The 14th Edition of the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) soccer cup tournament played on a rotational basis, has kicked off at Buhinga stadium in Fort Portal tourism city.
The soccer tournament comprising of 19 football teams drawn from divisions, brigades and independent units, and six netball teams, started with a route match along the streets of Fort Portal city led by the UPDF Second-in-Command Mountain Division, Col John Winston Mugarura.
Presiding over the main ceremony, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga who represented the CDF, informed invited guests and spectators that CDF soccer cup is meant to build team work, bring forces close to people by strengthening ties, enhancing leadership, discipline, learning from failure and sportsmanship.
“Sports help in promoting a culture of physical fitness. People who engage in sports have good health and bodily strength, a critical requirement in the armed forces,” explained Gen Muhanga.
He added that sports make a vital contribution in the defence forces towards fighting spirit, morale, personality development and ultimately, operational development.
Gen Muhanga, who doubles as the Mountain Division Commander and the host of this year’s CDF soccer tournament, said that sports ensure troops and officers learn how to fight to win whether in a war or game.
Meanwhile, the Kabarole district LCV Chairman, Rwabuhinga Richard, who represented leaders in the region, applauded UPDF for the initiative.
He said that the population was grateful to the armed forces for getting time off their important duty of protecting Ugandans and their property and the frontiers of this country.
“To come and participate in these confidence-building and relationship-building activities, we don’t take this for granted. We think it is an opportunity to continue cultivating the relationship between the masses and officers in uniform, to show and demonstrate that we are one people serving the same country, and who must coexist in a cordial environment and cordial relationship,” Rwabuhinga said.
The games commenced with the Military Police playing against First Division netball teams.
Military Police won by 40 points against First Division’s 13 points.
Also played was the Mountain Division Versus Field Artillery Division match which ended goalless on the side of Netball teams.
The Chief of Defence Forces soccer cup was launched in 1988 when Gen Salim Saleh was the Army Commander.
However, due to insurgencies in the country then, the tournament was put off for years until the era of Gen David Muhoozi.
So far, 13 editions have been played and last year, Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces – Air Forces (UPDF – AF) hosted the CDF soccer cup where Motorized Infantry Brigade (MOI) won the trophy.
MOI has defended the soccer cup for two consecutive years.
This year’s final match will be on the 3rd of May 2022 at Buhinga stadium.
CDF Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi is expected to grace the occasion.