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Airtel Masaza Cup: Bulemeezi beat record winners Gomba to clinch third title

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David GOMBE

The 19th edition of the Airtel Masaza Cup has climaxed today at Mutesa II Stadium, Wankulukuku with Bulemeezi defeating Gomba in a thrilling match that ended with a 1 – 0 Score.

Johnson Ssenyonga’s sensational second half strike was enough to give Bulemeezi a third Masaza Cup crown at Wankulukuku.

They had previously won the competition in 2012 and 2019 while Gomba were contesting in their 10th competition final.

The chief guest for the tournament was Nalinya Lubaga, Dr. Agnes Nabaloga.

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Initiated in 2004, the Masaza Cup Football Tournament is a Buganda Kingdom asset aimed at grooming talent among the youth across the different Counties or Masaza’s that make up the Buganda Kingdom and the surrounding regions. This year’s edition was run under the theme “Men in the fight against HIV/AIDs to save the girl child” drawing attention to societal issues affecting the community.

Every year, the tournament goes beyond the realm of football and creates a platform that brings people from all walks of life together, especially in the central region and its surrounding areas to be part of a social activity that they are passionate about. This year’s theme highlights the importance of raising awareness about the HIV/AIDs epidemic’s impact on the girl child and the role that men can play in prevention and support.

Airtel Uganda’s PR Manager David Birungi, said,

“The Airtel – Masaza Cup brings communities together, is an avenue to celebrate culture, empower the youth through sports, and a stage to address crucial social issues like creating sensitization campaigns about the preventative measures of HIV/AIDs which drive is central building a healthy and productive human resource.”

He added, “Airtel Uganda’s support reinforces our promise to provide every Ugandan with A Reason to Imagine, not just in the sports sector, but in other sectors such as entertainment, and health. Recently we launched Uganda’s first 5G network, and we will continue to deploy it on-site by site basis across the country so that our communities can be connected to the various opportunities presented by the internet in the sports world among other sectors that we interact with in our day-to-day lives.”

The 2023 tournament featured 18 counties of Buganda Kingdom which were pooled into three groups. Busiro, Gomba, Mawokota, Ssese, Mawogola, and Kabula made up the Muganzirwazza group. Masengere group comprised; Buddu, Buweekula, Kyaggwe, Kyaddondo, Buluuli, and Kkooki while Bulange was the third group, and it had Ssingo, Bulemeezi, Buvuma, Bugerere, and Busujju counties.

During the Semifinal stage, Gomba beat Buddu 3-1 on aggregate over two legs  while Bulemeezi overcame Mawokota 4-2 in the post-match penalties.

Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga congratulated the winners and all the teams that participated in the 2023 Masaza Cup tournament.

He said, “We continue to witness exceptional talent, and I want to thank our partners, Airtel Uganda for making this possible. Such activities require a lot of support and over the years, Airtel has walked this journey with us by backing a number of initiatives spearheaded by the Kingdom which has enabled us to sustain activities like the Masaza Cup tournament year after year.

The 19th Edition of the Airtel Masaza ended today and the 2024 edition will commence early next year.

The tournament has created great opportunities for sports talents that have been scouted to play for established local and international clubs like, Farooq Miya from Mawokota who is a midfielder at Caykur Rizespor, a Turkish Football Club, Frank Ssebufu from Buddu currently with Uganda Cranes and Wakiso Giants, among others.

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