What Went Wrong At CECAFA?

The weather was as expected hot with temperatures hitting 34 degrees on the Celsius reading before kickoff but favourably calmed down in the second half. Before the team travelled to Mombasa, the players were almost held hostage at Milele hotel over unpaid bills.

Sserunkuuma reacts after missing a chance against Tanzania on Saturday (Picture by Katongole Kiwanuka)
Sserunkuuma reacts after missing a chance against Tanzania on Saturday (Picture by Katongole Kiwanuka)

The local organizing committee had not cleared some bills and the Cranes players were temporarily held hostage. As a result, they missed their 4pm flight and had to wait at the airport for about 4 hours to get onto an 8pm flight. The flight could have worked negatively on the team. But tactician Micho seemed to be working on the players’ morale. “Football is what is played on the pitch. After suffering like this we should play to win,” Micho said in a phone chat.

When the Cranes finally landed in Mombasa, they were booked into the plush seaside Creekside Hotel. Cranes Media Manager Kenneth Muwanga told the story better.

“Wow! This is the best place I have been to. If you ever bring your wife here, they will never run away from you,” Muwanga described the scenes to behold at the hotel. Milele Hotel in Nairobi was also never a hassle for the players as everything needed was available. But according to Pepper Sport, it was established that morale was at its lowest in years.

It was established that players and the coaching staff alike were handed USD200 on departure to Nairobi as home upkeep.

When FUFA boss Moses Magogo briefed them on the bonuses, he promised USD3000 for reaching the finals. In financial terms, when sports Minister Charles Bakkabulindi visited camp last Friday, he provided techniques to the defenders, a position he claimed was his best before promising to rally fans to come and support the team. Maybe the better part was handing Hamis Kiiza a USD100 bill as condolences for losing his uncle prior to that game against Sudan.

What Next?

“I cannot judge my players’ performance on penalties. We shall go to Kampala and correct our mistakes because this is a young team that can always improve,” said Micho.

Uganda Cranes was solid at the back. This has been for long Uganda’s advantage.

Tusker midfielder Khalid Aucho was probably the best player for the Cranes in the tournament, yet on his debut. SCVU towering defender Martin Mpuga impressed in his two games he played at the tournament; against Sudan in the 1-0 victory over Sudan yet he scored the equaliser as Uganda drew 2-1 against Tanzania in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Kira Young’s defender Richard Kasagga continued to impress and had it not been the two goals that the Cranes conceded in the quarter finals, SCVU goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan proved to be a pillar.

As the Cranes prepare for the South African adventure in the CHAN finals, some players are assured of places. Sadly, Aucho is not eligible. The trouble for Micho would be fixing the midfield which at times lacked.

CECAFA didn’t witness the best of Geoffrey ‘Baba’ Kizito. Yet Joseph Mpande was at most 58 times short of the killer-pass instincts he is known of.

URA’s Said Kyeyune was sparingly used as a sub only making one start against Sudan as a last minute replacement for injured Savio Kabugo.

Micho will have to start from scratch in the next four weeks.

“We’ shall have to correct our mistakes. Uganda has enough talent and I think I have able replacements ahead of CHAN,” Micho said.

He will most likely consider inviting SC Villa’s Ayub Kisaliita, URA’s Oscar Agaba or KCCA’s Tom Matsiko.

The striking department will also be key for Micho as Dan Sserunkuuma who scored two goals in the tournament is ineligible as he plays for Kenya’s Gor Mahia.

The status of SC Villa on-loan striker Emmanuel Okwi, who captained the team in Kenya is still debatable.

According to official communication from FUFA, he is on loan at Villa and is said to still be owned by Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel. He scored two goals in the tournament, against whipping boys Eritrea in the 3-0 routine win in the groups.

Micho needs to find a partner for him as Hamis ‘Diego’ Kiiza, who scored once from the spot against Eritrea, is too ineligible for CHAN.

A camp is urgent for the South African tour, but it could be just a tour at the Nelson Mandela burial ground if the funds are not urgently raised.

5 thoughts on “What Went Wrong At CECAFA?

  1. PITY UGANDA CRANES !

    EDITOR- we terminated a contract for a man who lifted
    the CECAFA cup 4 times in his 5 years of coaching, hired a man who has
    never won it, while coaching Rwanda. to take us to another level ! what a
    shame. cranes needs a high profile coach with a strong cv. I will stand to be
    counted. The FUFA Technical team please wake up. Micho is good in PR Public
    relations, but a successful man is measured by what he has done, but not what
    he says. Fellow Ugandans, be prepared for more disasters !

    FREDRICK SSUUNA

    KAMPALA.

    [email protected]

    1. Surely brother Fred you have said the truth.They hurriedly terminated Mr Bobby only to bring in a total failure Micho.They want us to expect a success from a failure. Really Bobby had built his team and we were soon going to see his fruits.We managed to wallop DRC 4 goals,we drew with the African champion Zambia and we lost on a gentle mans’ loss.– penalties. Shame upon you the so called fufa mwafa dda.

      1. thank you mulongo. west african beat us on this look at the list. the coach of Senegal Franco baresi was a world cup winner with France, ivory coast, Burkina Faso, they all have high profile coaches, with A license to coach in Europe. East and central african countries hire tomato sellers from Europe as coaches. its only Zambia who look for quality. I resigned as a cranes fan the day he was appointed. I will NOT go back to nambole as he is still coaching the cranes. his achievement ? he lifted the uganda league with villa in 2004 !!!1 hahAHA

  2. I don’t know why FUFA should fire a better person for a worst person, i have lost hope in Uganda Crane, with Micho as a coach, i don’t see Uganda Crane going anywhere

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