Fufa President Moses Magogo has said that only KCCA FC manager Mike Mutebi had the pedigree to be Uganda Cranes coach at the moment. Magogo, who recently won a Member of Parliament seat for Budiope East said this while speaking on the Record FM Sunday sports show.
As such, this put paid to the recent suggestions, that current Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry be fired, following the team’s abysmal display at the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in Cameroon.
Magogo said that Uganda does not boast of so many high level coaches, that fit the billing to handle the national team. And only Mutebi has the charisma and experience for the role. “You see, I heard people complaining about the Cranes performance at Chan. And some people are suggesting that we should sack the coach, and instead hire a local coach,” Magogo said.
But the Fufa boss added that he does not think matters should be handled in such haste, because the team did not do well. Magogo emphasized, that they are waiting for the technical report from the coach, which the executive will evaluate. Yet, he still emphasized that the situation did not mean McKinstry would be fired as some people are pushing for.
“I do not know what will happen in the near future. We just have to wait and see, after due process is done,” Magogo said. That said, Magogo stressed that not hiring a local coach did not imply that the coaches in the league were bad. But the point is that they still need to learn more and improve themselves, in order to reach a level, where they can become Cranes coaches.
Regarding Mutebi, Magogo said that over time, the KCCA manager had improved his wit and proved himself by leading young and local players on the continent, and making them quite competitive. Magogo does not think it was just by chance, that KCCA were able to match the likes Al-Ahly, Club Africain or Mamelodi Sundowns, as has been the case on the continent.
Mutebi, who once coached the Cranes back in 2004, was the first Ugandan tactician, to lead a club to the group stages of Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup in 2017 and 2016 respectively. But despite that, Magogo feels that Mutebi needs to remain with KCCA to foster the development of young players, which aids in the improvement of the Cranes and Ugandan football at large.
In another wave to defend McKinstry, Magogo laid blame Cranes poor display at the Chan on the poor Uganda Premier League. Magogo said that without proper infrastructure, money and adequate technical support, it was always going to be difficult for Uganda to produce quality players.
Magogo said: “The UPL is ranked number 18 in Africa. But remember that the Chan takes 16 teams. That implies that we probably were only able to make it to the tournament, because of the qualification system, which is favourable. But not because we are a bunch of good players.”
In light of that, Magogo feels a lot of effort is needed to raise the standard of the UPL, because it is the only way the Cranes can become competitive. Perhaps, for the Chan to have the best leagues represented, say Egypt, Ghana, Tunisia and Nigeria among others, the qualification process should follow a seeding process.
Through that, Uganda will face stiff competition in qualifying, which would help the Cranes improve too, so that it does not disgrace itself while there next time. Otherwise, the opposition of Djibouti, Somalia, South Sudan and the likes is rather deceptive, and gives a totally wrong impression of what exactly Uganda is as a team.