By Fred Kaweesi
2015 Africa Nations qualifier
Mauritania v Uganda
Cranes will negotiate their second leg Nations Cup preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on Sunday without lead striker Geoffrey Massa and most likely first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango.
The Ugandan striker failed to secure release from his South African club Pretoria University.
“The club has refused to release me. They insist I need to stay around ahead of the opening game of the season,” Massa told New Vision on Thursday.
Massa’s Pretoria-based club kick-start their South Africa Premier League against Polokwane in a weeks’ time and the Amatuks are hesitant to release one of their prized assets.
Massa scored the first goal as Cranes beat Mauritania 2-0 in the first leg at Namboole Stadium.
In a related development, reports also indicate that Mamelodi Sundowns have chosen to retain goalkeeper Onyango.
Sundowns are preparing for the MTN Super 8.
The Africa Cup second and third round qualifying dates fall outside the FIFA calendar so neither local nor foreign clubs have to release players.
“They are worried that I could get injured while on duty away in Mauritania and yet the club is desperate to have a winning start to the new season. I have done everything to convince them (the club) but that has been turned down,” he added.
Cranes will now have to look to the services of Brian Umony considering that Emmanuel Okwi also withdrew due to injury.
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Massa out of Cranes fixture against Mauritania