One of the most difficult aspect of an investigating story like this one having minors – is that the witnesses fear to speak out for fear of reprisal and the wrongdoers continue to go unpunished as the cases crumble again, and again.
But nonetheless, we do our duty, our best, and may be the Football Federation and other big stakeholders, will one day pick interest and continue from where we have stopped and get down to the bottom of the matter.
Peace Diane Bagala goes a step to bring to you this infamous piece and we hope that young athletes can be protected from the alleged sexual abuse.
“I woke up at night and strangely the coach was just right there in my room. He said that he had just come here to say hello before he left,” says one of the Crested Cranes players, name withheld, who was part of the team that played in CECAFA women Championship this month in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania.
Crested Cranes assistant coach Ayub Kalifah Kiyingi has been molesting his players, it’s reported.
Ayub, a respected coach who has won everything to compete for at the local scene with Kawempe Muslim, was named the U17 national women team coach and is also the assistant coach for the senior women team.
These sex scandals allegations have been there in the past and been swept under the carpet and events in Mauritius and Dar have rocked the women football circles of recent.
Allegations about Ayub, have been considered by many including journalists to be political and cooked by head coach Farida Bulega’s camp which “has been insecure since Ayub’s assignment to the national team”.
Ayub and Bulega have been at loggerheads, a rivalry that also stems from the competition with their clubs Kawempe and Kampala Queens as one journalist has claimed that it was wrong for the two to be kept in one basket.
“Ayub was coach of Farida and he will always feel disrespected when the latter is the boss, I don’t think that it was a right decision and no wonder all these clashes inside the camp,” Women football journalist Shafic Mutebi commented about the matter. “We as journalists, we know these things happen, but it will be bad if we take sides and fail to report independently.”
Are the coaches – Ayub and Farida – using the players as pawns to create the other’s downfall?
The Big Story:
The alleged assaulted player, who was both in Mauritius (U17 COSAFA) and Dar Es Salam, says that coach Ayub has been at her back trying all the time, trying to advance his love interests, something she reported to head coach Farida Bulega, team doctor and coach Edward Kaziba.
“After one training session, the coach asked me for my room number and he ordered me to always pick his phone,” the player says about Ayub.
“I took it for granted at first, but he was serious, and he called later that night. He always called at night, commenting on my performance and later diverting issues, asking me whether I have a boyfriend or not! He could come in the room at night which is strange because we used to stay distant, and bring conversations and… (She hesitates speaking…
“I stopped picking his calls every time we were with our phones, and I could sleep a bit early most of the time. My roommate one time picked the call and it was the coach at the other end. She pretended to be me, and later never told me what the coach had told her.”
Insiders in the camp, whose motives are also not known, said that the senior player (roommate), had an affair with coach Ayub back in the days. And it was not a surprise when she enviously reported the matter (about the call) to the team captain Ruth Aturo, something Aturo has denied when contacted!
“The next morning,” the player adds. “The coach never joined the team for breakfast, feeling guilt I think when most players have known about the matter.”
The player adds:
“This happened both in Mauritius and in Tanzania, I had to change my rooms very often after getting scared. When we came back from Mauritius, I always wanted to tell it to Dipha (Guardian) but he pretended to be busy all the time.
“I couldn’t hold it anymore in Tanzania, I told coach Kaziba and Farida about it when we were coming back at the airport, they told me that they will talk to coach Ayub and forward the issue to FUFA president and everything will be alright.
Many players, some not on the national team, have their own stories but have been afraid to go on record for obvious reasons.
“You know these issues of the national team, I cannot say anything for that matter,” commented a senior national team player who added that she was very late for training ahead of a league game on Sunday.
“Am surprised that this is news to you guys,” said another player. When pressed to clarify, she hanged up and never picked again.
Such have come amid a larger outpouring untold stories about lesbianism that have also covered women football in general but the people in higher football powers have protected the perpetrators.
Ayub, when contacted to comment about the matter, especially about the calls he made and why he went to the room very often at night, was furious and denied to comment about the matter.
Team captain Aturo, after minutes of pleading to comment about the matter, briefly said:
“I have heard people talk about it, and I have received many calls about the same issue, It’s not that I can’t speak the truth but I didn’t know what was going on.
“But what I can say is that she (the player) was not feeling well. One of my fellow players approached me and said that (she) has been crying and as a captain I had to talk to her. I went and found her crying and her answer was that its because she had not played well to her expectations, I think that was after the Djibouti game. I tried to push her beyond but she refused to say anything further.
“I had to encourage her to settle down, concentrate and focus on the next game but her roommate used to tell me that she was always crying.”
Aturo has on Thursday, asked head coach Farida to meet and talk about the matter that has made rounds especially on social media.
Team Ssali Gogolimbo says: “I cannot comment on the matter, Of course I had about it but am just waiting for my bosses to call me and I give a report of what transpired.”
Dipha (Guardian of the alleged assaulted player), says that the player might not return to the national team following the way she was treated.
And just like that, all might be lost.