(Yunus Sentamu made his name at the at CHAN championships : courtesy photo)
By: Danito Nsubuga
The Championship of African Nations is a biennial competition organised by CAF played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.
The 5th edition will be hosted by Kenya between the 11th of January and the 2nd February of 2018. The 1st edition was hosted by Ivory Coast in 2009 and won by Congo DRC who are also the most successful nation in this competition with 2 trophies. Uganda has taken part in 3 of the previous editions 2011 in Sudan, 2014 in South Africa and 2016 in Rwanda and they have never gone past the group stages but there is a significant improvement every time they take part.
(Bernard Muwanga was also part of the cranes contingent in Rwanda edition: courtesy photo)
Kenya’s hosting of the tournament is however in jeopardy since the KFF have failed to quash rumours of a possible pullout. If this is confirmed, it will not be the 1st time Kenya fails to host a major tournament, they have previously bid successfully for a major African tournament, only to pull out at the last minute as was the case with 1986 and 1996 editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Up to this day, out of the five stadiums meant to host the tournament (Meru’s Kinoru Stadium, Eldoret’s Kipchoge Keino Stadium, Nyayo National Stadium, Kasarani Stadium and Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos), only Kasarani and Nyayo can meet the minimum security and logistical specifications recommended by CAF
But Uganda’s Coach Micho Sredejovic has disregarded such fears and he has decided to begin preparations for the qualification process where Uganda will have to play a home and away tie against South Sudan next month in the first leg that will be played in Juba and the return leg in Kampala two weeks after.
“After winning away to Cape Verde in the Afcon qualifier, I want to start preparing the team ready for CHAN. We should have a team named by the end of this week and training starts next week,”
The Serbian tactician added that,
“We are not going to take these matches for granted because we are facing South Sudan, but make sure we start preparing early. It is unfortunate that the League and Uganda Cup ended and some players are not very fit now”.
If Uganda manages to get past South Sudan as expected, they will then face the winner between Tanzania and Rwanda in the last phase of the qualifiers.
© SWIFT SPORTS