The Africa Cup of Nations is FIFA’s third best followed football competition in the world after the FIFA World Cup and European Championship.
Worthy to note, the tournament has attracted many sponsors because of the ever escalating audiences and Television interest globally.
It remains a ground where football agents, coaches and club scouts poach raw and finished talent in a bid to reinforce their respective squads.
During the 31st edition of the tournament in Gabon, a number of the afore-mentioned cluster frequented training grounds, team hotels and the match day venues to link up, hook contacts and polish their catches.
Uganda Cranes’ camp at Port Gentil was not spared.
The world’s finest agents and scouts frequently the team Hotel Du Parc that was well under enough security from intruders as they also followed up the players at training bases and throughout the three matches.
Agents from Europe and those based in Africa were keen on a number of players.
“We have a network of personnel that is responsible in monitoring these players even when they go back to their current clubs. Uganda has a pool of players we are interested in,” an agent who prefers anonymity because of the sensitivity of the job disclosed to Kawowo Sports.
Players as Muhammad Shaban, Joseph Ochaya, Murushid Jjuuko, Denis Onyango, Denis Iguma, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Geofrey ‘Baba’ Kizito, Tonny Mawejje, Robert Odongkara, Khalid Aucho, Michael Azira, William Luwagga Kizito were hinted on.
Whereas a number of the players are still contracted with their respective clubs and others free agents, the scouts explained that usually the spotting process is followed by a follow-up procedure that could take 4-5 months.
“It is not an over-night process that when we identify a player, we take him on there and then. Some of these players are still contracted and we respect employment contracts with special clauses,” he added.
A host of players from other countries clinched their deals at AFCON 2017.
A case in point is Ghana’s midfielder Ebenezar Offori who transferred to Stuggart, Togo’s Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor who made the grade to Turkey.
For Uganda’s situation, it remains a matter of patience with well lined linkages that could see the Cranes’ players get new jobs.