Total Afcon 2021 qualifiers (Group B)
Burkina Faso vs Uganda Cranes – Ouagadougou
Uganda Cranes vs Malawi Flames –Namboole
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Salim Jamal was the noticeable name mysteriously snubbed as Cranes coach Jonathan Mckinstry named a 25-man squad on Wednesday for the forthcoming Africa Cup of nations (AFCON) 2021 qualifiers.
Uganda visits Burkina Faso on November 13 before hosting Malawi on November 17 at the Namboole stadium. Fufa has already confirmed chattering Uganda airlines Bombardier for team travel to Burkina Faso with 30 reserved seats for fans willing to travel to Ouagadougou at a $1500 cost.
Flanked by Fufa Acting President Justus Mugisha and the 2nd Vice president Darius Mugoye, McKinstry also released the training program for the team.
Mckinstry earlier told NBS TV that summon to the national team was open to every player including Godfrey Walusimbi who announced his retirement early this month but Jamal’s omission could raise questions on whether it was not an administrative decision. “I cannot change the team set up now in this short time. I have spoken to the players to find which positions and system are suitable for them because we have limited time and also to have personal relationship. I want work with young players but you need to blend it with experience,” noted Mckinistry. “My approach will depend on the players available and the opponents but every player who proves has a chance to play. We cannot close doors for anyone to serve his country,” he added.
The former Express and KCCA FC goal keeper, who is currently plying his trade with Sudanese side Al-Hilal, has never been summoned by the Northern Ireland tactician who was named Cranes coach late September on a three-year deal.
The 25-year old was not summoned for the Ethiopia friendly early this month as skipper Denis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Robert Odongkara (Horoya AC, Guinea) were the preferred custodians.
In mid July after the AFCON 2019 finals in Egypt, FUFA summoned Jamal after his social media exchange with MP Odong Otto following Cranes players’ sit-down strike for arrears ahead of knockout stage where Uganda was stopped by eventual losing finalists Senegal.
FUFA accused Jamal of misconduct and putting the game in disrepute as they summoned the player to the Fufa disciplinary panel. The case has never been officially dispensed off after Jamal’s refusal to enter a ‘plea bargain’ when he refused to apologize as asked. While on NBS TV sports live show (The Score) captain Denis Onyango admitted that he led the strike as the players sought justice as they had agreed with Fufa.
Jamal looks to be the most active and inform Ugandan goal keeper at the moment; he has kept four clean sheets and conceded once in the five CAF Champions league games whilst keeping 9 clean sheets in the league.
Only five local-based players made it to the Mckinstry squad. Mugisha also confirmed the entire backroom staff for McKinstry –which has Abdullah Mubiru and Livingstone Mbabazi (former interim coach and assistant) as the first and second assistant respectively.
Fred Kajoba is maintained as goalkeeping coach, Ayub Balyejusa is the equipment manager while former skipper Geoffrey Massa as the team coordinator.
All the appointments are on interim basis. The early bird tickets for the Malawi game go on market by November 2.
Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Robert Odongkara (Horoya AC, Guinea), Charles Lukwago (KCCA, Uganda)
Defenders: Ronald Mukiibi (Ostersunds FK, Sweden), Nico Wakiro Wadada (Azam, Tanzania), Bevis Mugabi (Motherwell, Scotland), Murushid Jjuuko (Wydad Casablanca, Morocco), Timothy Denis Awany (Sport Club Ironi Ashdod, Israel), Hassan Wasswa Mawanda (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia), Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers, Uganda), Isaac Muleme (Viktoria Zizkov, Czech Republic), Joseph Ochaya (TP Mazembe, Democratic Republic of Congo)
Midfielders: Michael Azira (Chicago Fire, USA), Khalid Aucho (Misr Lel Makasa, Egypt), Tadeo Lwanga (Tanta, Egypt), Nicholas Kasozi (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Okello (KCCA, Uganda), Allan Kyambadde (El Gouna, Egypt)
Forwards: Emmanuel Arnold Okwi (Ittihad Alexandria, Egypt), Patrick Henry Kaddu (RS Berkane, Morocco), Alexis Bbakka (Carlstad United BK, Sweden), Fahad Bayo (Vipers, Uganda), Farouk Miya (Konyaspor, Turkey), Abdul Lumala (Pyramids, Egypt), William Kizito Luwagga (Shakhter Karagandy, Kazahstan)
Head Coach: Jonathan McKinstry
1st Assistant Coach: Abdalluh Mubiru
2nd Assistant Coach: Livingstone Mbabazi
Fitness Coach: Alexander McCarthy
Goalkeeping Coach: Fred Kajoba
Equipment Manager: Ayub Balyejusa
Team Coordinator: Geoffrey Massa