Violence and life threatening moments on Tuesday evening nearly resulted in bloodshed as Saints FC players went on rampage during their game with Onduparaka football club played in Arua town.
In a stamen Wednesday, Onduparaka FC expressed its disappointment and disgust for the violent clashes, which occurred at Betway Green light Stadium during our game against Saints FC on the evening of 16th May 2017.
The first incidence occurred after a penalty was awarded when Kabon Living was brought down in the box, Saints Team rioted but were eventually calmed down.
The second incidence happened in the 93rd minute when Onduparaka Fc forward Kabon Living converted a corner rebound, which had been freely punched by the Saints goalkeeper to give Onduparaka the Lead.
As the fans celebrated the score, the Saints officials took to the pitch together with the players and violently attacked the referee who took off to the rescue of stadium security personnel.
In a separate incidence at the touchline, a number of gun wielding UPDF soldiers and supporters of Saints FC pointed guns towards the fans and club media personnel with one cocking and attempting to shoot but got quickly disarmed by nearby officials, fans and Uganda police.
“As a club we believe such life threatening acts of violence and unacceptable behaviour by Saints FC has no place in football, a sport we must protect and defend,” Onduparaka statement reads in parts.
“We urge FUFA to appeal to football clubs and their fans to behave in a responsible and respectful manner. It is absolutely necessary that the Football clubs whose supporters create incidents of this nature be punished according to the disciplinary rules of the game.”
The club voiced support for the work of the security forces from Arua central police for their efforts to deliver a safe and secure game despite this challenging situation.
“As a football club, we shall take all measures to prevent such incidents from happening including banning armed officials from accessing the stadium unless expressly agreed through the security arrangements between the club and security agencies for purposes of maintaining order on match day.”
The club said anybody arrested for violent incidents shall also be banned from all games, Stadium, fan zones and popular public areas in and around the match venue.
“We want football fans and locals to feel safe and enjoy a festival atmosphere at our matches and we will continue to work closely with all the relevant authorities to achieve that.”
It extended deepest apologies to the fans and officials who were affected by these acts, assuring them of a redress for the violations suffered.
“We shall continue working to help all football supporters from both clubs to Foster mutual respect together with a festive atmosphere at future games.”