Namboole Stadium. Monitor photo
The faint hopes of sports returning in the month of May have all been dashed after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni extended the national lockdown because of COVID-19 on Monday night.
Museveni confirmed the lockdown extension to 14 days during an address at State House in Entebbe.
Sports was put on hold on March 18, 2020 when the President announced a ban on public gatherings for 32 days then. A lockdown was effected consequently and was supposed to end on May 5.
“All the other measures like closure of schools, suspension of religious gatherings and so on (sports), remain in place for 14 days. We shall review them close to the lapse of the 14 days,” said President Museveni.
Delivering his 13th televised/radio address, Museveni said “we must therefore start slowly and carefully to open up without undoing our achievements.”
Per the President, other workers like the Wholesalers, Hardware shops, workshops, Garages, Metal and wood workshops, Insurance providers, Restaurants (take-away) have been allowed to resume work while maintaining social distancing.
What Next For Sports?
Most Athletes have resorted to personal trainings, fans have resorted to watching replays at home while sports journalists continue to strive to remain relevant in a period of no-action.
It remains to be seen whether most Sports Leagues will have a natural ending despite confidence from respective administrators.
The Uganda Premier League, that has five rounds remaining, was initially scheduled to return on May 5 but this was made void after a lockdown extension back in April.
Federation of Uganda Football Association slightly lifted the burden off clubs when they donated 10 tonnes of rice to teams in top flight (Men and Women) and Big League.
Just like FUFA, Uganda Rugby Union together with their sponsor Nile Special Stout donated food to their players last week at Kyanja in Kampala.
The Rugby Union had earlier put on hold their competitions that include the Rugby Premier League, the Regional Leagues, the Super Schools League among others.
The Union had set April 18, 2020 as the date for their league to resume. Defending Champions Heathens still lead the log ahead of Betway Kobs.
The National Basketball League was yet to start before March 18 when public gatherings were banned.
The Federation of Uganda Basketball Association recently revealed that they will be having a compressed NBL schedule when the lockdown is lifted.
The 2020 NBL season was scheduled to start on March 20 while the lower divisions were to tip-off a day later.
Uganda has registered 89 cases of Coronavirus, with 52 recoveries and no death so far, as of May 4 according to the Ministry of Healthy.