It is time Fufa considered a Ugandan for Cranes job

Monday September 11 2017

Acting Cranes coach Moses Basena (Middle)

Acting Cranes coach Moses Basena (Middle) celebrates Uganda Cranes’ Afcon 2017 qualification after defeating Comoros with Moses Magogo (right). File photo 

By Editor

Last week Uganda Cranes returned from Egypt where they narrowly lost 1-0 in a 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier to the famed Pharaohs of Egypt.
That match happened to be coach Moses Basena’s final game in charge of the national team in interim capacity.
Basena, who was assisted by Fred Kajoba in a span of four games, managed two wins and two defeats as he steered Uganda to the 2018 Chan tournament in Kenya.
And after the home and away matches against Egypt, Uganda is two points behind the illustrious north Africans with only two rounds left to the end of the World Cup qualifiers.
By and large, Basena – who was later assisted by legendary Cranes centre back Ibrahim Sekagya and Matia Lule - did not do a bad job. For what it’s worth, Basena preserved the solidity that Uganda Cranes became renowned for under Micho Sredojevic.
Micho is now gone and Fufa are weighing their options right now before pronouncing themselves on the next national team coach.
The next Cranes coach, however, should be a Ugandan national.
For most of the last 17 years, the job has been handed to foreigners such as Harrison Okagbue, Pedro Pasculli, Mohammed Abbas and Laszlo Csaba among others.
Their record put together was at best average.
Yet being foreigners implied that they tended to command higher wages and a lot of expectation was heaped on the team.
Uganda’s most successful foreigner in charge of the Cranes since the glorious era of Burkhard Pape 40 years ago is Micho thanks to qualification to the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon this year.
Now is perhaps the time to give confidence to Ugandan coaching by hiring a local for the job.
It was smart of Fufa to convince Sekagya to fly from New York Red Bulls to come and reinforce the technical bench for the double header clash with Egypt.
For many, Sekagya is potentially an example of a future coach of the Cranes and his technical role at the Major League Soccer side in the US will stand him in good stead.
A Uganda coach would obviously be affordable but would only succeed with the same support and power that Micho was granted while in Uganda.
Building a network to track Ugandan talent at home and abroad would also naturally be easier for a native of the country.
The example of Shuaibu Amodu, the only man to have qualified Nigeria for two World Cup finals, strengthens the case for a Ugandan managing Cranes.
Another Nigerian coach, Stephen Keshi, also won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. Uganda can borrow a leaf.