Ugandan clubs have been told to move fast and tie-down players to new contracts or else they will walk out for free
Uganda Premier League (UPL) clubs have been warned to make sure they tie down free-agents to new contracts or else they will walk out when the next transfer window opens.
While the Ugandan top-flight is among the leagues suspended across the world owing to the effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic, clubs have been cautioned they will be forced to pay more to keep some of their key players if they don’t negotiate with them for new deals before their contracts expire.
“Technically these players will no longer be eligible to represent their teams and are therefore free agents so they can join any club of their choice,” sports lawyer Harold Atukwatse is quoted by Football256.
“They should be allowed to move and represent another club, considering Regulation 6 of the Fifa regulations on the status and transfer of players which allows free agents to join any club of their choice even when the transfer window is closed.
“I think these players shouldn’t be allowed to do so because Regulation 6 only caters to a clubless player at the beginning of the football season or before the opening of the transfer window which is not the case here.
“These players have been representing clubs and are ordinarily duly licensed to play all 30 games of the season and therefore regulation 6 doesn’t apply to them.”
Initially, the UPL was set to return on April 19 after the elapsing of the initial 32 days of lockdown, only for time to be extended after the situation failed to normalize.
Fufa president Moses Magogo said the federation will do everything possible to try and finish the top-tier. However, if that is not the case, article 18 (ii) of Fufa competition rules will be applied.
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Before the break, 80% of UPL matches had been played, with Vipers SC leading the race with 54 points from the 25 matches played, four points more than second-placed KCCA FC who are the defending champions.
Proline FC, Maroons FC, and Tooro United would be relegated to the second tier as they occupied the last three positions on the table.
Fufa had also proposed a reduction of the top-tier teams from the current number of 16 to 12, a move that was to be implemented in 2021 after an agreement with all stakeholders, but whether it will materialise or not, remains unclear.