Football is the national sport in Uganda.
The Uganda national football team, nicknamed The Cranes, is the national team of Uganda and is controlled by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).
They have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals; their best finish in the African Nations Cup was second in 1978.
Ugandan Premier League
The Uganda Premier League is the first division of football in Uganda and is run by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).
The Ugandan Premier League is also known as the StarTimes Uganda Premier League for sponsorship reasons is the top division of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations.
It consists of 16 of the best teams in Ugandan football.
The league was previously known as the ‘Uganda Super League’ but changed in the 2014–15 season after new management taking over.
The genesis of club football in Uganda was an idea copied from England by Balamaze Lwanga and Polycarp Kakooza.
The objective was to improve Uganda’s performances in the Africa Cup of Nations after disappointing results in the finals in 1962 (fourth-place finish) and 1968 (lost all three group stage matches), both held in Ethiopia.
The intention was to start a Uganda National League (the forerunner of the Uganda Super League) to create the foundation for a strong national team. At the same time, the identification of players from the grassroots would be made easier and systematic.
Because there were no clubs to form a league, institutions and districts were contacted to form teams. The 1968 inaugural top-flight league was composed of Prisons, Army, Coffee, Express, Jinja, Masaka, Mbarara, and Mbale.
There were three institutions and four districts and one club. The league was known as the National First Division League, and the first league champions were Prisons FC Kampala (now known as Maroons FC).
After four seasons, the political turbulence in Uganda impacted on the league. The 1972 and 1973 championship were not completed because of civil unrest.
In 1974, the league became known as the National Football League and this title was used until 1982 when the league was trimmed to ten teams and was renamed the Super League (shortened to Super Ten in that inaugural season).
The league’s roots date back to 1968 when the National First Division League was established.
The emergence of the Super League in 1982 saw the development of SC Villa as the country’s leading club. Through the 1980s and a good part of the 1990s, competition between Express, KCC FC and SC Villa lit up the league and fans attended in hoards.
SC Villa won the league for the first time in 1982 and over the next 22 years totalled 16 league titles. KCC FC and Express won the championship title in the intervening years.
FUFA Big League
The second division of Ugandan football is the Big League that consists of two divisions – Elgon Group and Rwenzori Group.
The concept of re-structuring Ugandan football with the creation of a new second tier league was first mooted in October 2008 by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations.
The idea that was single-handedly promoted by Eng. Moses Magogo was ridiculed, resisted, and fought by everyone.
Although Magogo felt abandoned he was buoyed by the inaugural clubs that were determined to proceed. Eventually out of persistence, Magogo won one by one convert and eventually, the league was passed by the FUFA Executive Committee.
The new national second division league, known as the FUFA Big League (FBL), was to cater for leading sides in the five regions. Second-tier sides at that time competed at the regional level, with many of them failing to cope with advancement whenever they gained promotion to the national Super League.
FUFA Competitions Committee secretary, Moses Magogo, confirmed that qualification to the Super League through the regional mini-leagues would be ended and replaced by promotion through the national first-division league.
A major objective of the initiative was to help raise the standard of football outside the Super League.
The top teams get promoted to the Premier League and the bottom teams get relegated to the Regional Leagues, the third tier of football in Uganda.
18 teams feature in this competition.
The third tier of Uganda football comprises the regional leagues.
The best teams here get promoted to the FUFA Big League.
There are 5 tiers of football in Uganda but these are the 3 major divisions in the country.
The FUFA organizes the Uganda Cup – the country’s biggest national cup competition.
All teams that are officially recognized under the FUFA, feature in this annual knockout competition across all 5 divisions.
The Uganda Cup is Uganda’s main national cup competition in football. This annual competition is open for member clubs of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations.
The Uganda Cup is the second most prestigious competition in Uganda football.
It is played on a knock out basis.
This annual competition is open for non-league sides, registered clubs playing in all the five football divisions (Div I, II, III, IV and V) of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA).
Uganda Super 8
This features the best 8 teams from the Uganda Premier League. The winner of this competition wins the Super 8 Cup.