28 December 2017

Uganda: French Coach Desabre Steps Down in Ismaily, Set for Cranes Job

Photo: The Independent
Sebastien Desabre being welcomed to Ismaily earlier this year.

Kampala — Frenchman Sebastien Desabre has resigned as coach of Egyptian Premier League side Ismaily, an indication that he will be unveiled as Uganda Cranes new head coach in Kampala on Thursday. Desabre is just 41 years old.

Soccer governing body FUFA on Wednesday announced they will today name a substantive coach from their shortlist of Desabre, Jonathan McKinstry from North Ireland, Belgian Emilio Ferrera and Uganda's Moses Basena. Basena been caretaker coach since Milutin Sredojevic 'Micho' quit in July.

Hours after FUFA revealed they had got their man, Egyptian site AhramOnline reported that Desabre had stepped down as coach of his current club Ismaily.

Ismaily Board of Directors, headed by Eng. Ibrahim Osman, issued a statement Wednesday night that they have failed in their attempts to coax Desabre into staying, a few hours after the team hammered Ragaa 5-0 to go seven points clear on top of the table after 16 games.

"The coach has informed the board of directors after the Ragaa match of his desire to end his contract with the club, saying he had an offer from Uganda that he can't turn it down," Ismaily said in a statement.

"The board of directors convened ... and tried to convince him to change his mind but he insisted (to leave).

"The board would like to assure the club's fans that it will find a solution to this without affecting the team at this stage."

The board of directors said they are confident of the capabilities of players and their potential to preserve the name of the club. "We also assure the fans that a competent coach will be hired to complete the march."

According to AhramOnline , Desabre has moulded Ismaily into a solid and compact team since his arrival in July, with the club making an impressive start to the season as they chase a fourth league title and their first since 2002.

Desabre has previously been at Recreativo do Libolo in Angola, Esperance in Tunisia, Asec in Ivory Coast and Wydad in Morocco, which he left in January 2017.

Selection process

When Desabre is confirmed at 2pm, he will have edged out three others, two of who already had national team experience. It will be his first national team assignment.

Basena has been in charge of the Cranes in CHAN and World Cup qualifiers, including a stunning 1-0 win over Egypt, while McKinstry was in charge of Rwanda until last year.

This final short list of coaches was sieved by a five-man technical team headed by former Zambia FA boss Kalusha Bwalya.

The panel also had Edgar Watson (FUFA Chief Executive Officer), Asuman Lubowa (FUFA Technical Director), Stone Kyambadde (Technical Committee chairperson) and Dr. Bernard Patrick Ogwel (National Council of Sports)

FUFA and the Government have discussed remuneration of the new coach, and details are expected at today's press conference.

Meanwhile, FUFA has applauded Basena for his efforts during the period he has served as Interim coach of Uganda Cranes. Desabre is reported to be on a flight to Kampala for the FUFA presser.

He has now been selected by FUFA for a Special Coaching Development Programme in the United States of America next year. He is the first to benefit from this programme.

In a statement, FUFA said it appreciates Basena's achievements with Development and results registered during the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup, qualifiers for the CHAN and 2018 FIFA World cup Russia.

"FUFA Introduced the Long Term coaching programme as a way towards developing coaches for further educational progammes with an aim of improving the technical expertise of our coaches actively involved in the League," the statement said.

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