By Denis Turyahebwa
In response to National Unity Platform (NUP) leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine who yesterday alleged that Khalid Aucho’s dismissal from cranes camp ahead of the Burkina Faso battle was political, FUFA has trashed his allegations saying that the player didn’t follow set rules among them including COVID-19 SOPs.
“With the current Covid-19 situation, the health of the entire contingent in camp is paramount. All players were directed to enter camp upon arrival in the country to avoid any possible spread of the virus,” said FUFA.
According to its statement released on Saturday, all Uganda Cranes Players and Officials are bound by the National Teams’ Code of Conduct formulated by FUFA way back in 2017 which they say Aucho didn’t consider.
“When players were invited for National team duty two weeks ago for the two AFCON Qualifier matches against Burkina Faso and Malawi; an air ticket was sent (for foreign-based players) and a circular dated 4th March 2021 attached reminding players and officials of their obligations in line with National Teams’ Code of Conduct. This applied to the local-based players as well,” the federation further clarified.
The statement further explains that permission for players to miss from camp is only granted by the Head Coach, in this case, player Khalid Aucho had to follow the same procedure which they say that unfortunately, he did not.
“The decision taken by FUFA against Aucho has no political inclination as claimed by the player and in some media outlets. Selection of players for National team duty is on merit,” added FUFA.
The statement further noted that FUFA enforces regulations with all its players and officials of the nine (9), national teams, just like it was for goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba who was asked to leave camp for breaching the Covid-19 regulations when Uganda Cranes was preparing for the CHAN tournament.
The Federation however noted that Aucho was dismissed from the current Cranes camp but may be considered for future National team engagements.
Meanwhile, the Uganda Cranes commenced preparations for the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier games against Burkina Faso and Malawi on Saturday with a training session at Phillip Omondi Stadium, Lugogo.
A total of 17 players took part in the first training session under the guidance of coaches Aballah Mubiru, Livingstone Mbabazi and Fred Kajoba (goalkeeping coach).
Players Who Trained On Saturday: Jamal Salim (Al Hilal, Sudan), Charles Lukwago(KCCA FC-Uganda), Kigonya Mathias ( Azam FC- Tanzania), Kizza Mustapha (DC Montreal- USA), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC-Uganda), Juuko Murushid (Express FC-Uganda), Kizito Mugweri Gavin (SC Villa- Uganda), Lwanga Taddeo (Simba SC- Tanzania), Michael Azira (New Mexico United-, USA), Allan Okello (Paradou, Algeria), Lumala Abdu (Pyramids FC- Egypt), Bobosi Byaruhanga (Vipers SC-Uganda), Orit Ibrahim (Vipers SC-Uganda), Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Kaddu Patrick (Youssoufia Berrechid-Tunisia), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers SC-Uganda)
Players Yet To Arrive; Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mugabi Bevis (Motherwell FC- Scotland), Ronald Mukiibi(Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi, Ashdod, Israel), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo), Elvis Bwomono (Southend United, England), Miya Faruku (Konyaspor- Turkey), Kizito Luwagga (Hapoel Kfar Saba- Israel), Waiswa Moses (SupersportUnited-South Africa), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt), Fahad Bayo (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), Isiagi Daniel (Jomo Cosmos-South Africa).
Uganda will take on Burkina Faso on Wednesday, 24th March 2021 at St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende and Malawi away on 29th March 2021.