A win will have Uganda advancing as the best runners up having last featured at AFCON in 1978
Africa Cup of Nations silver medallist Tom Lwanga has cautioned FUFA against national team disruptions ahead of Sunday’s match.
Lwanga is particularly against visits to the Cranes’ camp by politicians.
“The team should be allowed to concentrate,” stressed Lwanga citing previous campaigns where Cranes camps have been frequented by politicians.
“They come with all sorts of promises that end up messing up the boys. Whatever promises have previously been made, qualification has remained a far cry.”
Lwanga notes that rather than psyche up the team, these visits have instead ended up piling pressure on the players and that has always ended in disaster.
Lwanga states that the best Ugandans can do, is go and support the team to victory on Sunday. “If there are any offers or promises to be made they can come after we have qualified.”
Cranes play minnows Comoros in a match they must win to qualify for the final tournament of Africa’s biggest football competition.
A win will have Uganda advancing as the best runners up. Uganda last featured at this stage in 1978. Lwanga, currently a CAF instructor, was part of that team.
The Cranes, who had earlier also been at the 1974 and 76 tournaments, that time put up their best ever performance with a second place.
Coached by Peter Okee, the Cranes lost to hosts Ghana 2-0 in the final.
Lwanga holds the current team in high esteem but notes that unlike in their days, there are team selection challenges today.
“In our days it was easy to name a first eleven. That is not the case today because you have very many players that are almost at the same level.”
He says he pities coach Milutin Sredojevich. “There are one or two players who stand out. Choosing the rest is a huge challenge because you have a huge pool of players that are at the same level.”
That the bulk of the players ply their trade abroad has not helped Sredojevich just like the fact that league competition in many countries has just began.
“Gauging form can therefore be a problem. But all that aside, we are a much better team than Comoros, so we should easily win and qualify.”
To get a perspective of the kind of situation they are in, Lwanga has urged the players to be a little inquisitive.
“They could do with some reading to find out who exactly Comoros are. After getting a feel of this island nation, next should be the question how they can fail to win on Sunday when they have previously beaten teams like Ghana.”
Uganda, which has 10 points just like table leaders Burkina Faso, beat Comoros 1-0 in Moroni.