Fufa finally terminates McKinstry's contract

Monday April 19 2021
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Sacked. McKinstry leaves Fufa House in Mengo recently. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

By Andrew Mwanguhya

Fufa has finally ended their relationship with hitherto Uganda Cranes coach Johnny McKinstry after 18 months at the helm of the national team.

In a statement posted on the Fufa website on Monday, the FA said the Northern Irishman had reached an agreement with them to end his stay.

"Fufa would like to thank coach McKinstry and his staff for the work and dedication to developing the Uganda Cranes during their tenure," reads in part, the statement.

The 35-year-old, who started his three-year contract in September 2019, departs Uganda having won two in every three games played, recording a 67% win rate from the 18 games he has overseen.

McKinstry won 12 of those, drawing three and losing three.  

In his short stay, one year of which was lost to the Covid pandemic, McKinstry also guided Uganda to the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup the same year he joined.

He won it by winning all games, only the second time in Ugandan history that was happening.

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"We would like to thank Coach McKinstry for the professionalism demonstrated during his employment with Fufa, and we wish him well in all his future endeavours."

McKinstry's fortunes started going south after losing to South Sudan in Nairobi, a game that ultimately changed Uganda's 2021 Afcon qualifying trajectory.

But he stayed on to manage the Chan team in Cameroon, failing to go past the group phase.

Strangely, ahead of the Afcon home qualifier against Burkina Faso, Fufa announced they had asked McKinstry to step aside and tasked his then assistant Abdallah Mubiru to oversee it and the final match away to Malawi.

After Mubiru and his assistants; Livingston Mbabazi and Fred Kajoba managed only one point from the above two games, the Cranes failed to qualify for next year's Afcon finals in Cameroon.

Days later, McKinstry announced on social media he had resumed his duties and was following up on players back at their clubs ahead of the June World Cup qualifiers.

Fufa kept silent all this time, until Monday when they announced the two parties had parted ways.

The FA's statement did not pronounce itself on the next coach and whether they are searching for one.

When being announced ahead of the two final Afcon qualifying games over a month ago, Mubiru was to oversee the said matches in an interim capacity.

amwanguhya@ug.nationmedia.com

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