Uganda: Cranes Coach Remains Priority Despite World Cup Qualifiers Delay

(File photo).

Recruitment of a national team coach to replace Johnny McKinstry remains a priority for Fufa despite the postponement of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Africa's qualifying games for Qatar were scheduled to start next month only to be postponed to September due to the "current challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic."

"The Caf emergency committee, in consultation with Fifa, decided to postpone the Caf qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 that were to be played in June 2021 after consideration of the current challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure optimal playing conditions for all participating teams," Caf wrote Thursday.

The statement further reads: "The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022."

However, reports were rife on Tuesday that World Cup qualifiers for Africa were set to be delayed because a host of stadiums lack Caf approval.

Countries including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Senegal would not be able to play their home matches at home in June. There is also no approved stadium in Sierra Leone.

Uganda had only escaped the inspection as Vipers' St. Mary's Stadium, Kitende was given the greenlight with Namboole still invalid and in need of Shs96n for repairs.

Meanwhile, Fufa has been in a race against time to make a substantive appointment for the Uganda Cranes' top job.

Interim coaches Abdallah Mubiru and Livingstone Mbabazi handled the team in March to conclude the failed Africa Cup of the Nations qualifying campaign.

Daily Monitor had learnt from a member of the Fufa Executive Committee (Excom) that McKinstry's replacement was to be approved at a meeting next week.

The presumption was because of the fixtures against Kenya and Mali next month. Fufa communications director Ahmed Hussein could neither deny nor confirm the timelines.

"First of all, it's (appointing a coach) an urgent matter. They (the Fufa Excom) had given them a period of time to do so," Hussein said.

Unlike previous appointments, Fufa has not advertised the vacant job and they have instead chosen to headhunt the next Uganda Cranes coach.

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