Cranes’ Wasswa opens up on his love-hate relationship with KCC

The dreadlocked midfielder, who reckons he has earned his place in Cranes over time, says for as long as the coach trusts him, he will not listen to what outsiders think, writes SCORE’S Andrew Mwanguhya

Saturday May 17 2014

Wasswa (fifth right) lines up with Uganda Cranes for the

Wasswa (fifth right) lines up with Uganda Cranes for the anthem ahead of the match against Zambia at Namboole in 2012. The physically imposing midfielder cum defender told Daily Monitor that he has kept himself in shape despite not kicking a competitive ball since February. File photo 

He stands, hands to waist, and face straight-up overseeing the swimming pool and to the gym at Centenary Park as if wondering when we would be through with this inquest so he could lift some weights.

Yet his eyes reveal deep-seated pain and – to a good extent – anger and disgust. Hassan Wasswa would rather eat into his gym time than keep inside what he thinks the public does not know, or what – in his view – they have been wrongly fed on.

“I want to clear the air,” he starts, facing me briefly before his eyes pick on the ground, two or three strands of his dreadlocks flipping over his forehead, “Whatever KCC have been talking about me is all false.

“What they are saying that I signed for a club in Vietnam; that I went to Vietnam without their consent is all not true.”

He is on a roll that an interruption would hurt his flow. “I went to Vietnam for trials and KCC knew. I had given them my papers, showed them my tickets and letter that I was going for trials, so they knew where I was.

“Surprisingly when I was in Vietnam I read in the news KCC saying that I have left without their consent.
“I don’t know if KCC have any personal issues with me but as far as I’m concerned, I don’t have any with them,” he claims.

Counter accusations
Wasswa and KCC have been involved in a cat and mouse festival since last October when news emerged that the player, who had just finished his first of the two years he had signed with KCC, had joined Vietnamese side Dong Nai on a two-year deal.

He – clad in the Vietnamese club shirt - even had pictures of him and a Dong Nai official on his Facebook page last year where he posted at the time: “Thank you Allah.

(I) can’t stop praising you because without you I’m nothing but with you am the General.”
KCC were quick to dismiss the news saying for as long as they were concerned, Wasswa was still their player, and even claimed he had left for Vietnam without their permission.

“After about two weeks with Dong Nai, they (Dong Nai) had given me a letter to bring to KCC to agree terms,” he says of his initial trip to Vietnam,” In that letter they offered KCC $20,000 (Shs50m)
“So I told them look, Dong Nai are offering to pay KCC $20,000 so that you release me and I get my ITC. But they refused.

“So I told manager Kabuye… I told him on a personal level that ‘see, this is what Dong Nai is offering, this is my career, my future.’

“He told me that, ‘yes let me speak to the board.’ I kept quiet. Then Dong Nai bought me another ticket to Dubai and it’s then KCC told me that they can’t sell me, that they want $50,000 (Shs125m).
“I told them that ‘listen, this is my future you guys are playing with. $20,000 is a lot for you.’ Besides, I wasn’t getting a single coin from that money. The only money I would get was the salary at Dong Nai.

“Before I knew KCC had sent a letter to Dong Nai accusing them of signing me without their approval, and Dong Nai were asking me what all this was about.”

Did he sign with Dong Nai?
But what then were you doing in the pictures where you were unveiled as having signed a two-year-deal, Hassan? Surely you recognize yourself, there. Not so?

“That was a pre-contract,” he elucidates, “Dong Nai were so happy with me and they knew me. So they just asked me to take pictures and then come back and complete documentation with KCC for my ITC. You don’t sign for any club before getting an ITC. So I had not signed for Dong Nai.

“It’s then that I told Dong Nai to let me come back to Kampala and sort my issues with KCC. They then assured me that they had faith in me and that I can always let them know once my issues with KCC are sorted. They then bought me a ticket and I came back to Kampala.

“I was so mad with KCC when I came back. I asked them ‘why did you do this to me.?’ They told me ‘no Hassan, it’s the board.’ I said fine, let me come back to KCC; get done with my contract then leave.”

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