So what if Uganda was beaten at World Cup qualifiers? We’ll be back

Writer: Ernest Bazanye. PHOTO/ILLUSTRATION 

What you need to know:

  • Shall we be cowed? Shall we slink away in defeat? Shall we let our country be known as the ones who didn't qualify? Or shall we be back next time?

So, this happened. Uganda Cranes took on a campaign to qualify for the World Cup.

The World Cup is a global football tournament where nations from all over the planet vie for the accolade of best kickers of that four-year period. We, the nation of Uganda, via our Cranes, were going there to win it, and we would have, if it wasn't for Algeria, a nation that preferred to knock us out of qualification.

That’s the general gist, but of course, it doesn’t cover all the details. There are some questions unanswered. I shall list some below. And then leave them still unanswered.

Shall we be cowed? Shall we slink away in defeat? Shall we let our country be known as the ones who didn't qualify? Or shall we be back next time? We have a saying in Uganda. It goes, “You wait. You will see me.” And doesn't it apply here?

1. If, or even when, we qualify, what if Uganda goes all the way to the finals, kicking past Algeria in a well-due revenge, then past traditional footballing hero nations like Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Nigeria and ends up in theWorld Cup final, where our compatriots kick the ball eight times past the opponent goalkeeper, sealing our place for the next four years as the best footballers in the world; if this happens, how much do we get? Does the world cup come with money?

2. What exactly is in the cup? Does it come with a beverage or is it up to the new owner of the cup to fill it with whatever he and his teammates would like to drink? If this is so, when we win, can we fill it with bushera? Because bushera is the best drink in Uganda.

Are you going to disagree? Are you going to argue with me? With what? Logic? Sense? Facts? Statistics? Remember that we are talking about sports, where one can stand up and claim that Argentinans are the best football players in the world because 11 of them won a match in which the remaining 46,234,654 Argentinians didn’t even take part.

3. Or could we have bushera the first time, but next time we win we will put in ajon? And the third time we will fill the world cup with the ka-tomato juice which collects at the tail of the kaveera of a rolex? And we continue until the Argentinians or Brazilians or Germans get their mojo back and defeat us. Could we do that?

4.Next question: Why didn’t we have women on the squad? The only time I ever see single-gender football these days is professional. In all other football games I see in today's Uganda, from the brats who make noise in the compound outside my flat to the delinquents who screech in the playground outside everyone else’s flat, there is no discrimination. The girls play freely and equally with the boys kicking their balls at our windscreens with no compunction. Especially Mariam of Kulambiro who recently cracked a Subaru windscreen with a football.

At age twelve she can damage a windscreen with a football.

This is not the time to ask who is going to pay for the damage or what punishment should be meted out. This is time to ask how to get a person like  Mariam onto the next Uganda Cranes World Cup Qualifier Effort. Don’t you want us to field players whose kicks are powerful enough to damage cars? Which Algerian can stop a ball hurtling forth with windscreen-cracking force?

5.Finally, you already know how many Ugandan children are named Henry, Ronald, Christian, etc. It was registered in the census. They are named after footballers, but in a clandestine fashion. The parents disguised the names so as not to arouse suspicion from the in-laws but that girl called Teresa is actually named after Thierry Henri.

Won't it be great to see and hear of Brazilian and Argentina kids called Musisi Del Pedrossa, Mubiru Bautista, Omony Felipe De Mateo, and European kids called Obua Schneider-Braun or Mugisha Esposito? And of course Mariam Cumberbridge?