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Ex-Cranes skipper Mwesigwa hangs up his boots

Andrew Mwesigwa (3rd left) announcing his retirement from football at his school in Kakiri. He was flanked by his mother (2nd right), his wife (right) and children. Photo by Shaban Lubega.

FOOTBALL–Former SC Villa and Uganda Cranes captain Andrew Mwesigwa has finally announced his retirement from active football.

The news comes after almost two years since Mwesigwa last featured for the national team in an Afcon qualifier against Guinea in Marrakech, Morroco.

“I here by announce my retirement from football today,” the ex-Cranes international said at a press briefing in Kakiri where he has built a soccer academy.

“It has been a wonderful and memorable journey. It has not been easy but by the grace of God, i have managed to reach the level which every young footballer would want to achieve,” Mwesigwa said.

“For the years i have been playing, especially on the professional level, i have tried to be the best ambassador i can be for Ugandan football and i hope i have done exactly that. At this moment i would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has help me in my journey from fellow players, coaches, parents, former FUFA president Lawrence Mulindwa, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the media,” he added.

Andrew Mwesigwa started out in Mbale Heroes in 2001 before joining SC Villa in 2003 with who he won the league, Cup and the CECAFA club championship.

He departed for professional football in 2006 and signed a four year deal with IBV FC of Iceland with who he got a test of the Europa league in 2008.

In 2010, Mwesigwa joined CHONGQUIN Lifan in the Chinese super league thus becoming the first East African footballer to join the top flight of Chinese football.

After one year in China, he then joined Kazakhstan heavyweights FC Odebasy with who he played for four season till 2015.

Mwesigwa made his Cranes debut in 2003 and managed to earn 78 caps, scoring eight goals in the process.

Asked what he would be doing after announcing his retirement, this is what he had to say.

“Definitely i will be studying coaching but i will not become a coach. We have so many people studying coaching but there is no job. I am also going to concentrate on my school that i have built to help boost young girls and boys in both education and sports,” he said.

He is widely regarded as one I Uganda’s most celebrated professional footballers despite the fact that he was dropped from the national team unwillingly.

Andrew Mwesigwa was a subject of furry by the Ugandan fans after he was sent off in the 2-0 loss to Guinea in 2004 with many claiming that he was bribed to ensure that the Cranes lost.

The claims of him having been bribed have never been proven right and he has constantly come out to rubbish the claims.

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