Few words can best describe the state of Uganda’s football administration than Albert Einstein’s saying that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’.
You only need to look at the current Cranes setup to understand this predicament.
In the wake of Uganda’s elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations, which was followed by the departure of Coach Sebastien Desabre, Fufa summarily sacked the remaining members of technical bench.
That left highly-touted Matia Lule, Desabre’s former assistant, in limbo along with Fred Kajoba, the now former goalkeeping coach.
It was the same scenario when Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic left the Cranes job in 2017. Fufa overlooked his former assistant, Moses Basena, in spite of investing in him for several coaching courses.
So, now that we have Abdallah Mubiru at the helm assisted by Livingstone Mbabazi and Sadiq Wassa, Uganda is starting afresh instead of building from the previous works.
In other words, Fufa is hoping to hire a new foreign coach sooner to turn around The Cranes fortunes yet it is not learning anything from past mistakes.
The manner in which Basena and Lule have been discarded also confirms the notion that Fufa has never believed in grooming locals, and this extends to the players
This is so because as The Cranes embark on qualification for the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (Chan), there seems to be lack of a strategic plan or direction for the team.
For instance, where does Mubiru start from at a time when there is no league action? How far had Lule scouted before he was sacked?
Mubiru starts from scratch and before we know it, he will also be replaced midway the campaign in the same way Fufa relieved Peter Onen of his Under-20 coaching role after he had qualified the team to the Under-20 Afcon tournament. That’s how Fufa does its things!
By now, the Uganda Premier League (UPL) board’s technical committee would already be having its own scouting report on the best performers.
In fact, CHAN should be UPL’s flagship vehicle to showcase its might but the UPL board’s involvement is negligible because it knows little about strategizing apart from signing cheques for clubs. In the last Chan edition, Uganda had the likes of Nico Wadada, Timothy Awanyi, Allan Kyambadde, Isaac Muleme, Taddeo Lwanga and Derrick Nsibambi who went on to represent the senior team at Afcon. By now, there would have been a deliberate effort to have them graduate into more professional leagues in order to pave way for new upcoming talents. Unfortunately, these players have to do it on their own as UPL looks on.
It is for such glaring loopholes that Uganda will always manage to beat average teams in the region but fall flat when The Cranes come up against well-prepared teams from North and West Africa. Chan should not be about qualification but Uganda should be aiming to be among the contenders. Uganda is the only four-time Chan participant that has never got out of the group stage yet Fufa continues chest-thumping every qualification as if we’ve won something.
It is this mediocre mentality that we need to get rid of. The same extends to Afcon. Truth is that in the expanded 24-nation Afcon, qualification should no longer be an achievement. In fact, it would be a travesty if Uganda fails to make the top two in a group that includes Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan or Seychelles.
The author is Nyamityobora FC president!