By Norman Katende
UGANDA has substantially progressed in the FIFA World rankings without necessarily being engaged in competitive football. The rise is the result of the decline in position of several teams in the top 100, adds Fred Kaweesi.
and Swalley Kenyi
ZAMBIA has replaced Eritrea in the regional CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup due to start December 31 in Uganda.
Local organising committee secretary Moses Magogo yesterday said that Zambia, five times finalists at the same tournament, including winning the trophy in 1991 at Nakivubo before shifting to COSAFA, have accepted to come as a guest team.
â€œThat is the information we have got from the CECAFA secretariat. We do not know other details and we prefer to keep that until secretary general (Nicholas Musonye) comes in the country later this week,â€ said Magogo while addressing the press at the PostBank/FUFA weekly press conference at Mengo yesterday.
Eritrea pulled out due to administrative wrangles in the home federation. Zambia will play in Group B, which has its preliminary matches at Bugembe stadium.
Meanwhile the local organising committee has identified 11 grounds and six hotels to offer training and accommodation to the teams for the two-week event.
Wankulukuku, Luzira, Lugogo, Kyambogo, Makerere and Namboole for the teams to be based in Kampala, while Kakindu, Jinja SS, Jinja College, St. Jude and Dam Waters will provide grounds for the Jinja-based teams.
Ugandaâ€™s latest position, at 71 from 83rd,in the rankings released yesterday should be a surprise as all the countryâ€™s national sides have been dormant since the Cranes upstaged Benin 2-1 on October 12.
This monthâ€™s rankings are Ugandaâ€™s second best since 1995, when it occupied 66th place
The rankings also put Uganda in second place in the CECAFA behind Kenya, placed 68th.
Uganda also dwarfs renowned Africa football nations such as South Africa, Togo and DR Congo, who are placed 76th, 86th and 91st respectively. .
Tanzania are 99th on the rakings table.
Ugandaâ€™s progress could also favour Cranes midfielder David Obua, currently being linked with a move to the Premiership club Newcastle.
A player intending to join an England club should come from within FIFAâ€™s top 70 nations. Hearts had to rely on the appeals procedure to sign Obua.
Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear confirmed to the Newcastle Evening News: â€œYes we are monitoring David Obua but then we are also monitoring several players at the moment.â€