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Pictorial: Triumphant Uganda Cranes contingent returns home safely

The triumphant Uganda Cranes delegation successfully returned from Cape Verde Islands early Tuesday morning (3am).

The group was received by a host of FUFA officials led by the 1st Vice President Justus Mugisha, CEO Edgar Watson, Humphrey Mandu (Deputy CEO), Hamid Juma (FUFA Executive committee member and Chairman Technical Committee), Decolas Kiiza (Director of Finance), Ahmed Hussein (FUFA Communications Manager), Hassan Kirunda Kakaire (FUFA Big league Delegate), Patrick Ntege (National teams’ Officer), FUFA Staff, fans, media, friends and relatives.

L-R: Coach Micho, Humphrey Mandu and Edgar Watson chat shortly after the team’s arrival at Entebbe International Airport

The group touched down at Entebbe International aboard Ethiopian Airlines on flight ET 336 from Addis Ababa.

Thereafter, there was a special press conference held at the Airport where head of delegation Dennis Mbidde lauded the players, technical staff and the federation as a whole for the job well done.

Some of the players upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport L-R Shaban Muhammad, Wadada nicolas, Murushid Juuko and Isaac Mulene
Goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba arrives at Entebbe International Airport. FUFA 1st Vice President Justus Mugisha is on the right.

‘We traveled with a committed and diligent team. I salute the players in a special way. This a a perfect start for the Project Cameroon 2019. I thank the technical team and FUFA as a whole’ Mbidde stated in a brief speech.

Team captain Denis Onyango was equally ecstatic about the victory registered away from home.

Dennis Onyango (R) joined by the FUFA 1st Vice President Justus Mugisha during the press conference at Entebbe International Airport

‘We responded positively despite the challenges encountered before the game. I thank the gallant players and technical team as well for the job well done. Let us stay focused for the job ahead of us’ Onyango, who officially started his role as team captain noted.

Team head coach Milutin Sredejovic appreciated  the spirit exhibited in the particular game.

‘Since 2014, we have only lost one away match where we considered a penalty. The entire group was focused and i also hail the senior players on the team. We pushed to the limit and delivered. We are now eyeing the CHAN 2018 and FIFA World Cup qualifiers. I thank the players and FUFA for the preparations’ Micho said.

The FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo hailed the sponsors – Airtel Uganda, Nile Special, Bidco, Ecobank, NIC, the players, fans, FUFA Executive Committee and the secretariat staff for the efforts during the trip to Cape Verde.

FUFA President Eng. Moses Magogo with Finance Director Decolas Kiiza (R)

He called upon the Government of Uganda to fully support the national team, like it is done elsewhere in Africa.

‘It is exactly 12 days since we left the country for Cape Verde. We played three matches against Ethiopia, Senegal and Cape Verde. I salute the performance of the players for the discipline and hard-work. It is not easy to keep away for that long in such conditions and you still deliver positive results. I thank the FUFA Executive and secretariat for the necessary support. I continue to call upon the Government for financial support towards the Uganda Cranes. We need to be included on the national budget like it is done elsewhere in Africa. Our winning away to Cape Verde should only make us prepare better ahead of future engagements.’ The FUFA President said in his speech.

Benard Muwanga, Denis Onyango and Ahmed Hussein at the Entebbe Airport

The players were then served to a cocktail before the entire group departed for their respective homes.

Focus immediately turns to the CHAN 2018 preparations as well as 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign.

Uganda Cranes will play South Sudan in a two legged CHAN 2018 first round qualifier next month.

In August, the national team will then host Egypt in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Kampala.

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