By Fred Kaweesi
Africa Nations Championships
Uganda v Burkina Faso
Uganda v Zimbabwe
Uganda v Morocco
CRANES are determined to leave a mark at the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) that rolls off tomorrow.
And why not? There are more than enough ingredients for that.
Apart from the motivation that comes with the opportunity of being watched by a global audience, Micho Sredojevic’s charges have also been accorded the perfect ambience to perform in Cape Town.
To start with, the Cranes have been impressed with the facilities at their luxurious Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard Hotel.
The hotel based in the Western Cape of South Africa, offers a central location for business and leisure travellers alike. The rooms at the hotel also provide the players with views over the beautiful Table Bay and Devil’s Peak as well as the historic Robben Island.
“It’s a nice hotel and the players are really fine with everything. We will have a warm up session to counter the jet lag at Langa Stadium which is 15 to 20 minutes from the hotel,” FUFA Vice President (technical) Mujib Kasule told New Vision yesterday.
The Hotel provides several services that will make Cranes stay as comfortable as possible. It is truly African with continental dishes that will suit the Ugandan team.
Cranes’ group matches will be played at the Athlone Stadium which is situated a few kilometres away.
The 34,000-capacity Stadium was upgraded in the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the intention of using it as a training venue.
Upgrades were done on its new West, North and South grandstands, additional parking areas, VIP suites, better player facilities (including four change rooms) and floodlights.
Just like the players, Cranes fans planning to accompany the team to South Africa will discover that Cape Town is a city that beams with creativity, colour, sounds and tastes. The so-called ‘Mother City’ is South Africa’s most visited by tourists and is regarded by many as the most beautiful.
It is a vibrant, multicultural city on the Atlantic Ocean, one of three coastal venues. It is backed by Table Mountain — a place Cranes fans will find worth visiting along with the notorious Robben Island prison, where Nelson Mandela spent more than 18 years.
CHAN worth the fight
As Cranes prepared for their first training session yesterday at Langa Stadium, Micho and his 23 charges also discovered that there will be more reason to impress in the championship designed for home-based players.
World governing body FIFA revealed yesterday that unlike the CHAN tournaments in 2009 and 2011, the event in South Africa will receive full ‘A’ game status.
This consequently means that all Cranes players will officially earn caps for every game played and Uganda stands to earn ranking points for all results gathered in the championship.
For example, if Cranes beat Burkina Faso and Morocco, two of the high-ranking teams in their Group B, Uganda will potentially rise up the FIFA ranking list.
Goalkeepers: Ochan Benjamin (SCVU), Watenga Ismail (Vipers), and Kimera Ali (SCVU)
Defenders: Kiseka Ronnie(KCCA), Iguma Denis (SCVU), Martin Mpuga (SCVU), Kasaga Richard (Kira Young), Muleme Isaac (SCVU), Kabugo Savio (SCVU), Wadada Nicholas (Vipers) and Ntambi Julius (Kira Young)
Midfielders: Kyeyune Said (URA), Kyambade Allan (Express), Kayizi Vincent (Vipers), Mugerwa Yasser (SCVU), Brian Majwega (KCCA), Ivan Ntege (KCCA), Mpande Joseph (Vipers) and Hassan Waswa (KCCA).
Forwards: Asiku Crespo (BUL), Olaki Francis (Soana), Okwi Simon (SCVU), Sentamu Yunus (Vipers)