Federation of Uganda Football Associations(FUFA) has finally confirmed that it’s locally based players will travel Wednesday night for a camp in Dubai as they prepare for a double-header AFCON qualifier against South Sudan next month.
The team earlier scheduled to fly out last Sunday failed, a move that was followed by media suggestions of a positive COVID-19 return.
“We read about that COVID-19 claim in one of the online outlets and were dumbfounded. What actually happened is a delay in entry clearance by authorities in Dubai which has now been sorted.” FUFA Spokesperson Hussein Ahmed said.
The local cast of 12 inclusive of Iraq-based Allan Kateregga will join the professionals in a camp coach Jonathan Mckinstry expects results after a couple of friendly games. The coach is however in dilemma even before arrival in Dubai because of the injured striker Derrick Nsibambi who can’t be replaced as per the federation of international football association rules.
“The rules are clear that a nation can only request for a player a fortnight before any engagement. So as of now, we shall do minus Derrick who got injured at his Smouha club” the FUFA communications guru Ahmed Hussein confirmed.
FUFA is likely to face a bigger hurdle in November with the known Mandela national stadium Namboole still lacking and now a COVID-19 isolation center.
This leaves only privately owned St.Mary’s Kitende as the sole stadium certified by the confederation of African football-CAF.
“Yeah, it’s very clear that CAF did communicate to us and clarified the status of pitches in Uganda especially Kitende and Namboole. So at the right time, FUFA will also decide on which stadium to use” FUFA communications guru Ahmed Hussein told journalists. Uganda hosts Sudan first on 7 November.
In the Dubai camp, the local players like Mbowa Patrick, Samuel Kato, Shafiq Kagimu, Karim Watambala, Saidi Kyeyune, Ibrahim Orit, Bright Anukani, and Milton Kariisa will link up with the professionals led by Mamelodi Sundown’s goalkeeper Denis Onyango.