Total Energies AFCON Qualifiers 2023
Uganda Senior Men’s National Football Team, Uganda Cranes have learnt their opponents for the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Cote D’Ivoire 2023.
In the draw held on Tuesday, 19th April 2022, the Uganda Cranes have been pitted in Group F against Algeria, Niger and neighbors Tanzania.
Coach Milutin Sredojevic aka Micho has made assessment of Uganda Cranes opponents ahead of the games that will start in June.
The Serbian tactician believes his charges are pooled in one of the toughest groups in the qualifying phase.
“The long wait is finally over. I personally believe we are in a competitive group and one of the strongest groups. Both Niger and Tanzania have had representatives in the group stages of the CAF Club competitions this season while Algeria were winners of Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 and recent winners of the FIFA Arab Cup,” he stated before adding, “Someone would look at Algeria as group favorites but in modern football there are no small teams because gaps in African football have been reduced.”
Micho is aware the three Nations pose different challenges and thus different approaches must be implemented.
“We are facing teams with different approaches including two Francophone countries in Algeria and Niger then CECAFA opponent in Tanzania. Algeria have had disappointments recently not making it out of the group stage at the last Africa Cup of Nations and conceding a late goal to miss out on qualifying for the World Cup. So these Qualifiers will be a chance to redeem themselves,” Micho stated.
“Niger is a team with so many players abroad and very competitive. They have been to three of the last five Africa Cup of Nations editions. So many Ugandans would welcome the chance of playing Tanzania but it is a tricky opponent. They will have two teams in CAF Champions League next season, Simba FC is still doing well in CAF Confederation Cup and they have good players abroad. In the 2019 Qualifiers, we only got one point from Tanzania and therefore we need to respect them.” He added.
Micho who was the helm as Uganda qualified for the 2017 AFCON edition in Gabon therefore calls upon all stakeholders to play their part in aiding the Uganda Cranes to achieving the target of returning to the continental showpiece.
“I’m calling upon every stakeholder, all the technical people and all of us in FUFA to have good organization and detailed strategic plan on how we shall approach these games. I’m also calling upon the players who are the producers of results that this is the chance to show that you have what it takes to go back to the Africa Cup of Nations.”
The Qualifiers for the 2023 edition that will be hosted in Ivory Coast are expected to get underway in June this year but CAF will release the fixtures and exact dates at a later date.
*Credit: FUFA website.