During his first official press conference since being appointed, Uganda Cranes interim coach Moses Basena summoned 27 players for the two legged 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Egypt.
The former national team player who has worked under Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic as the immediate assistant made a couple of ‘surprise’ call ups.
There was no new face but the major talking point was the inclusion of crafty midfielder William Luwagga Kizito.
Now based in Romania with top flight side CSM Politehnica Iași Football Club, Luwagga had vowed never to return for national team duty with Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic still in charge.
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Luwagga was never summoned when Micho named the team that played two international friendlies against Ethiopia and Senegal.
Uganda Cranes winger William Luwagga Kizito (R) attempts to beat his man during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers match against Botwswan at Namboole
Upon the Serbian’s resignation to join South Africa side Orlando Pirates, FUFA appointed his assistants Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba to take over interim basis.
It could come as a shock, but when Basena named a provisional team of 27 players, Luwagga was on the team.
“I am a parent and like Jesus Christ, because am a Christian. When someone says I am sorry, why not forgive him. Anybody can wrong. When that person realizes the mistake and says sorry, there is no reason he is not excused,” Basena explained.
On a positive development, Luwagga has vowed to play for the team and quickly forget the past.
“I am looking forward, what happened then belongs to the past. I am ready to serve and work with the rest of my teammates,” Luwagga remarked on learning of the news of his recall.
Other players making a return after sometime out are Dennis Iguma, Isaac Isinde and Geoffrey “Baba” Kizito.
A bulk of the team that featured in the recent matches against Ethiopia, Senegal (friendlies) and Cape Verde in the 2019 CAF group L qualifier away to Praia have been maintained.
Uganda Cranes team summoned for Egypt clash
Goalkeepers: Dennis Onyango (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Robert Odongkara (St George, Ethiopia), Ismail Watenga (Vipers), Benjamin Ochan (KCCA)
Defenders: Nico Wakiro Wadada (Vipers), Isaac Muleme (KCCA), Timothy Dennis Awany (KCCA), Murushid Juuko (Simba, Tanzania), Bernard Muwanga (SC Villa Jogoo), Geofrey ‘Jajja Walu’ Walusimbi (Gor Mahia, Kenya), Dennis Iguma (Al Ahed, Lebanon), Paul Musamali (KCCA), Isaac Isinde (Buildcon, Zambia)
Midfielders: William Luwagga Kizito (CSM Politehnica Iași, Romania), Aucho Khalid (Unattached), Geofrey ‘Baba’ Kizito (Than Quảng Ninh, Vietnam), Ivan ‘Kojja’ Ntege (Township Rollers, Botswana), Muzamiru Mutyaba (KCCA), Moses Waiswa (Vipers), Shafiq Kagimu (URA), Wasswa Hassan Mawanda (Njimeh Lebanon), Joseph Ochaya (Lusaka Dynamos, Zambia)
Strikers: Derrick Nsibambi (KCCA), Geofrey Sserunkuma (Buildcon, Zambia), Emmanuel Okwi (Simba, Tanzania), Milton Karisa (Vipers), Faruku Miya (Standard Liege, Belgium)
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project and a freelance consultant passionate about tech, programming, games and entertainment.