By Brian Tumuramye
Michael Azira has become the latest Uganda Cranes player to retire from international football in a space of less than a week joining two other players into retirement.
The 33-year-old has in a letter to the local football governing body, FUFA notified them of his intention to hang his boots with immediate effect.
“Please accept this letter as a notification that I wish to retire from playing for the national football team effective April 14, 2021. I take this moment to thank all the coaches that I have worked with over the years and I also thank our fans who always supported us at home and on the road,” Azira wrote.
Azira who got his Cranes debut in 2006 now joins a growing list of Cranes players who have hung up their boots in the past week including former captain Denis Onyango and defender Hassan Wasswa.
Yesterday FUFA President Magogo praised the players’ contribution to Ugandan football especially Denis Masinde Onyango whom he described as the best goalkeeper he has ever watched in the world.
”For those who follow, it is not the first time I am saying this. We have always been sure that there is Denis to carry the team when it needed the goalkeeper,” said Magogo before adding, ”He has been a great athlete, disciplined sportsman and patriotic footballer.He has taken a choice to retire and we should celebrate him for the hard decision.”
Drawing more light into the player’s retirement, Magogo noted, ”If you asked me, he is one of those few players that should have stayed forever but we have to accept that players come and go. It is just human.”
He added, ”Denis wanted to announce his retirement in Malawi immediately after the game but was advised to hold on for better timing. There was always not going to be the right timing for Denis to retire.”