DAVID ISABIRYE: Only a fulfilled Government promise will brighten the Uganda Cranes AFCON 2017 dream

A delegation from FUFA led by the president Moses Magogo hands over a Uganda Cranes jersey to deputy speaker of parliament Jacob Olanya
A delegation from FUFA led by the president Moses Magogo hands over a Uganda Cranes jersey to deputy speaker of parliament Jacob Olanya

In her publication, ‘The Space Between Us’, famous author, journalist and critic Thrity Umrigar states; “Tomorrow. The word hangs in the air for a moment, both a promise and a threat. Then it floats away like a paper boat, taken from her by the water licking at her ankles.”

The Indian-American envisages a promise as a mere opportunity as a well as a threat.

In light of the promise made by the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to fully facilitate the Uganda Cranes preparations ahead of the continental football fiesta, Umrigar’s concern now floats to the fore front.

Fast forward, Federation of Uganda Football Football Associations (FUFA) prepared a budget of close to Ug.shs 6 Billion to help the Uganda Cranes get early and adequate preparations.

The budget has been since forwarded to the State House to enable the team’s smooth ride through training camps in Tunisia and Dubai at the state of art Al Wasl camp.

Good enough, the fountain of honour of the country pledged to fulfil the promise when the team paid a courtesy visit at his Entebbe based State House.

“I will fully facilitate your preparations so that we better some of those other countries on the continent” the president stated in reference to countries like Zambia and Cote D’Ivoire that invest quite a fortune in their respective national team’s preparations.

William Luwagga Kizito during Uganda Cranes warm-up prior to a game at Namboole. Such players require the best preparation ahead of the AFCON 2017 finals© Kawowo Sports | AISHA NAKATO
William Luwagga Kizito during Uganda Cranes warm-up prior to a game at Namboole. Such players require the best preparation ahead of the AFCON 2017 finals

Intended international friendly matches against Libya, Tunisia will give head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic and his technical team a rough sketch on how to tackle and plan for fellow Maghreb opponents, Egypt who happen to be in the same group with Uganda at AFCON 2017.

On 1st January 2017, Uganda Cranes intends to play Libya at the Zouiten stadium in Tunis City.

Three days later, they will face the Tunisia national team at the same stadium.

With the Dubai camp materializing, Uganda will use those state of art facilities at the Al Wasl and an opportunity to face countries as Cote D’Ivoire which will also be in Dubai at the time.

Encouraging though, Micho has already released the detailed plan of preparations for the national team.

Micho warned;

Such preparations will only and only materialize and make sense when the Government support comes in early

As author Stephen Richards asserted; “Promises are only as strong as the person who gives them …”, Uganda Cranes will come to seat on the table of men with the fulfilled promise of early preparations.

Full Training Programme:

23rd – 25th November 2016 – Non-residential training for 25 players

26th November 2016 – Break for KCCA Vs Tusker International club friendly match

27th – 30th November 2016 – Training sessions (with test matches against The Saints and Vipers)

30th November 2016 – Provisional list of Uganda Cranes players for AFCON 2017

1st  – 9th  December 2016 – Non Residential training sessions

10th – 18th December 2016 – Total rest for the player

19th – 24th December 2016 – Residential training session

25th December 2016 – Christmas day (Rest)

26th December 2016 – Training resumes till 30th December 2016 in Kampala

29th December 2016 – Option for international friendly match

30th December 2016 – Team departure for Tunisia training camp

1st January 2017 – International friendly match against Libya at Zouiten stadium in Tunis

4th January 2017 – International friendly match against Tunisia at Zouiten stadium in Tunis

5th January 2017 – Traveling to Dubai camp (Al Wasl)

5th – 13th January 2017 – Dubai training camp with options of two international friendly matches  between 8th and 11th November 2016

13th January 2017 – End of camp

14th January 2017 – Polishing aspect and traveling to Gabon