KAMPALA – Uganda’s expedition to Cameroon 2021 ended in Blantyre on Monday, following a 0-1 loss at the hands of hosts –Malawi at the Kamuzu Banda Stadium.
The Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon 2021 group B decisive game, saw the hosting FA of Malawi, orchestrating ugly and unsporting scenes – hours to kick –off, a situation which possibly distracted The Cranes’ team players – and within a quarter into the first Ugandans were trailing 0-1 after a Richard Mbulu striker – benefiting from lack of concentration in the defence.
Mbulu could have picked a second goal on the day, 23 minute into play but Dennis Onyango was faster in rescuing the situation.
Uganda’s moment came on 32 minute but Emma Okwi’s failed to take advantage of the situation.
The rest of the game produced nothing tangible to write home about, as Malawi sailed through, together with Burkina Faso, who had qualified days earlier, following a goalless draw against Uganda at St. Mary’s Stadium, Kitende.
Uganda, who needed a draw to book a slot into the delayed Afcon 2022 finals, lost vital points to South Sudan, away in Nairobi; then the 0-0 draw at Kitende and finally 0-1 in Blantyre on Monday. The Cranes played the last two qualifiers under the supervision of Abdallah Mubiru and team as coach after Fufa asked Johnathan McKinstry to step aside for at least one month. Mubiru was trying his luck in leading Uganda to qualify for the first – which should have the country ‘s third consecutive Afcon finals.
Whether or not the Malawian FA’s claims that some of the players on the Uganda team had tested positive for Covid-19 had any bearing on the performance of The Cranes on the evening – there was physical distraction from almost every official as their social media platforms carried separate and different versions of the situation.
The Malawians, armed with what appeared to be a forged Covid -19 test report from Queens Central Hospital, maintained that midfielder Taddeo Lwanga had tested positive and therefore ineligible to future in the game as per Confederation of African Football – Caf regulations. Lwanga started from the bench and his introduction, after recess had little impact.
Fufa officials in Malawi were quick to dispute the claim that had earlier listed team skipper, Dennis Onyango and Farooq Miya as the other players ineligible for the game because of testing ‘positive.’
The tests for The Cranes team had been carried out under the supervision of Caf Covid -19 Officer Dr Precious Kadzamira.
“We have already communicated to Caf – requesting for consideration of the results from the SADC Accredited Laboratory instead Queens Central Hospital,” Fufa Communications Director Ahmed Hussein, wrote on one of the platforms., Eng. Moses Magogo confirmed on another platform that Caf had declared that all Ugandan players were free of Covid-19.