On Wednesday, Caf in between lifting age limits for its aging executives and endorsing an equally senile Sepp Blatter for yet another shot at the Fifa presidency, chose Gabon as host nation for Afcon 2017.
Uganda is grouped alongside Burkina Faso, Botswana and Comoros. I must add, I have seen tougher groups in my time. But we will probably beat Botswana and Comoros before stumbling towards the business end of the qualifiers.
Even if we are quick to attribute this to ill-luck, it is actually ill-preparation that eventually undresses us. And this general lack of preparation will expose us even now unless we do things a little bit differently.
We now know who we face and that safety lies in us winning our Group rather than hoping to become among the top two second-placed teams. So you would expect, Fufa must now have rolled into first gear sorting matters of team selection, training camps, friendly games and other logistical matters involved in a campaign.
But using history as a guide, one suspects we shall wait till June before putting together a team of ‘usual suspects’ and free agents, as we lurch from one administrative crisis to another. Then we typically shall be shocked that some of our players are from leagues that are still playing or have picked injuries or are generally unfit. In other words, we shall be caught unawares by a tournament we know about months in aance.
And you wonder if anyone at Mengo appreciates that the business of winning football games is a matter of good preparations, that matters like strange food for men who have been bred on Matooke can be the difference between qualifying or not.
You see, it really isn’t ill-fortune that does us in and neither is it cost effectiveness that we haven’t invested in a chef or event manager like other nations do. What gets lost at the gates of Namboole can pay for 20 of those. It is poor planning that nails us.
So while it may be convenient to cite fate and saboteurs, Fufa should consider setting up a permanent selection committee that watches over all potential playing staff and a permanent event planning team that takes care of the basics of travelling and hosting. We have nothing to lose by doing that as a change from our routine.
Then the business of qualification will cease to be a matter of good or ill-luck. And seeing that Fufa has very little going its way, they might as well invest their energies in planning for the national team because it has been their leading image-sanitizer for the last decade or so.
And while they are at it, Fufa had better take responsibility since they are the ones that bask in glory whenever short-lived victories come our way during the campaign. We cannot afford to have leaders who only bask in the glory of our limited wind-falls and pass on the buck as soon as the clouds gather.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor