Not a Nob View for Tunisia

By Ismail Dhakaba Kigongo and Deus Bugembe


They describe the Nob View Hotel as a school dormitory. A ride on the orange Pioneer Easy Bus is far from comfortable. Language is insufficient to define the training facilities.

For Tunisia, their visit to the Ugandan capital has been hell. Tunisia arrived here on Sunday afternoon from Kenya for an Africa Gold Cup engagement against Uganda’s Rugby Cranes on Saturday.

“We are thinking of switching hotels because we are not happy with where we are staying,” Tunisia coach Hedi Momamedali, whose team lost 100-10 in Nairobi, told Daily Monitor this week.

Some of his players have also complained about the lack of water heaters in their rooms at the Hotel located in the Kampala suburb of Ntinda.

“The bus to training arrived an hour late, the water for training came late and many other things are not ok. If things don’t change we shall inform Rugby Africa,” he threatened.

Uganda Rugby Union (URU) are quick to dismiss their grievances as ‘mind games’ as the Nob View Hotel has hosted many teams and Rugby Afrique officials.
“Those are mind games. Kenya among other sides has used the same hotel for over 10 years without lodging a single complaint,” URU chief executive officer (CEO) Ramsey Olinga told this paper.

“The hotel was approved after meeting required standards,” he added. Netball’s She Cranes were residing at the same hotel during the recently concluded African Championships. Though Uganda has hosted some major international events this year, standards will always tend to fluctuate.

For example, athletes and competitors for the World Cross Country Championships and the World Cricket League Division Three tournament resided at four-star Hotel Africana.

More regularly, when Fufa and clubs host clubs, they have the option to choose their hotels with some opting for places more expensive than what their hosts can afford.

This year, KCCA’s Caf Champions League visitors Mamelodi Sundowns stayed at the Kampala Serena Hotel while Vipers’ Caf Confederations Cup opponents opted for Grand Imperial Hotel.

Angola turned down Grand Imperial while Nigeria Super Eagles’ striker Obafemi Martins deemed Fairway Hotel substandard and slept at Serena in 2007. That decision compelled Nigeria coach Berti Vogts to start him on the bench.

She Cranes in taxi
On the transport front, Pioneer Easy Bus, used during the Africa Netball Championship, is not the worst case scenario as She Cranes boarded a ‘chartered’ taxi to games at the Lugogo MTN Arena.

KCCA entered into a partnership with Modern Coast Buses to provide Sundowns the quality of transport that the visitors are accustomed to.

Out of courtesy, synonymous with Uganda’s hospitality, KCCA have given others visiting their branded club bus while their own players take a coaster. The story is endless.

Besides the hotel and transport, Tunisia have taken part in the “Get Into Rugby” program at Namilyango and Vienna Colleges.

Ugandan sides have perhaps faced the same kind of treatment on their travels for eternity but Olinga argues that this is not a case of Karma.

“We had so many issues in Senegal but never once did our team whine to the media,” Olinga said of the game Uganda won 17-16 in Dakar nearly a fortnight ago. Uganda are now third on six points, one behind second-placed Kenya.

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