By James Bakama
UGANDA could have its best World Cup chance when qualifiers to football’s biggest competition resume later this month.
All the Cranes have to do, is to remain in contention until their final group match against Senegal in September.
The resultant winner-take-all contest could provide equal chances for both sides as it will be on a neutral ground in Conakry, Guinea.
An away match against a heavyweight like Senegal would ordinarily send a cold chill down most Ugandans’ spines. But playing away from the hostile Dakar crowd will be a big boost to the Cranes.
A year-long ban was slapped on the West African state after violence in the Senegalese capital during a 2012 Nations Cup qualifier against Ivory Coast.
If history is anything to go by, then Guinea should also inspire confidence. The last time featured in that region, it wound up with an away win over neighbouring Guinea Bissau.
The Group J race already looks like a battle between Senegal and Uganda with the former topping the pool with four points. Uganda began its campaign by drawing with Senegal at Namboole before a priceless away draw with Angola.
All the Cranes need now are back-to-back victories over Liberia then a win over a familiar Angola in Uganda and they will be on course to topping their group.
The top teams from the ten groups will thereafter be involved in play-out to determine the five teams that will represent Africa in Brazil. Uganda has never qualified for a World Cup. It last made it to the Africa Cup of Nations in 1978.
Meanwhile as the Cranes prepare for battle against Liberia in Monrovia, equally busy will beUgandan referees.
CAF has appointed the Ugandan trio of Ali Kalyango, Musa Balikoowa and Hussein Bugembe for this weekend’s Champions League match in Addis Ababa between St George and Malian side Djoliba.
Another Ugandan Brian Nsubuga will be the fourth official in Addis Ababa.
World football body FIFA has also appointed the Kalyango, Balikoowa and Bugembe team to handle the South Africa versus Central Africa match on March 23. Dennis Batte will be standby referee.
Batte will on April 6 then travel to Burundi for the CAF Confederations Cup match between hosts Ludic Sportive FC and DR. Congo’s Motema Pembe.
Batte will handle the match with fellow Ugandans Mark Ssonko, Khalifan Kanakulya and Ronnie Kalema .
Elsewhere, former FUFA secretary Haruna Mawanda is recovering from a serious accident he was involved in last month. He is now out of intensive care at International Hospital Kampala.