Friday November 17 2017

Chan draws: Basena says Cranes can’t have choices

Uganda Cranes coach Moses Basena issues

Uganda Cranes coach Moses Basena issues instructions to substitute Kizito Luwagga in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole. PHOTO BY Eddie Chicco 

By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

KAMPALA.

The Uganda Cranes will know their Africa Nations Championship (Chan) group opponents today when draws of the 2018 event are held in Rabat, Morocco.

Uganda were on Wednesday pooled in Pot 3 of the draws alongside Congo, Rwanda and Sudan, meaning that the four cannot meet each other in the group stage.
That leaves the Cranes open to facing traditional continental giants Cameroon, Morocco, Ivory Coast and Nigeria among others.
But as the draws are conducted at Sofitel Rabat Hotel today, Cranes interim coach Moses Basena reckons that Uganda do not have choice luxuries of possible opponents.
“You simply don’t have a choice,” Basena told the Daily Monitor, “You just have to prepare well enough to be able to compete against anybody.”
Glancing at the four Pots, it is Pool 4 which includes Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Namibia that looks fair on the eye.
Yet, Basena will still not read much into and from it.
“Look, when we were drawn for Gabon Nations Cup finals (in a group including Mali, Ghana and Egypt) the Mali coach alluded to everyone possibly picking points from Uganda.”
Mali had to come from behind to draw with the Cranes.
“I don’t want to be in that situation,” added Basena, whose interim tenure has been extended to include Cecafa that kicks off on December 3 in Kenya, “The fact that they qualified, they are good teams.”
The four Pots consisting of 16 qualified teams were decided based on ranking, taking into account performances at the past editions of the final tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.
Uganda will be making a fourth successive appearance at the event, but will this time hope to reach the knockout stages for the first time.
Chan will run from January 13 to February 4, 2018 in the cities of Casablanca (Group A), Marrakech (Group B), Tangier (Group C) and Agadir (Group D).
The opening match and the final will be played at the newly refurbished Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca, which also hosted the second leg final of the Total Caf Champions League 2017.

CHAN POTS

Pot 1: Morocco, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya
Pot 2: Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria, Zambia
Pot 3: Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan
Pot 4: B. Faso, Eq. Guinea, Mauritania, Namibia

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