Uganda Cranes; So Close Yet So Far

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“Nigeria is leaving under past glory” were the words of a Guinea official after Guinea drew 2-2 with Nigeria to deny them a berth at next year’s Africa cup of nations. So was the case with Uganda cranes draw with harambee stars. We used our past glory to think we were going to trample over the Kenyans. We failed to realize this was our sternest test in the Africa cup qualifiers. After the match, the Kenyan players claimed our pompous attitude was responsible for their resolute performance.

FUFA’s claim that luck was not on our side makes you wonder how a nation can be tied to bad luck for 33years. I believe luck favours those that prepare well. If the David Obua debacle hadn’t taken place then I would join the chorus of bad luck. It seems FUFA under estimated the repercussion of such a rash decision. This exposed the managerial incompetence at the federation, which has been a long time problem of all past FUFA administrators. If we are going to qualify for next year’s Africa cup of nations we will have to sort out all off the field issues that may affect the team.

Of course we can’t sort out all problems, but the ingenuity with which FUFA deals with such issues is what will matter. When we got a crucial win in Guinea Bissau, We got all bullish and started thinking we had already qualified. I believe that’s where we began losing focus. It seems like every failed Africa cup qualifier campaign, we convince ourselves that we have learnt enough lessons only for another to emerge. One wonders when we shall emerge from this learning stage and delve into the results stage.

Now that Lawrence Mulindwa has vowed to stay at the helm of FUFA, the fans, corporate bodies and journalists have duty to pressurize the governing body to implement drastic changes like youth development which will bring long-term changes and not short-term fixes. The Cranes scoring crisis should be solved at the angle of youth development. Geoffrey Massa’s poor heading, Moses Oloya’s poor first touch are all problems stemming from poor youth development. FUFA needs to engage the corporate bodies to finance youth development in all the age categories. This will ensure a steady conveyor belt of complete players, which will bring about competition for places in the national team.

Apple’s former creative mind Steve jobs once said “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me”. The October 8TH setback can only make us stronger if we prepare and organize a robust team that will compete well with the cream of Africa. The government through the sports ministry needs to put the football governing body task and instead of emerging only when there are wrangles in the football body. The future is bright for Ugandan football, only if all stakeholders are able to graduate from this lesson learning stage to tangible results.

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