Uganda Cranes skipper Denis Onyango and talisman Faruku Miya are having action-packed and fast-paced next hours, with both club and national duties calling.
Majority of the foreign-based players summoned to face Burkina Faso on Wednesday and Malawi six days later are either already in camp or playing their final club games today before travelling.
Fahad Bayo and Timothy Awany, teammates at Israeli side Ashdod, and Hapoel Saba’s Kizito Luwagga are some of those playing today, while goalkeeper Salim Jamal and his Al Hilal are in action again early April.
Moses Waiswa, returning to the fold after some time out, and SuperSport United faced Stellenbosch in South Africa yesterday, so he should be in the country latest Sunday.
Ikpeazu debut to wait
Add to the US-based Mustafa Kizza, whose Montreal Impact next play in April, the UK duo of Bevis Mugabi, Elvis Bwomono, both playing today, plus regional and home-based players and coach Abdallah Mubiru has enough to strategise.
However, Wycombe Wanderers’ striker Uche Ikpeazu is understood to have requested to omitted from the Cranes plans against the Burkinabe and Malawians.
Coach Mubiru, who announced the striker’s decision on Wednesday, did not explain the reasons for his pulling out.
But for Onyango and Miya, the earliest they can be in Kampala is Monday, with the afternoon session their only chance to train with their colleagues.
Mubiru is likely to let Onyango, whose Mamelodi Sundowns face Black Leopards in the DStv Premiership tomorrow, and Miya,
whose Kanyospor entertain Alanyaspor in Turkey the same day, rest out Monday.
The other man due in late is Ronald Mukiibi, the Ostersunds FK defender, who faces Sundsvall tomorrow.
“Onyango might make the Monday evening session but it will depend,” said Mubiru, who alongside Livingston Mbabazi and Fred Kajoba are in charge of the final two qualifier games after coach Johnny McKinstry was asked to step aside in the interim.
“For Miya, it will have to be the Tuesday session and we play on Wednesday. But most of the team will be in by Sunday.
“You don’t get enough time with them for the national team because that is how the window is. So, with all in camp, we can only train together on Monday and Tuesday.”
Uganda will make it to their third consecutive Afcon finals if they beat Burkina Faso at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende next Wednesday and Malawi fail to get maximum points against South Sudan.
That would move Uganda top of Group B on 10 points, two more than the Burkinabe, with a game to go.
Malawi are third in the group on four points, while South Sudan, whose only victory is the 1-0 win over Uganda in Nairobi, are bottom on three.
Afcon 2021 qualifier
Wednesday, March 24
Uganda vs. Burkina Faso
Tuesday, March 29
Malawi vs. Uganda