Uganda Sand Cranes players in Dar es Salaam in 2019

As Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) continues to shred off the list of debtors, the Uganda Beach Soccer Team (Sand Cranes) is one of the latest beneficiaries.

The 20 man delegation of this team that traveled to Dar es salaam in Tanzania towards the end of 2019 for the annual Copa Dar es salaam has had the outstanding arrears cleared.

Uganda Sand Cranes players in Dar es Salaam in 2019

The team allowances of $ 300 for each member were meant to appreciate the effort of the players for the job well done as Uganda finished second to scoop silver in a six nation tourney played on a round robin format.

Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA) chairman Deo Mutabazi acknowledged receipt of the money and to that effect lauded FUFA for fulfilling the obligation.

“We are humbled for FUFA’s gesture of the money to the players and officials. UBSA’s relationship with FUFA has always been a top notch since we have worked on a cordial relationship time immemorial. There are many more good things that will come out from this mutual cooperation as we prepare the team for the 2021 AFCON Beach soccer finals in Uganda” Mutabazi disclosed to Kawowo Sports.

Deo Mutabazi, Uganda Beach Soccer Association (UBSA) chairman. (Photo: David Isabirye)

At the 2019 Copa Dar es Salaam championship, Uganda Sand Cranes started strongly, beating the hosts Tanzania on the opening day 2-0 in post match penalties after normal time had ended 3 goals apiece.

Uganda Sand Cranes fell 5-4 to Burundi in the second match, recovering to beat Seychelles 2-0 and Malawi 6-5 in the final game.

Goalkeeper Meddie Kibirige

Team captain, Meddie Kibirige who was also named as the tournament’s best goalkeeper has since appreciated FUFA, tagging the timely payments as a motivation especially at a time when the world is grappled by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The payment of our allowances by FUFA is timely and very welcome. We are humbled because we shall be motivated to serve the national team without fear or favour” Kibirige noted.

Alex Emmanuel Wasswa carries teammate Douglas Muganga in celebrating a goal

Since inception, Uganda has never won the Copa Dar es salaam championship, and the 2020 edition is envisaged as a breakthrough moment to achieve the feat as a precursor for the 2021 AFCON Beach Soccer finals that will be hosted in Uganda.

Uganda Sand Cranes’ arrears clearance follows a successful script for the CECAFA 2019 Senior Challenge Cup Uganda Cranes winning team, KCCA players who won the 2019 CECAFA Kagame Cup, coaches work for the FUFA Junior League clubs (cleared for two seasons) as well as the prize monies for the respective winners at the 2019 Airtel FUFA Awards.

Uganda Sand Cranes Delegation To Tanzania:

Players:

Goalkeepers: Meddie Kibirige (Isabeti), Nasser Lwamunda (Mutoola)

Outfield players: Paul Lule (Buganda), Douglas Muganga (MUBS), Davis Kasujja (MUBS), Rica Byaruhanga (Isabeti), Godfrey Lwesibawa (Buganda Royal), Sulaiman Ochero (St Lawrence University), Alex Emmanuel Wasswa (St Lawrence University), Ronald Magwali (Buganda Royal University), Rowch Peter Somoka (Isabeti), Faizo Muwawu (MUBS)

Officials:

Leader of delegation: Ronnie Kalema (FUFA Executive Committee Member)
UBSA Chairman: Deo Mutabazi
Beach soccer Delegate: Anthony Tumwesigye
Head Coach: Salim Jamal Muwonge
Assistant Coach: Bashir Mutyaba
Team physician: Ivan Kulika
Team manager: Tonny Ssebagala
Media: Hamza “Africana” Nsereko Kawuma

Some of the fans at the Coco Beach where the 2019 Copa Dar es salaam was held

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

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