By Denis Turyahebwa & Brian Tumuramye
Ugandans on Monday evening April/12/2021 have been treated to another great surprise retirement of the National team Captain Dennis Masinde Onyango following last week’s shocking retirement of Hassan Waiswa.
Onyango revealed his retirement via his Facebook page where he penned thus;
“I sit here with tears rolling down my eyes because after a lengthy consideration I have come to the decision of retiring from international football with immediate effect.
It is a sad day in my life knowing that I will never wear the jersey of my beloved Cranes in front of passionate fans again. I will now become the number one supporter who wears the jersey watching from the stands or from home. It is through the Ugandan national team that I have grown from a boy into the man and father that I am now.
For all the success that I have enjoyed in my career, I owe so much of it to the national team. It was because of the national team that I got to play against all the best players from across the continent who play in top leagues all over the world. I played at the AFCON finals because of the Cranes. The joy of being at the AFCON finals after so many years was sweet. To sing my national anthem was the greatest joy that I will ever have being the ‘proud boy’ from Uganda that I am.
I didn’t want to retire but I felt it is better to leave good memories and allow for the younger goalkeepers to compete for that jersey which I have worn with pride for 16 years. Everyone who has worked with me knows how much I enjoyed playing for the national team. My commitment and hard work were never in question. To everyone that I worked with especially coach Micho (Milutin Sredojevic) thank you for the patience, understanding and wisdom that you brought to me.
To my friends, management of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations, Nsambya FC and SC Villa, teammates, managers, coaches, I say thank you. My biggest appreciation is to the fans and all the people of Uganda. I love you all. Football can never be as beautiful as it is without fans. Nothing can ever be better than captaining your national team. It was real. Salute to every Ugandan.”
In another official communication to the Federation of Uganda’s Football (FUFA) President Moses Magogo, Onyango narrated that its been a great pleasure to represent his country at different levels.
“It is a great pleasure and honor to represent my country and I will always appreciate the experience and knowledge that I have gained while playing for the Cranes,” said Onyango in his resignation letter.
Players’ Grievances Towards FUFA President Magogo
Onyango’s resignation adds to a sense of crisis in the Cranes’ camp, following comments from FUFA president Magogo who accused players of playing “shitty” football in the CHAN competition.
In an audio recording that went viral on social media, a furious Onyango was heard threatening to resign, saying he is tired of working for selfish people.
In the audio, Onyango accused the FUFA president of embezzling funds meant for national team players’ emoluments.
This followed complaints by former Cranes midfielder Sulaiman Mutyaba accusing FUFA, headed by Magogo of failure to account for the salaries of national team players that are supposed to come from the government on a monthly basis.
However, while addressing journalists earlier last week, Magogo said some of the players don’t deserve the money since they played “shitty football” during the CHAN championships in Cameroon.
“After the sort of performance that they put out in Cameroon, these players should not even be demanding for payment. When you demand money, what have you put on the table? They went there and played shitty football and then come back and demand money,” Magogo said.
The comments by the FUFA president have however attracted a lot of criticism from a number of players in the Cranes team with the latest being captain, Denis Onyango who in audio has threatened to quit the national team.
Onyango’s retirement comes two days after Cranes vice-captain, Hassan Wasswa on Saturday also announced he had hanged the boots after serving the national team for 13 solid years.
It has since been said that Magogo’s comments added onto lack of proper accountability for funds meant for their emoluments didn’t augur well with the Cranes senior players and consequently decided to throw in the towel.
Following Magogo’s “shitty football” comments about the Cranes CHAN team, members of the public have criticized the FUFA president for being insensitive by making “reckless” comments that are capable of causing disharmony.