Copa Coca-Cola soccer event near but security concerns linger

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The swift preparations for the 26th edition of the Coca Coca-Cola Schools Cup show no signs of slowing, with most regions having finished their qualifiers.

Games will officially kick off in about three weeks at Jinja College School (JICO) with more than 50 teams expected to take part.

Of great concern is security concerns arising from events leading to the final tournament that will be held at Jinja College School, as seen at the district finals between Jinja SS and Jinja Progressive (JIPRA). The trophy was awarded to the latter.

JIPRA refused to partake in the replay after being awarded the trophy without breaking sweat following Jinja SS’ objection to holding the final in the military barracks of Kimaka.
“We understand the circumstances under which the final was abandoned when it was moved to the Kimaka,” Mathias Isabirye, the host head teacher told Daily Monitor.

“Indications are that animosity exists between these schools but I have spoken to both head teachers in my capacity as the district chairman of the head teachers association emphasising to them the need for fair play,” Isabirye said.

In 2007, games hosted at Jinja SS were marred with violence and in particular the game between the hosts and Old Kampala. Referee Peter Kutegana was beaten like a snake by rioting fans after a fierce exchange of words with Jinja SS captain Denis Magumba for allowing Titus Lubega’s goal. Kutegana was consequently admitted at Jinja Hospital.

Isabirye says they have involved security organisations including the police and the Resident District Commissioner to enable peaceful playing conditions. The choice of the grounds will also be crucial.

Meanwhile, the national chairman of the organising committee, Raphael Bwire will assess the preparedness of the hosts next week. “I’m confident the tournament will end without any hitches because we have rules in place that will punish any culprits yet we have a good working relationship with security bodies,” Bwire said.

CREDIT: DAILY MONITOR

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