By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
A team of 24 Uganda Cranes football players travelled on Wednesday night to Dubai for a training camp as they prepare for next month’s 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier double header against South Sudan.
However, it has come to our notice that Uganda Cranes captain, goalkeeper Dennis Onyango popularly known as “Mr safe Hands” has not travelled with the team due to unclear reasons.
But it is understood that his club, South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns, did not release him despite being summoned for national duty by Coach Johnny McKinstry two weeks ago.
Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) Director of Communications Ahmed Hussein said that the coach will have to use the available goalkeepers in the camp since there is no time to replace Onyango in the squad at the moment.
“The coach is in touch with Onyango. We wait and see, but he will have to work with the available players. When you are summoning a player for national duty, you need at least two weeks before the international window. So we can’t replace him and Nsibambi now,” confirmed Hussein
Derrick Nsibambi is another Cranes player that pulled out of the Dubai training after getting injured during his club Smouha’s league match in Egypt this week.
Other missing first tem players include Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makkasa, Egypt), Kizito Luwagga, Fahad Bayo, Timothy Awany (all Israel), and Mike Azira (USA).
Here are the players that travelled and have safely landed in Egypt:
Salim Jamal Magoola (Al Hilal Omdurman, Sudan), Joel Mutakubwa (Kyetume, Uganda), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda),
Defenders: Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Alex Kakuba (Desportivo Cova De Piedade, Portugal), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Nicholas Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell, Scotland), Samuel Kato (KCCA, Uganda), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Patrick Mbowa (URA, Uganda)
Midfielders: Shafiq Kagimu (URA, Uganda), Karim Watambala (Vipers, Uganda), Saidi Kyeyune (URA, Uganda), Allan Kateregga (Erbil, Iraq), Farouk Miya (Konyaspor, Turkey), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Ibrahim Orit (Vipers, Uganda), Jayden Onen (Reading, England), David Owori (SC Villa, Uganda), Bright Anukani (KCCA, Uganda)
Forwards: Milton Karisa (Vipers, Uganda), Alexis Bbakka (Umea, Sweden), Edrisa Lubega (Paide Linnameeskond, Estonia).
The team will play friendly with local club in Dubai during this international break.