Micho misfiring his steps to the gallows

Micho is on his last card. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

In between, Ugandans had tasted Frenchman Sebastien Desabre's crisp passing, enterprising and attacking brand of football dulled by his Northern Irish successor Jonathan McKinstry vague tactics that Fufa boss Moses Magogo was honest to term as 'shitty football'.

Most accomplished love experts worldover preach against returning to your ex lover. 

They argue rightly; you got together, gave it a try and it failed.You may still have feelings for this person, but it doesnt change the fact that you're not as compatible as you first imagined.

Now this is the exact conundrum Fufa and Uganda Cranes embattled coach Micho Sredojevic are entangled in.

Whilst signing off in the first  four-year spell as Uganda Cranes boss on July 29, 2017, a candid Micho told a fully packed news briefing at Kabira Club-Bukoto that dealing with Fufa wasn't for the fainthearted.

"It is not easy to be the coach of Uganda. My agent and I had seven days of talks with Fufa but all yielded nothing. I have not been allowed to take Uganda to the World Cup. They succeeded in removing me," he said before making a sign of the cross at the end of the presser.

Whereas the public emphasized with the journeyman Serb that had broken the 39-year-old Afcon qualification jinx and awed the federation $64,000 (Shs230m then) in salary arrears, few cared to weigh his performance impact on the Cranes.  

Fufa were reserved and caegy on his departure as they were on his less heralded return in July 2021.

That too spoke volumes to those that understand the demeanor of the two parties, and up to date leaves many tongues wagging.  Put succinctly, for Micho and Fufa, anything can happen, any time.

In between, Ugandans had tasted Frenchman Sebastien Desabre's crisp passing, enterprising and attacking brand of football dulled by his Northern Irish successor Jonathan McKinstry vague tactics that Fufa boss Moses Magogo was honest to term as 'shitty football'.

Micho was toying a delicate path that required maintaining and upgrading Desabre's plausible deeds, erasing the McKinstry page from the Cranes folklore whilst paying no particular attention to his earlier illustrious days at SC Villa and the national team.

Like love experts also recommend that  if you let your ex go once, let him or her go forever. Fufa learned that firsthand from the Algerian miserable Chan outing in January when Micho's team failed to capitalise on the Senegal surprise victory to get out of the group stage for the first time in six attempts.

If anything, Micho's Cranes had retrogressed beyond McKinstry's 'Shitty football'  and efforts by the federation to ask for patience as the gun-shy Serb steadied the ship fell on deaf ears. The coach's inept tactics had been laid bare.

Fans trust out of the window

Coincidentally, Micho was 'lucky' to return during the Covid19 pandemic when matches were held being closed doors and now played away from home. This was supposed to accord him ample room to rebuild a decent side that will have fans yearning to support when everything normalises. 

Social media and the football circles are currently awash with a worrying trend of fans' ire; from the downtrodden to those in the upper echelons, all perturbed by the Cranes hazy football philosophy, crazy summons and omissions, lack of zeal and purpose.

Micho promised heaven and earth at his first conference upon return, pledging to carry Cranes out of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying group that had Uganda, Mali, Rwanda and Kenya which didn't come to fruition.

Under his watch, scoring goals remained an endemic problem for Cranes, he suffocated creative players and is now lost between reverting to the old guard or rebuilding for the future.

Fufa's audacious dream to make the 2026 expanded World Cup in North America seems a distant pipe dream yet the distrust from local coaches and players is also gaining crescendo. 

Insiders at Fufa Complex intimated that Micho has run out of luck and should he defeat Tanzania on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam, a scenario to send him on suspension like his predecessor McKinstry and install an interim coach, is in the offing.  

That is the novel informal trick that the federation employs, to allow them ample time to discuss a win-win compensation package for a coach's contract.

He loves to tell all and sundry his immense love for Uganda that welcomed him to Africa 22 years ago, and the federation love him back for being the perfect hatchet-man for their projects, yet the calls for the two to divorce for good are growing louder and reverberating from all corners. It is now or never for the two 'love-birds'. 

Uganda Cranes coaches since 1999

1999 –2001: Harrison Okagbue (Nigeria)

2001 – 2003: Paul Hasule (Uganda)

2003: Pedro Pasculli (Argentina)

2003 – 2004: Leo Adraa (Uganda)

2004: Mike Mutebi (Uganda)

2004 – 2006: Mohammed Abbas (Egypt)

2006 – 2008: Csaba László (Hungary)

2008–2013: Bobby Williamson (Scotland)

2013 – 2017: Milutin Sredojević (Serbia)

2017 (Interim): Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba (Uganda)

2017 – 2019: Sébastien Desabre (France)

2019 (Interim): Abdallah Mubiru (Uganda)

2019–2021: Johnathan McKinstry (Northern Ireland)

August 2021 – 2024: Milutin Sredojević (Serbia)

MIcho's 26 Uganda Cranes matches since return

29/08/21: Ethiopia 2 - 1 Uganda
02/09/21: Kenya 0 - 0 Uganda
06/09/21: Uganda 0 - 0 Mali
07/10/21: Rwanda 0 - 1 Uganda
10/10/21: Uganda 1 - 0 Rwanda
11/11/21: Uganda 1 - 1 Kenya
14/11/21: Mali 1 - 0 Uganda
09/12/21: Tanzania 0 - 2 Uganda
12/01/22: Iceland 1 - 1 Uganda
18/01/22: Moldova 2 - 3 Uganda
21/01/22: Iraq 1 - 0 Uganda
27/01/22: Bahrain 3 - 1 Uganda
25/03/22: Uganda 1 - 1 Tajikistan
29/03/22: Uzbekistan 4 - 2 Uganda
04/06/22: Algeria 2 - 0 Uganda
08/06/22: Uganda 1 - 1 Niger
21/08/22: Ethiopia 0 - 0 Uganda
28/08/22: Tanzania 0 - 1 Uganda
03/09/22: Uganda 3 - 0 Tanzania
21/09/22: Libya 0 - 0 Uganda
24/09/22: Tanzania 1 - 0 Uganda
03/01/23: Uganda 2 - 2 Sudan
14/01/23: DR Congo 0 - 0 Uganda
18/01/23: Senegal 0 - 1 Uganda
22/01/23: Uganda 1 - 3 Côte d'Ivoire
24/03/23: Uganda 0 - 1 Tanzania