Yesterday, social media was awash with news that the Uganda Cranes had abandoned training and had staged a strike demanding for payment of their allowances/bonuses before they could play another Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) match.
By the end of the day, hashtags were created on Twitter asking both government and Federation of Ugandan Football Association (FUFA) to pay the players.
The federation finally accepted to pay the players their extra $6,000 which brought calm to the camp that is in Cairo waiting to face the Teranga Lions of Senegal.
The players did resume training yesterday evening after they had missed two training sessions because of the sit-down strike that they were having. In today’s press conference, captain of the Cranes team Denis Onyango said that what happened yesterday is in the past and now the focus is on the game that is tomorrow against Senegal.
For Uganda Cranes, getting out of the group was always the target and now that they are in the round of the last 16, to pick up a win against one of the powerhouses of African football Senegal, would be a massive achievement.
Coach Sebastian Desabre stated that after the family issues of money being paid to the players, he has seen better teamwork and unity from the boys as compared to all the times he has been with this group of players.
Onyango also encouraged his teammates to be more efficient in front of goal when they take on the Teranga Lions tomorrow at 2200hrs in Egypt tomorrow. The captain says that his team will need to replicate their performances against Ivory Coast and D.R Congo if they are to progress to the next level because they are no longer playing in group stages.
Desabre also stated that his team will have to adapt to the changes if they are to pick the all-important win tomorrow “On the African level, there is a need to adapt and overcome it. We have come back very strong”
Skipper, Denis Onyango who was stretched out of the pitch during the game against Egypt says that he is more than fit to face Senegal saying that he had been battling with flu but is now well.
Senegalese coach Cisse says that they have much respect for the Uganda Cranes and that they are set up well defensively. They will have to also be cautious of the Cranes going forward.
Senegal with many experienced players and those that play at the top level like Sadio Mane, N’diang among many others will hope that they can knock out the East African giants.
The Cranes will be hoping that Patrick Kaddu, Emmanuel Okwi and Farouk Miya can get the job done while in front of goal.
One of Africa’s finest Samuel Eto’o was all but praises for the Ugandan side saying that they have been the most improved side in the tournament and that they play very good attacking football.
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Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!