Arsenal Supporters Detained in Uganda after Celebrating Manchester United Victory

At least eight Arsenal fans were arrested in the Ugandan city of Jinja after celebrating the club’s English Premier League victory over Manchester United.

The supporters were dressed in the club’s red jerseys and carried a symbolic trophy.

According to the police, they did not have a permit to hold the procession, which is a public order violation.

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Arsenal won 3-2 against a tough rival on Sunday thanks to a dramatic last-minute goal.

The result gave the Gunners a five-point lead at the top of the table, giving fans around the world hope that the club’s 19-year wait to win the English Premier League could be over.

The Arsenal fans were travelling in a convoy of five vehicles when they were stopped by police on Monday morning. One of them was carrying a trophy that they had purchased from a local store.

“I don’t know what we have done but we were simply celebrating our victory over rivals Manchester United, “Arsenal fan Baker Kasule is quoted by the local Daily Monitor news site as saying.

Arsenal fans arrested

The regional police chief, James Mubi, a self-proclaimed Arsenal fan, told the BBC that he had not reviewed the fans’ charges but wondered why they were celebrating when only half of the season had been played.

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“What would happen if an altercation with rival fans broke out? They did not inform police to provide security for their procession,” Mr Mubi denied that the arrest was related to the frequent arrests of members of an opposition party who also wear red.

According to human rights organizations, the Public Order Management Act has given police discretionary powers that have been used to suppress citizens’ rights.

Agather Atuhaire, a lawyer and rights activist, told the BBC that Uganda’s police continue “to be high-handed even after the Constitutional Court nullified all the draconian provisions that gave them unfettered powers to restrict the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of association and assembly”.

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Arsenal and Manchester United are hugely popular in Uganda and throughout Africa, and whenever they play, makeshift video halls in Uganda are always packed to the rafters.

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