Sports Figure Latest Victim Of Ugandan Anti-Gay Offensive
July 6th, 2009
Uganda’s ongoing campaign of very public anti-gay vigilantism has taken some very unexpected turns lately. It has already engulfed several prominent prosperity-gospel preachers who have taken to accusing each other of homosexuality in what has degenerated into a circular firing squad. Now the latest victims include sports figures.
Ugandan newspapers have been reporting on several rumors of homosexuality in the ranks of Uganda’s professional football (soccer) league. The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) vows to root it out:
The coaches’ association vice chairman Stone Kyambadde yesterday told the FUFA-PostBank weekly press conference that the move will limit coaches from actions that will bring the game into disrepute. “We are going to address that (sodomy) in the code of conduct. The problem is that we had not registered all coaches across the country. We have since got regional representatives to do that,” said Kyambadde.
The accusations have already claimed one victim. Horizon Coach Charles Ayiekoh was suspended after an accusation by a player. It’s unclear whether the accusation has any merit. Ayiekoh, who is married with three children, denies the charges and blames the whole episode on “football politics.” He was released from the police station in Lira, but was ordered to appear at a police station in Kampala on July 8. Uganda criminalizes homosexual acts with up to life imprisonment.
FUFA promises that more suspensions are on the way:
Kyambadde added that their association had stepped up in its efforts to get rid of all the other gay suspects that have since been known in the local football circles. “We intend to get rid of the entire group and I can assure you that as coaches we come up with a comprehensive plan to wipe out the deadly vice,” he added.
Those “football politics” threaten to ensnare another prominent coach with what’s described as a moral dilemma. A Scottish national, Bobby Williamson, is now head coach of the Ugandan national football team. He, along with all the other football coaches in Uganda, is required to sign a code of conduct which “denounces any support or involvement in sodomy related acts”. Williamson has denounced discrimination in the past, but appears ambivalent about the latest anti-gay actions by FUFA:
Sodomy is a criminal offence over there but this is the first I’ve heard of any code of conduct,” he said. “Until FUFA speak to me about that it’s a hypothetical matter and I’ll reserve my views until I’m approached.
“What I will say is that you have to abide by the law of the land in whichever country you happen to be working in.
“There has been a lot of talk about homosexuality in the game in Uganda and I’ve heard stories, but I’m not aware of any evidence of it. What I do know is that most politicians and football officials seem to be strongly against it.”
FUFA’s actions may run afoul of Soccer’s highest international governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). According to the Scotsman, FIFA’s policies call for inclusion. The Scotsman reports that FUFA could be expelled from the international body if it continues with this plan.
Last week, it was announced that a new law would be debated in Uganda’s Parliament to ban free speech and public advocacy for LGBT people. The latest convulsion of anti-gay agitation in Uganda began with a three-day anti-gay conference in Kampala last March featuring American Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Exodus board member Don Schmierer.