Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA), Moses Hassim Magogo has said if the Cranes don’t make it out of the group stages at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), it will be termed a failure.
Speaking to URN in an exclusive interview in his office in Mengo on Wednesday, Magogo said they have made the targets known to the head coach Sebastien Desabre and the players.
“We qualified for the 2017 Afcon in Gabon and bowed out in the group stage and now we are a much more experienced team that should be able to qualify for the knock out stage,” added Magogo.
Desabre’s team is pooled alongside hosts Egypt, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo in Group A for Africa’s biggest tournament which runs June 21st to July 19th. “We qualified for 2019 Afcon with a game to go and without a goal conceded before we lost to Tanzania. We have given the coach the training camp in Abu Dhabi that he requested for and two build-up games that should prepare the team well enough,” added Magogo.
Although Magogo refused to reveal how much, he made it clear that they have also introduced hefty winning bonuses which will keep increasing if the team progresses to the later stages of the tournament.
“This time we are more than prepared even on the logistical side. In 2017 we were returning to the big stage after 39 years and we were like amateurs who did not know a lot of things,” he explained.
Magogo also explained that having a bigger part of the team having played at the 2017 Afcon in Gabon is a very big advantage in-terms of experience. “These boys are not scared of facing any team now because they have beaten top teams in the continent before,” he explained.
Assistant captain Hassan Wasswa Mawanda has also made it clear that they will do all it takes to make an improvement this time round by qualify for the next round of 16. “We need to die a little for the country and put up better performances that in 2017. The Federation has made sure they provide us with all that is needed and it’s now our duty to perform,” added Mawanda.
Uganda will open her campaign against DR Congo on June 22rd before they take on Zimbabwe and complete with a game against Egypt.