The Federation Of Uganda Football Associations’ law-making arm recently amended the FUFA Competitions Rules to include acts of hooliganisms and violence commited outside the perceived boundaries of the match venue.
“Section 14 of the FUFA Ethics and Disciplinary Code is here by amended to include:
If acts of hooliganism and violence as defined in the FUFA Rules occur outside the precincts of the match venue or outside Game Time but logically linked to a match or a FUFA Competition and cause the abandonment of the upcoming match, the defaulting party, if found liable, shall be sanctioned by the FJC as it deems fit including but not limited to deduction of points and goals earlier accumulated.
If acts of hooliganism and violence as defined in the FUFA Rules occur outside the precincts of the match venue or outside Game Time but logically linked to a just concluded match, the defaulting club if found liable, will lose two (2) Points and two (2) Goals from those already accumulated while for a knock-out format the defaulting club will be fined 3,000 UAs or excluded from that particular competition the following season or both sanctions.
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If the defaulting club is the winner of the match and does not pay the fine of 3,000 UAs before the next knock-out match, it will be eliminated from the competition”, reads part of the statement released by FUFA early this week.
The latest development comes at the time when hooligans reportedly beat assistant Referee Fahad Sekayuba on his way to Kampala after the game between UPDF FC and Express FC in Bombo.
However, here is my honest opinion regarding the same and why i think its an unjustfiable and unfair.
One of the undisputed characteristics of the law is that it should be reasonable, fair and just.
I personally do not find any relevance in punishing a club for the acts of their fans whose control away from the stadium does not vest in the club.
It is a requirement and most clubs have indeed adhered to having a good number of Stadium Match Day stewards but it beats my understanding how clubs are going to enforce strict adherance to the FUFA rules by their fans away from the stadiums. There is no way clubs can exercise control over hooligans who commit football related atrocities away from the stadiums, for stadiums are the only areas of jusrisdiction for clubs over their fans or whoever attends therein.
Criminal law is a branch of Law that seeks to identify law breakers, charge them and either apprehend and punish them or exornorate them.
Football fans who commit crimes away from the pitch are real criminals who should be held responsible individually.
I find that clubs can not be punished for actions of their fans that have been committed after leaving their areas of authority since such acts are crimes of strict liability as opposed to vicarious liability.
Between the fans and clubs, there is totally nothing like an Employer- Employee , Master-Servant or Principal-Agent relationships.
Clubs can therefore, not be held liable for actions of their fans especially away from the stadium except where FUFA( or anyone claiming) can prove that they (fans) were acting on orders of the club authorities.
Strict liability on the otherhand, shall require the one who claims to prove that specific individuals committed the crimes so mentioned against him or her and the law will punished them for their acts.
The Amendment comes as bad news to the clubs and club owners in particular but the good news is that “Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy”.
Petitioning court for the nulification of such a law can be an appropriate remedy. A case in point is the Court Of Arbtration For Sports.
The power to make laws in this country vests in the Parliament. FUFA only exercises delegated power to make such laws, any memeber aggrieved by such a law can contact the Parliamentary committee on Sports to intervene.
National Council Of Sports is also an appropriate remedy for they can intervene in all sports related issues.