A group of ex-international players from Francophone countries led by Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o will line-up to face Uganda Cranes’ former players as part of the fourth Uganda-France Friendship Week celebrations next month.
Former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Eto’o, whose representative has been in Uganda for a number of days, confirmed his presence for the match set to be played at Namboole Stadium on March 22.
This all-star match is organised by the French Embassy in partnership with Fufa, Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) to celebrate the ties between the two nations.
“This edition is going to be open to everyone,” remarked Ambassador of France to Uganda HE Jules Armand Aniambossou said during the launch of the March 21-28 packed long-week at his residence yesterday.
“This Friendship Week should not be shared with the diplomats alone it should be accessible to each and every Ugandan,” the affable Aniambossou went on. According to the French Embassy, the two-time Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) winner Eto’o will be in company of 19 other former players from neighbouring DR Congo, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.
Former Arsenal players Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu and Ivorian Emmanuel Eboue, Senegalese Khalilou Fadiga, Zimbabwean Benjani Mwaruwari as well as three-time Premier League winner Yaya Toure are expected.
Congolese trio Tresor Lua Lua, Robert Kidiaba and Shabani Nonda are also lined-up with former Ivory Coast captain Didier Drogba expected to confirm. They will face a team that will have ex-Cranes’ players captained by Geoffrey Massa in company of Hassan Mubiru, Nestroy Kizito, Sadam Juma and Dan Wagaluka among others.
Also, like last year, Uganda’s select side will play against a French Military side in a rugby contest at Kyadondo Club. “This Friendship Week promotes the interests of the two countries and enables Uganda to advance the agenda of sports,” stated UOC boss William Blick.
“Uganda will do better than the France team at the 2024 Olympics than in Tokyo because of UOC’s relationship with the embassy here,” added Blick.