Uganda Cranes' qualification campaigns have on some occasions been hit by player sagas that have in the end costed it Africa Cup of Nations, with the latest being the Aucho Khalid saga, not forgetting the David Obua scenario in 2011. Here Blizz Uganda tells how such incidents beat the Cranes ambitions for qualification.
In October 2011, Uganda was in a must win situation as they hosted Kenya in the last match of group J in a bid to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations that took place in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Though no news is bad news, it was not good to hear that influential player David Obua was excluded from the Cranes camp and Bobby Williamson (Head coach by then) said the star was injured.
However, speaking to "The independent" David Obua said he was not injured but was excluded from the camp because he had asked to be allowed to pause some questions to the President of Uganda Uganda who was to visit the camp, something the bosses at FUFA refused.
In his other submissions, Obua told, The Independent about what he wanted to tell the president as in the conversation here...
The independent: What was on your mind?
Obua: There are a number of issues I wanted to raise to Mzee. One of them is about our bonus system, if there is such a thing. The bonuses aren’t streamlined. You cannot know how much everyone is supposed to get. I wanted to talk about why football isn’t taken seriously in this country. For example, we have no youth development programme and no system to cater for those who retire. The other question I wanted to ask Mzee is why this money wasn’t coming before. Why now? Are there guarantees that it will now be consistent?
Obua missing on the national team should have left many in squad disappointed and weakened especially because the issues he wanted to raise were concerning them and mostly the inspiration from him as a superstar.
This can't go unnoticed when we're to look into why Uganda Cranes failed to qualify for the tournament that took place the next year (2012).
For the Khalid Aucho scenario, he took the blame himself for being shown the exit from the camp and apologized. FUFA refused the star from joining the camp after he first visited his family in Uganda, something contrary to what FUFA wanted. Each player was meant to join the camp immediately and Khalid doing otherwise could not be trusted whether he had contacted COVID-19 or not and hence expelled.
FUFA doesn't have any problem with their decision but Khalid being a big player at the Cranes team should have left it uninspired.
There are some players on the team whose appearance instills confidence in the other members of the squad and their absence does the reverse. Moreover the display at the pitch was unconvicing.
However, Obua said (still in the interview with the Independent), FUFA has a tendency of forcing players to speak contrary to reality and because many players fear losing playing time at the national team, they are forced to say against their will like he was also made to say he was injured which wasn't true.