MENGO – The FUFA Drum is the new big thing in Ugandan football.
Started only last year, the tournament has won over hearts of Ugandans and with each passing match-day, the number of fans who attend games keeps on growing.
Last month, Uganda Tourism Board partnered with the tournament organizers so as to try and sell the tournament further.
It is a move that is expected to grow the tournament further in the coming years.
After a thrilling group stage, this years edition has reach the last 8.
On Wednesday, June 10th, it was announced that the knockout stages will be changed from the usual format of home and away to a playoff round.
The eight remaining teams which include Acholi, West Nile, Buganda, Bukedi, Bugisu, Lango, Tooro and Busoga, will square off in a mini tournament which will consist of two groups of four.
The two leaders in each group at the end of the first round will seal a spot in the semi finals of the 2019 FUFA Drum.
From there, the winners of their respective last 4 fixtures, will contest the final to determine the overall champions of the second edition.
Speaking at the press conference held at FUFA House in Mengo, the chairperson of the Drum organising committee, Roger Byamukama thanked everyone who has continued to embrace the tournament and also called upon more fans to come and be part of it.
“We are so grateful to the fans who have embraced the project and what it stands for. Noted Byamukama.
“We are also grateful for the partners who have come on board to help us execute and showcase what Uganda has.
“The fans whose teams have already been eliminated are still encouraged to come and reveal what will happen in the playoffs because the tournament is still on-going.
At the same press conference, it was also announced that all the knockout fixtures will be played in Gulu and Lira.
The reason for selecting the two districts is that both still have teams competing in the competition and the fact that they are geographically close to one another which eases movement.
The matches are set to be telecast live on TV, another reason that was fronted for selecting Lira and Gulu as it will enable the production crews to move their equipment from one place to the other, easily.
The playoffs will be played in October and the fixtures will be announced at a later date.
With the group stage already completed, one may wonder why the playoffs will be played in October but Byamukama explained the delay.
“We still have to work on the two pitches and that is why we will have the playoffs in October.
“There is still a lot of work to be done so as to ensure they meet the minimum standards required to host such high profile games.
Buganda are the defending champions having defeated West Nile in the inaugural edition’s final last year.