Focus of the 24 teams at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals now shifts into another gear as countries start descending on Egypt.
Uganda touched down in Cairo from Abu Dhabi, where they have been camping for three weeks, yesterday looking to win their first Afcon finals match since the semifinals of Ghana 1978.
A Fufa advance party welcomed the 23 players and technical team that will shoulder the burden of progressing from the group stage.
Uganda did end a four-decade absence from the finals two years ago but will be judged on whether they progress from the group this time round.
“We go to the finals and our first objective is to get out of the group, then after that we do our best and see,” said Cranes coach Sebastien Desabre, earlier. Arguably the group of death, Uganda’s pool has seven-time champions and hosts Egypt, two time winners DRC, and surprise package Zimbabwe.
The Cranes now have four days to complete home work on 2017 quarterfinalists DRC, who they face on Saturday at Cairo International Stadium.
A day before, hosts Egypt will have opened - in earnest - their pursuit for their eighth title against Zimbabwe on at the same venue.
President Al-Sisi visits
Elsewhere, Egypt President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited the national team at their Air Defense Stadium base on Saturday and expressed confidence in the Pharaohs giving the best representation.
In the same vein, Egypt inaugurated three new metro stations in Cairo to facilitate smooth movement of fans. The stations are the first inaugurated stops in the four stage of the third line expansion in Cairo metro.
Egypt Today reports that the new stations will help transport fans from areas in Heliopolis, Alf Maskan, and Gisr al Suez to Cairo Stadium, which is located 500 meters away from The Stadium metro station in Nasr City.
Coach Desabre released his 23-man squad last week with KCCA midfielder Sadam Juma asked to wait on the sidelines.
2019 TOTAL AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS
A: Egypt, DRC, Uganda, Zimbabwe
B: Nigeria, Guinea, M’gascar, Burundi
C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
D: Morocco, I.Coast, S.Africa, Namibia
E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola
F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, G. Bissau
Cranes Afcon fixtures
June 22: Uganda vs. DR Congo,
June 26: Uganda vs. Zimbabwe,
June 30: Egypt vs. Uganda,
June 9: Cranes 0-0 Turkmenistan
June 15: Cranes 1-0 Ivory Coast