By Fred Kaweesi
2014 World Cup qualifier
Senegal v Uganda
GEOFFREY Massa has expressed disappointment with Cranes head coach Micho Sredojevich’s decision to ignore him for next weekend’s make-or-break World Cup qualifier against Senegal.
The Cranes striker was expected to lead Uganda’s goal hunt against the Lions of Teranga in Marrakesh, Morocco alongside attacking partner Emmanuel Okwi.
However, that will not be as Micho chose to dump the forward, who is still finalising a transfer from Northern Cyprus outfit Yenicami to South African side University of Pretoria, on ‘disciplinary’ grounds.
Early this week, the Serbian tactician told the media that he would not consider Massa, who he was ‘reportedly’ told, had returned to the country earlier but had chosen to enjoy a holiday rather than regroup with the team.
“If that is the reason Micho presented then I feel let-down and disappointed in him. I do not mind being left out of the team but I prefer that the reasons sent out are done with honesty,” Massa told New Vision Sport.
“Micho phoned my coach (Steve Baker) and he told him I was still in the process of clearing my transfer to the club and will not be ready for the Botswana game but will be available for the Senegal game.
“I personally also talked to the manager (Chris Muyinda), so it hurts to see a different message sent out for my absence,” he stated.
“I returned to Uganda on August 27 for my birth certificate and police documents to allow me secure a work permit and flew out the next day (August 28). What was I supposed to do? Why would I refuse to play Botswana, who are next door (South Africa) and yet manage to travel to El Gouna to play Egypt?
“I have made sacrifices for the team over the years including playing with pain killing injections and this is what you get. People should not create stories for selfish reasons,” said Massa, who believes that a return to the South Africa Premier League will prepare him for a potential move back to Europe.
In Marrakech, Cranes will miss the services of a striker who was a revelation for Yenicami in the previous season.
In 24 league appearances for the Cyprus-based side, Massa hit the back of the net 29 times, a superb return from a player, who had struggled to register half that number in the Egyptian league with El Masry and later Etisalat in the lower tier a couple of seasons earlier.
Against Senegal, the Cranes clearly struggled under the physical might of the West Africans until Massa came off the bench, troubled the back-four and from one of several darting runs, won Cranes a penalty that Godfrey Walusimbi struck home on 87 minutes to inspire Uganda to a 1-1 draw.