What you need to know:
- The issue: Cranes coach
- Our view: Coaching jobs do not run with the basic meritocracy seen in other convocations. It is often about a shared vision and fitting into any federation’s demands and aspirations. Then, there is the point of affordability. All these call for due diligence and handling the process in a delicate manner.
Former Uganda Cranes coach Milutin Sredojevic has been the most unpopular person inside Uganda’s borders over the past few years.
The national team’s failure to qualify for a second successive Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) set to take place in Ivory Coast left him clutching on straws.
Micho, as he is known, and his employers, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) became a source of ridicule for the wider public. Beyond the results, the quality of football that was being played on the pitch offered no entertainment value or hope.
The Fufa president, Mr Moses Magogo, found himself needing to go the extra mile to explain that the team was undergoing a transition.
This came after the retirement of many players who took Uganda Cranes to the 2017 and 2019 editions of the Afcon. Granted, a lot of the playing staff has changed. The bigger question football administrators could not answer is whether Micho was the right man for that job.
Since arriving in Africa in 2001, the Serbian has cut his teeth through his ability to polish and shine articles that are close to becoming finished products. That was the case with the team he took to the 2017 Afcon in Gabon which ended a 39-year absence from the continent’s premier football competition.
The Denis Onyango-led generation had been on the brink of qualifying for so long. Eventually, when they qualified, it was a case of when and not if. And this is not to take any credit away from Micho after all what matters is how you finish not the way you start.
Now that he is gone, Fufa, in charge of a team devoid of confidence and success, has its work cut out to retrace that path.
Ugandan football has so many impurities stretching into the talent identification and player development pathway plus the eternal cancers of lack of sports infrastructure and limited funding.
These will not be solved fast. However, the one that Fufa can solve quickly is appointing a national team coach who inspires confidence. Upon the mutual separation with Micho, they put out a notice asking candidates to apply for the job within the September 16 to 22 window.
This window is too small. It’s important that before sending out the notice, Fufa must have had an idea of the coach they want to take Uganda forward.
Coaching jobs do not run with the basic meritocracy seen in other convocations. It is often about a shared vision and fitting into any federation’s demands and aspirations.
Then, there is the point of affordability. All these call for due diligence and handling the process in a delicate manner.