Ugandan Rugby Players ‘Disappear’ Following Oktoberbest Tournament

Three Ugandan rugby team players have gone missing in Munich, Germany following their appearance in the Oktoberbest rugby tournament over the weekend.

Ugandan rugby officials have identified the players as Brian Kikaawa, Fred Odur, and Ramathan Govule. They are said to have disappeared during the team’s dinner session at the luxurious Leonado Hotel in Munich.

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In a statement on their Facebook page, Ugandan Rugby Union said:

“It is most regrettable that although 12 players and 3 officials made the trip to Munich, only 9 players and 3 officials made the trip back to Kampala… All the players’ personal belongings were still in the hotel room by the time the team left Munich as well as all their travel documents.”

The Rugby Union also took time to clarify that James Odonj, who had also been reported missing earlier on, was with the squad.

“Apologies to James Odong for the miscommunication. He is with the team and not missing like earlier stated.”

The trio’s disappearance was reported to the German police and Immigration officials as investigations into their whereabouts have begun.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Ugandan players have disappeared while representing their country in Europe.

In 2014, during a Commonwealth qualifier in Scotland, two players; Philip Pariyo and Benon Kizza disappeared from the team’s training camp only to resurface a few months later playing for Cardiff RFC in Roath, Cardiff.

The duo was spotted by former Wales international Mark Ring and was granted asylum for five years as they awaited their applications to be determined.

Uganda Rugby Union CEO Ramsey Olinga condemned the act terming it “a misbehavior aimed at painting the negative image of the game and Uganda Rugby to a disgrace”.

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The players’ disappearance will deal a huge blow to Ugandan rugby as the national team is preparing for the upcoming Africa 7’s tournament this weekend in Kampala.

The sevens tournament will double up as a Commonwealth games qualifier and the 2017 Rugby World Cup 7s qualifier, which should earn them a slot to the 2018 World Cup to be held in San Francisco, USA.

Hosts Uganda, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, Botswana, Zambia, Ghana and Namibia will take part in the tournament.

The best two teams in the tournament will qualify for the World Cup.