Uganda Cranes up-coming matches:

CHAN 2018 Qualifiers:

  • Uganda Cranes Vs Rwanda Amavubi Stars – 12th August 2017 (St Mary’s Kitende)
  • Rwanda Amavubi Stars Vs Uganda Cranes – 18th August 2017 (Kigali Regional Stadium)

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers:

  • Uganda Cranes Vs Egypt Pharaohs – 31st August 2017 (Mandela National Stadium, Namboole)
  • Egypt Pharoahs Vs Uganda Cranes – 5th September 2017 (Alexanderia)
[/media-credit] Uganda Cranes coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojević (L) and his assistant Moses Basena and goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDDE

Uganda Cranes interim coaches Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba will handle the national team for the up-coming CHAN 2018 and FIFA World Cup 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The development was confirmed by the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) president, Moses Magogo on Monday, 31st July 2017 during a press conference held at FUFA House in Mengo, Kampala.

According to Magogo, it was a decision taken as a ‘family’ in consultation with the immediate former players.

Magogo attested the decision undertaken as he addressed the media;

We have decided as a family at FUFA to have Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba serve on interim basis for the CHAN and World Cup 2018 qualifiers.

We shall accord them the all the necessary support

These two former Uganda Cranes internationals were assistants to the departed former head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredejovic who terminated his employment contract with FUFA citing non-payment of his salaries amounting to $ 54,000.

For starters, both Basena and Kajoba have duly served with passion under Micho for three AFCON campaigns, 2015, 2017 and the current 2018.

[/media-credit] An illustration of Uganda Cranes’ Moses Basena Credit: © Kawowo Sports | Cosmas Arinitwe

Basena, also the head coach at UPDF football club (formerly The Saints F.C) has been the immediate assistant coach as Kajoba (head coach at Bright Stars F.C) has been the full time goalkeeping coach.

The big talking point at the moment is; will Basena and Kajoba fill the void left by Micho?

From any perspective you encounter the question, the answer could be yes or no.

Personally, I have a big yes.

The affirmative answer, however, has to come along with the necessary support and trust required.

This is support from the rest of the technical team, FUFA administrators, players, fans and the media.

The two coaches have enjoyed close and good working relations with Micho. To say the least, they have learnt a lot from the vastly experienced Serbian.

Personally, Basena and Micho can best be described as brothers than former working mates. They have over the years complimented each other for the best results possible.

“He (Moses Basena) is my brother and we enjoy top class relations” Micho confessed in one of the many interactions I had with him.

There are moments that I vividly recall when Basena and Micho shared a banana (not because there was scarcity). Such was the closeness and love portrayed from the cordial working relations.

Recently when the Uganda Cranes returned from Juba where they had drawn away to minnows South Sudan, I welcomed the team at Entebbe International Airport.

For some good minutes, I interacted with coach Basena and he confessed;

We did everything as a team. I loved the fans in Juba. I say thank you to the players and media for the support. We shall kill off the game in Kampala

Basena knows what to tell the media and what to sieve out, He is a believer, hard working and strict disciplinarian.

Like Micho, Basena has learnt a lot of stuff underground to get the best result possible. Together with his brother Kajoba, they encounter a mountain task ahead of them. Two games in the CHAN 2018 qualifiers with Rwanda and 2 games in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Egypt.

[/media-credit] Fred Kajoba Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

They need everyone’s support. Let us draw positive energies for our coaches in this tricky situation.

It could have been an abrupt move but coaches, just like players are more of soldiers ready to encounter any situation at hand before them.

Support from the media, fellow coaches, fans, retired and active players as well as FUFA officials is all Basena and Kajoba need at this critical stage.

Micho had set a precedent and a legacy worth emulating. He had worked along with these two gentlemen in good, bad, tricky and thick conditions.

In fact, in his farewell speech, he described Basena as an irreplaceable entity.

It is only a matter of time before Basena summons the CHAN squad ahead of the two ties against Rwanda.

He knows what to do, when and how. Like Micho, Basena does his research well and reads extensively.

Perhaps, he will need key directional points on critical issues. He is a great parent, a perfect counsellor and good decision maker. Above all, he understands the dynamics of the modern game.

Let us all rally the support to Moses Basena and Fred Kajoba.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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