Tired of mathematical equations year-in, year-out, the Uganda Cranes went out for a kill in Wednesday’s game against Zimbabwe in AFCON.
It was a game the players, technical staff and coach had prepared for over months, with a clear cut schedule of activities in the run-up to it. They ensured that they were ready, on body and mind. They did all that was in the powers, and the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate; which left a narrow gap of us not qualifying to the group stages.
Little did the players and coaching staff know other ‘big’ people had different minds. We love politics, and it almost undid us when we needed all the concentration. By the time the players went to bed on Tuesday night, they were not only brewing with anger but were also worn out and needed all the rest possible.
The players and coach directed their ire towards FUFA President Moses Magogo, who at the ungodly hour of 10:00 pm, thought it best to call the squad for some pep-talk. The meeting, comprising of Uganda Cranes team delegation of players and officials at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cairo, started at 10:30 pm, way past the planned sleeping time of the players.
The team had just finished dinner and as they were making their way to their rooms, they were informed, “you cannot sleep until the president talks to you.” “We were from having supper and coach had advised us to forget about the game ahead and get enough rest,” a player said, adding that if it wasn’t for the contracts that bind them to obey any instruction, some were willing not to attend.
Instead of relaxing and following the coach’s advice, Magogo was telling them about the game ahead. “It was more of a chemistry lesson after lunch. No one was attentive until the part of allowances and bonuses.
Actually, some were on their phones. It was not a form of defiance, but some players chose to listen to Desabre and ignore anything about the Zimbabwe game at that time,” the player said. Desabre was pissed, too, as he sat behind with his team and wondered what was going on.
However, according to the FUFA website, the main agenda of the meeting was to express solidarity with the technical team and players before the highly billed clash with Zimbabwe on Wednesday at the Cairo International Stadium.
The FUFA President also used the meeting as a platform to further remind the players of the task in their midst, as well as throw a token of thanks to the Government, sponsors, partners and their fans. As they walked away from the meeting, there were grumblings and murmurs about Magogo’s sense of entitlement and importance.
Many thought he had overstepped the boundaries by disregarding Desabre’s directions. As a professional coach, he had made an estimate of how much rest the players need