By Pius Magala
FOOTBALL. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Saturday consented to Uganda’s request to have their Group L 2019 Afcon clash against Cape Verde postponed from Saturday to Sunday.
While Cape Verde remain notorious hosts as Kenya Zambia and Cameroon among others found out Uganda’s preparation for the encounter has also come under scrutiny.
Hours after the postponement, Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) president Moses Magogo, who was recently appointed to various committees by Caf, in a communication posted on the federation website, appeared to blame the hosts for his team’s late arrival.
“Going to Cape Verde continues to be a challenge to teams from Africa mainland. It is not once or twice that teams arrive hours before kick off. Normally teams charter flights to be able to get here,” Magogo said.
The Fufa supremo, who is weathering a storm back home over allegations of fraudulent World Cup ticket sales, said the only flights that connect Africa mainland and Cape Verde is the airline of Cape Verde that comes three times to Dakar a week.
“We planned and booked early for 31pax on this flight to arrive on June 8, two days before match. We were only told on June 7 that only eight persons could travel with a list chosen by the airline that we could not change. And the rest to arrive 6am on June 10 (match day). We did not have options, so we obliged.
Dakar to Cape Verde is a 45-minute flight . Magogo said that when the first batch travelled, the flight was half empty.
“We later almost failed to get a place for one player Milton Karisa, who was a late inclusion by the coach from the friendlies performance despite needing to just replace a name of a dropped player. We paid three times the cost and still we travelled the flight was half empty,” he said.
The Fufa boss said there was an official communication in writing from the airline that there is a technical fault with the aircraft. Meanwhile, word at Dakar airport was that you guys have to only arrive at match time. It looked like a usual plan by the hosts.”
An earlier statement by Fufa chief executive Edgar Watson, however, appeared to indicate that the federation had already set their plans on arriving on Match Day despite playing their warm up game against Senegal early on Tuesday morning.
“A delegation of 30 people will arrive on Saturday, June 10, at 12:20am aboard TACV-Cabo Verde Airline – VR8001 and will depart on Sunday, June 11 at 4pm,” reads the statement from Watson.
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