Home Football Could Cranes humiliation have been an inside job?

Could Cranes humiliation have been an inside job?

Tanzania captain Mbwana Samatta embraces Uganda skipper Dennis Onyango after the game
Ben Misagga

Following the Uganda Cranes’ humiliating 0-3 loss to Tanzania, several Ugandans are up in arms at how feeble the team played to hand Tanzania qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations on a silver plate. Since then, accusations having been flying around; right from poor preparations and build-up, wrong team selection and underperformance of players. There is even the alarming claim of collusion and match-fixing. Firstly, one may wonder why there is all this fuss when The Cranes had already qualified and were already assured of topping the group. Besides, the same Tanzania side had held Uganda to a goalless draw at Namboole stadium earlier in the qualifiers.

The thing is; Ugandans wouldn’t have questioned the result had key stakeholders within the Cranes setup not fumbled up and revealed coded information. Amidst the entire hullabaloo, I can say that the actions of key individuals in the build-up and aftermath of the game can best be described in Madison Taylor’s book called ‘The Art Of Deception’. Just minutes after the game, Fufa president Moses Magogo rushed to exonerate himself while at the same time heaping all the blame on the coach and players. The coach, too, literally blamed the technical team for the choices made. I’ve talked to some players who confided about the confusion in the locker-room, where orders came from imaginary people and the starting line-up remained unknown until the eleventh hour. But let’s start with Magogo’s attempt at reverse psychology. His message came just seconds after the game, an indicator that it was pre-prepared to preempt any steam from the public.

Without anyone querying him, he detailed how he had provided everything the team asked for; how he paid allowances but team let him down in the ‘worst performance of his regime.’ How laughable! For Magogo to come out and exonerate himself from the Cranes performance is not only an act of betrayal to the team, but it was also a tactic to divert public attention. A project engineer cannot blame the foreman and masons for poor workmanship when he’s the main supervisor of the site. In essence, the FA president doesn’t need to drum about how he fulfils his obligations to The Cranes. That’s his job in the first place! This is akin to a parent who boasts about how he pays school fees for his kids. And it is well-known world over that nowhere in the world can an FA boss not know the line-up or the summoned players. It’s like the Commander-in-Chief not knowing the troops movements. This is deception at its best and further lays credence to the fact this match could have been thrown away looking at denials and disassociation of the helm. Deception can get you through a lot of situations and save you from a lot of ego bruising but it has its limits.

It can even preserve your relationships in some situations. This book will teach you how to use the art of deception to your advantage. It will show you how to lie convincingly. It will also show you the reverse side of deception: catching people who lie to you and preventing them from lying again. Read this book to learn all about lying to yourself and others, detecting when people lie, and preventing future lying from your loved ones.


The team’s camping in Egypt was an abrupt wasteful gimmick. Why not Camp in places like Mombasa or Ndola in Zambia which have the same weather as Dar es Salam? And if you say NSC failed to provide money to the team why go for the expensive Camp? It’s like buying cake when you can’t afford bread. Fufa has consistently defended the use of foreign-based players to justify how local-based players aren’t up to scratch. But in a match where there was only pride at stake, it baffles me that Fufa opted to half-heartedly mix local players with foreign-based players that have not played together in a long time. This opens up several questions that need to be explained. For instance, how can one explain the partnership of Chrizestom Ntambi in defence alongside Timothy Awany? Players that have never played together! Then how do you leave out an active Joseph Ochaya and play Godfrey Walusimbi who has had no club for the past three months? How do you justify leaving Allan Okello on the bench when you need his top creativity? Why bring gifted Karisa (Milton) from Morocco only to play 10 minutes? Then again, how do you play Allan Kyambadde the whole 90 minutes when the same coach has been denying him the same in less profile games? Furthermore, why summon players like Murushid Jjuuko, Khalid Aucho and Hassan Wasswa well knowing you are not going to use them because they are a suspension away and spend on them in Camp?

If this game was to be an experimental game, Fufa shouldn’t have shied away from using local-based players entirely. That would not only have saved them money but it would also have provided a test of strength for our local league. Instead, this was all calculated to expose some individuals in a match that increasingly looks like it was a giveaway.

In fact, what Fufa did is akin to what the biblical King David did to one of his soldiers, Uriah. King David sent him to the frontline hoping that he could die in the war so that he may take over his wife, something that materialised. Fufa too may have assembled a ramshackle team for the purpose of playing poorly so that Tanzania could qualify for Afcon — and this is not out of solidarity but something fundamentally wrong. To understand this chaos best, you need to see how Fufa set up the team to Dar es Salaam. It appointed Paul Mutakabala as leader of delegation yet several high-ranking officers travelled for the game. This not only sacrificed Mutakabala’s reputation but it also exposed whoever was involved in the preparations; yet Magogo tries to absolve himself from the mess. For those who don’t know the FA helm, look at how he ranted on Facebook you will read the lips of guilt. By claiming he gave players $1,500 before the match, one may assume he was picking from his pocket, yet this was tax payers’ money. Ask yourself; how much does the  FUFA boss earn monthly because we all know the President of Uganda remunerations, all public servants wages are known. So, let the FA boss tell the public how much he is paid. We knew Denis Obua was a senior police officer, Dr. Mulindwa an educationist and investor. I will start from there next week.

The author is Nyamityobora FC president (Abanyakare)!


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