By James Bakama and Shafik Ssenoga
Madagascar v Uganda
Mauritania v E. Guinea
May 30 – June 1
Uganda v Madagascar
E. Guinea v Mauritania
Cranes coach Micho Sredojev - ich has called for the backing of all stakeholders in Uganda’s quest for a slot in the group qualifiers of the final tournament of the Morocco 2015 Nations Cup.
A CAF draw at the soccer body’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt yesterday placed Uganda against Madagascar in preliminaries.
Should Uganda triumph over the Indian Ocean Island next month, then it will face the winner between Mauritania versus Equatorial Guinea to determine who joins Ghana, Togo and Guinea in Group E.
“It is too early to start talking about the group. Let’s all first back the Cranes in the preliminaries. The good thing is that we shall play the first leg away,” said Micho after a mini football gala at Lugogo to launch Uganda’s 2015 AFCON campaign.
Micho said preparation and motivation will be key. He described Madagascar as a highly technical and unpredictable side with a flow - ing French style of play that should be taken very seriously.
“Equatorial Guinea and Mauritania should equally also not be underrated,” noted Micho who will be releasing his squad and preparation schedule at Wednesday’s press conference.
Team sponsors Airtel have in an effort to boost Uganda’s chances offered to transport fans to Antananarivo.
“We want Ugandans to enjoy their qualification wishes,” said Airtel head of Brand and Communication Alex Wekoye.
The two top teams in each group will qualify for Nations Cup directly, along with the third best placed team from the seven groups. Unlike in the past where qualifiers have run for a year, the 2015 qualifiers will be held in just three months (September, October and November). Uganda has narrowly missed the finals in the last two editions.
The Cranes needed a win over Kenya to qualify for the 2012 edition but settled for a goal-less draw at Namboole stadium.
In the following edition, Uganda lost out on a penalty shoot-out after the two-legged fixtures against the former African champions ended in a 1-1 draw. Uganda last qualified for the finals in 1978