Kampala — Bad weather might have forced their Ethiopian Airlines flight to first land in Doha, Qatar rather than Dubai on Friday-into-Saturday but the Cranes had little complaints as they partied away into the New Year VIP style.
"Spectacular sending off 2016 to history books & memories while welcoming NEW YEAR 2017 with deepest prayers & best wishes," tweeted coach Micho Sredojevic in a group photo that had him and his team welcoming the New Year from the Dubai VIP Lounge.
These celebrations should have been in Tunis, where Uganda play the hosts in their first of three friendly matches ahead of this month's Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
But the journey to Tunisia was forced to delay by a day in Dubai. The Cranes had left Entebbe Airport on Friday night aboard Ethiopian Airlines with the view of connecting to Tunisia via Dubai on Saturday morning.
However, bad weather in Dubai forced the flight crew to direct the plane to Doha, Qatar where the team spent the night, as a safety measure.
Local aviation authorities in Doha finally cleared the flight crew to fly to Dubai after a few hours of negotiations.
This abrupt change of schedule of course came with its costs, with several connections including the one that would have taken the Ugandan team on time to Tunis being affected.
This is how Micho and his troops found themselves celebrating the New Year at the Emirates Business Lounge in Dubai before flying out yesterday morning to Tunis.
"It has been a challenge due to reasons beyond our control that resulted into this delay (but) the team is relaxed," leader of delegation Hamid Juma told the Fufa website.
The Cranes play friendly matches against Tunisia on Wednesday before flying back to UAE to face Slovakia and Ivory Coast.
Thereafter Micho and his men will connect to Gabon for the Nations Cup finals, a tournament Uganda will be gracing only for the first time since 1978.
Micho's charges open against Ghana on January 17 before facing Egypt and Mali in the remaining Group D matches.
Uganda's build up games
- January 4: Tunisia vs Uganda
- January 8: Slovakia vs Uganda
- January 11: I. Coast vs Uganda
- Afcon group matches
- January 17: Uganda vs Mali
- January 21: Uganda vs Egypt
- January 25: Uganda vs Mali