Ugandan league champions Vipers SC continued with effort to build a formidable squad by signing seasoned defender Murshid Juuko as they prepare for the CAF Champions League.
Juuko was unveiled on August 8 at the Kitende-based club, where he returns after eight years. He played for the club in 2014 before moving to Victoria University, Simba SC in Tanzania, Wydad Casablanca in Morocco and Express FC, among others.
According to details on the Vipers website, Juuko signed a two-year contract.
Officials said Juuko’s arrival fits within club owner Lawrence Mulindwa’s ambitions to take Vipers to epitome of the CAF Champions League, Africa’s premier club money-spinning competition.
Vipers have featured three times in the CAF Champions League but failed to go past the first hurdle on each occasion. In their last attempt, the Venoms were eliminated by El Hilal of Sudan in the 2020/21 campaign at the preliminary round.
Indeed, Juuko comes in with vast experience, after enjoying notable successes on the continent with Simba and Wydad Casablanca. He also played for the Uganda Cranes in the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals in Gabon and Egypt respectively.
Last season, Juuko played for Express FC in the local league, which the Red Eagles won. His contract expired and talks to renew it collapsed.
At Vipers, Juuko will form the bedrock of the central defence with Halid Lwalilwa, left back Disan Galiwango and right back Ashraf Mandela.
He becomes Vipers third major signing after former Cranes winger Abdu Lumala and Marvin Youngman.
However, Vipers’ coaching staff has more work to relegate Juuko’s temperament that put into disciplinary trouble on the pitch last season.
For instance, Juuko was banned and fined Shs 20 million by world football governing body, FIFA, after elbowing a Malian opponent during a World Cup qualifier at Kitende earlier this year. He subsequently retired from the Cranes.