba.
URA start non-residential training for that crucial game this evening at the same venue and will go on, with friendly games against Big League early next week, until the match.
"It is good we now have enough time to prepare for Djoliba but it is also not good to train without action," said Isabirye.
"The league would have helped us to keep sharp but we shall organize some club friendlies."
The return leg is due April 6-8. Should URA prevail over the two legs, they will have achieved a feat only managed by KCC in the last decade (2009).