The 14th edition of the CDF soccer cup tournament that is played annually on a rotational basis started today at Buhinga stadium in Fort Portal tourist city.
The soccer tournament, comprising 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 second in command of Mountain Division Col John Winston Mugarura.
Presiding over the flagging off ceremony, Maj Gen Kayanja Muhanga, who represented the CDF, informed invited guests and spectators that the CDF soccer cup is meant to build teamwork, and bring forces close to people by strengthening ties, enhance leadership, discipline, learn 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, adding that sports make a vital contribution in the defence forces towards fighting spirit, morale, personality development and ultimately operational development.
Gen Kayanja, who is 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 no matter whether it is in war or game.
Meanwhile, the Kabarole district LCV Chairman Richard Rwabuhinga, 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 firming 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,” he said.
Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) soccer cup was launched in 1988 during the time of Gen Salim Saleh as Army Commander. However, due to insurgencies in the country then, for some years the cup was skipped but resurfaced during 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 that has defended the soccer cup for two consecutive years.
This year’s final match will be on May 3 at Buhinga Stadium in Fort Portal city where the CDF Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi is expected to grace the occasion.