Uganda Cranes’ road to the Orange CAF Africa Cup of Nations starts next Thursday (10th April 2014) as the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) is set to hold a special press conference to unveil the official ground work and plans towards securing qualification.
“We shall reveal the federations’ entire work plan next week on Thursday during a special media briefing arranged”, Mujib Kasule, FUFA vice president in charge of technical issues told the media at the Wednesday weekly press conference held at Mengo.
51 of the 54 African countries initially registered to be involved in the qualifiers, but the number reduced to 50 following the withdrawal of Eritrea last week.
The Eritrean Football Federation informed CAF of its decision to withdraw from the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations Morocco 2015.
Consequently, the preliminary round qualifier matches between Eritrea and South Sudan were cancelled. As a result, South Sudan qualified to the next round of the qualification competition.
Apart from Eritrea, the rest of the registered countries are set to take part of the qualifiers and recently,the Malawi Football Association (FAM) President Walter Nyamilandu came out to rubbish claims that the national team had pulled out of qualifying for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
Since the CHAN 2014 exploits in South Africa, where Uganda for the second time in a row failed to get past the group stages, Uganda was engaged in an international friendly away game in Ndola in that 1 -2 loss to the former African Champions, Zambia.
Since then, nothing has been mentioned about the national team apart from the ‘renewed improved’ Ug.X 66OM insurance package from the sponsors, National Insurance Corporation (NIC) for the players and team officials.
The team seedings for AFCON 2015 were recently released by CAF. Uganda is in pool ‘B’ alongside former champions and record holders Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Uganda, Congo and Central African Republic.
This implies that Uganda, currently ranked 85th by FIFA in the world will not meet teams in this pot. However, it will meet at least one team from pot ‘A’ which includes current Africa Champions Nigeria, 2013 losing finalist Burkina Faso, last edition’s semi-finalists Ghana and Mali.
Others in this pot include Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Zambia and Tunisia.
Uganda’s other likely opponent will come from pot ‘C’ which consists of Ethiopia, Benin, Angola, Niger, Zimbabwe, Equatorial, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.
Pot ‘D’ which is yet to be determined will provide the fourth opponent for Uganda Cranes.