Kawempe Muslim SS won the Kampala region Boys qualifiers last weekend

Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) 2019

Buganda region finals

Sunday

Girls: Taggy High vs Kayindu, 11am

Boys Rays of Grace vs Five Stars, 2pm

The Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) tournament Buganda regional qualifiers championship climaxes this Sunday with the finals at the Bukalasa technical institute in Wobulenzi-Luwero.

The 8th edition of the annual ARS U17 Boys and Girls tournament is living to its set objective after the organizers increased vigilance and strictness on teams that field ineligible over-age players.

The tournament was exclusively initiated and sponsored by Airtel-Uganda to expose future stars to the football world.

ARS screening exercise before kickoff

Buganda region qualifiers got underway on Friday but one team identified as Five Stars, Entebe played with only seven players as it lost 2-0 to Mukono Bishops.

Five Stars had other over-age players disqualified, including one who was studying law at the University. FUFA youth development officer Bashir Mutyaba earlier warned teams that try to field over-aged players, saying that this is a developmental tournament from which FUFA wants to spot near future junior national teams players.

He said the having legit players of under 17 years of age has made the ARS the most impacting youth football competition in the country since its inception.

The ARS was started in 2011 and has exposed many players that have gone ahead to play at different national teams.

Captains of Walugembe academy (red) and Five Stars academy greet each other before kick off on Friday in Luwero

The tournament, in its 8th edition having missed 2017, is one of the telecommunications CSR activities and Shs2bn is invested in the tournament annually.

After Buganda, North East and Eastern region will have regional finals on August 9-11 in Soroti while Northern and West Nile region will play on August 16-18 in Lira. Kitara and Western region will play on August 28-30 in Masindi before the national quarter final and semi finals on September 4-6 in Kampala.

The national finals are scheduled for September 7 still in Kampala. The regional winners win Shs1-5m prize money while runners up have Shs1m. Both finalists also get a set of jersey.

The national winners have Shs7m while Runners up have Shs5m at stake on top of sets of jerseys. Airtel-Uganda also gives football equipment to five schools from each region after the regional qualifiers to ensure further football development. The equipment include; balls, goal posts, goal nets among others.

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