SC Villa players listen to coach Ibrahim Kirya shortly after practice at Nakivubo stadium. NET PHOTO

Caf Confederation Cup
Round 2 Wednesday 20th
SC Villa v FUS Rabat @ Namboole

Just when SC Villa supremo Ben Immanuel Misagga thought things probably couldn’t get any worse after last week’s humiliation, North Africans FUS Rabat confirmed their date of arrival in Uganda for the return leg of the CAF Confederation cup as Saturday, much much earlier than expected.

Villa, 16 time Ugandan champions who eased past weak opponents such as El Khartoum of Sudan and JKU of Zanzibar only to be humbled 7-0 in Morocco that woke them up to the reality that they are not yet ready to mix it up with the continent’s big boys. Incidentally, Villa is the only Ugandan side ever to eliminate a North African club back in 1991 when the Jogoos overcame Egyptian giants Al Ahly on the way to reaching the final of continent’s premier club competition but have also previously suffered a 1-6 rout at the hands of Club Africain in Tunisia.

According to Fufa Spokesperson Ahmed Hussein, FUS Rabat arrives on Saturday, 16th April 2016 with a 32 man contingent.

It will obviously be a tall order for Villa to score eight goals unanswered past FUS Rabat who now seem to await to be drawn against a team that will have dropped from the Caf Champions League in the third round of matches, which precede the quarter-final group stages.
The mess at Villa
Sad to say, just within a few months SC Villa has drastically gone back the days when the players’ survival depended on the passing around of a basket amongst fans to raise the players’ transport home.

SC Villa vice president Meddie Nsereko (L) and supremo Ben Misagga have not lived up to their previous hype
SC Villa vice president Meddie Nsereko (L) and supremo Ben Misagga have not lived up to their previous hype

From the momentous days of the 2014 – when the self-confident construction engineer Misagga levered himself onto the presidency at Villa Park, thus gaining a critical foothold in the power hierarchy – the club from has hardly looked back. He has locked out Villa’s former presidents and associates like Mohammed Bazirengedde who among others accuse him of turning Villa into a one-man show, and only appoints individuals to his executive that he can intimidate and impose his thinking on. As a matter of fact, Misagga in his first 11 months as Villa president had four different coaches and the most recent being led by Spaniard Antonio Flores who was also fired late last year for showing incompetence. He has also fired everyone from fans, bag-bearers to his Uganda Cup winning players like Hassan Wasswa, Isaac Kirabira etc who he deemed to be past their sell-by date but have gone on to excel elsewhere.

A gradual loosening of his hype has seen Misagga turning back to beg from those he discarded a year after boasting of already earmarking a Shs 1.8bn budget to cater for the Confederation Cup campaign has allowed SC Villa to be run more professionally and less like the personal fiefdom of the president. Actually erstwhile to travelling last Wednesday, the club received Shs 400m from President Museveni but that scarcely altered whatsoever.

At the same time, as Ugandan football expert and Dembe FM ‘Kyoto Kye Mizanyo’ contributor John Vianney Nsimbe has pointed out, the disappearance of fans from Nakivubo Stadium coupled with a poor recruitment drive at the beginning of the season has clipped Misagga’s wings.

The choice of Frank Video Anyau as technical director also backfired embarrassingly, with promoted Ibrahim Kirya’s newfound laissez-faire attitude allowing a change.

Looking forward, Misagga is optimistic Villa his inexperienced lot of players who he personally admitted are not good enough will fight to the nail during the return leg shall be played at Nelson Mandela National Stadium on Wednesday, 20th April 2016.