Uganda Cranes skipper Andrew Mwesigwa has revealed that he has been rewarding fellow players who scored and created goals in the just ended 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
In an exclusive interview, Mwesigwa said it is very unfortunate he has come in for lots of criticism from the fans after he was sent off in the Cranes 2-0 loss to Guinea in a crucial match played last week in Casablanca, Morocco.
The defender said he has been spending personal money to motivate fellow players top work hard so that they could break the Afcon qualification jinx. He disclosed that he has been paying US$100 (UGX260,000) for every goal scored and a similar amount to the player who made the assist.
Last week angry fans attacked Mwesigwa claiming he had caused the Cranes defeat. Many football supporters have demanded that the Kazakhstan based professional retires from the national team that he has featured for in the last 11 years.
Mwesigwa reasoned that although it was not really a lot of money, he thought showing some form of appreciation was the most important thing. Uganda Cranes scored five goals in the preliminary stage of the qualifiers where they brushed aside Madagascar and Mauritania, before netting four goals in the Group stage.
Head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic and striker Geoffrey Massa confirmed that the skipper has been motivating the goal scorers and those who provide the assists.
Sredojevic revealed that Mwesigwa’s actions showed that he was very determined and hungry to see the team qualify for the 2015 Afcon.
South African based striker Massa who netted four goals in the campaign said although he supported Mwesigwa’s good gesture, he did not take the money because he thought it would be better used to motivate the younger players.