From missed cash bonuses to failed legacies, Uganda’s disappointing failure to reach the 2015 Nations Cup is likely to have a huge toll on some individuals, write Elly Kyeyune.
There is an age-old football adage that almost doesn’t count and there is no consolation for giving your all if you don’t achieve the desired results. However, almost does count at times in Uganda but only in politics where a loser may be consoled to head the board of a government body.
Indeed, optimists will be quick to paint a rosy picture of Uganda’s failed 2015 Nations Cup campaign as punching above our weight. But for the players and coaching staff, they are in for a harsh reality as uncertainty looms about their future.
For one, skipper Andy Mwesigwa is the focal point of blame for the 0-2 loss to Guinea that effectively ended Uganda’s hopes. Yet football is a team sport and everyone from Fufa President Moses Magogo to the team physio takes responsibility.
This latest failure at the last hurdle could mean the end of Mwesigwa’s 11-year Cranes career if his recent performances, which clearly exposed his diminished pace and physical strength, are anything to go by. Mwesigwa is not alone in the predicament and senior players such as Geoffrey Massa and Tonny Mawejje could be on their way out sooner than later.
On the other hand, the job of Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic isn’t any safer now that he has failed to reach the Nations Cup for the second successive campaign. The Serbian was primarily hired to take Uganda to the Nations Cup and may need to persuade his employers to justify his stay as Cranes tactician.
Going into the decisive game, $10,000 (about Shs 27m) was at stake for each member of the team but with the loss, all went up in smoke. How Fufa intends to divert the money remains unknown but that wouldn’t have mattered a lot if Mwesigwa and company achieved the ultimate target of rubbing shoulders with the continent’s best.
Many will be quick to point out the home loss to Togo for Uganda’s ultimate failure but right now it is not the time to lick wounds and reflect on the what-would-have-beens.
It is time to look forward at grooming a formidable team for the future.
Source : The Observer