Denis Masinde Onyango will not be part of Uganda Cranes training camp after his club, Mamelodi Sundowns refused to grant him permission to join the team in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The shot-stopper was one of the 26 players that Uganda Cranes coach Jonathan McKinstry had summoned for a nine-day training camp in Dubai during the International break.

According to a statement published by FUFA, coach McKinstry is furious about the decision by Mamelodi Sundowns to hold onto the player and refuse him to join the national team during a FIFA International break.

“We are very disappointed in Mamelodi Sundowns’ position regarding not releasing Denis Onyango for international duty during the October 2020 FIFA dates.” Reads the statement.

“Whilst they have released other team members for international duty for their respective nations; they communicated to us on Monday of this week (2 weeks after receiving notification of invitation for the player) that they wished to keep Denis Onyango with them on the basis that he would have to quarantine upon return to South Africa.”

Sundowns indicated if Onyango was to be released, he would have to quarantine for two weeks upon return, a reason that McKinstry doesn’t buy into.

“We asked Sundowns for evidence of the regulation regarding quarantine, and they were only able to provide information regarding tourists arriving in South Africa, and not residents as is the case for Denis Onyango.”

“Upon further checking on our side, the South Africa Government position would appear clear regarding any potential quarantine in that. Exceptions exist for business travelers with rare and critical skills, diplomats, investors, repatriated individuals and professional athletes. “

It should be noted that due to restrictions in Israel and USA, players like Fahad Bayo, Timothy Awany, Mike Azira and William Kizito Luwagga were not summoned.

Whereas some foreign based players have already arrived in Dubai and had a training session on Wednesday evening, the local based legion and technical staff were still held in Uganda after failing to secure an entry clearance to Dubai.

The team was supposed to travel on Sunday but were denied to proceed with their journey and returned to Cranes Paradise Hotel where they had camped.

Onyango therefore joins striker Derrick Nsibambi as the other player that has withdrawn from taking part in the training camp. The latter sustained an injury while playing for his club, Smouha FC in Egypt.

Uganda will use the training camp as part of preparations for the forthcoming double header against South Sudan in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers slated for November.

Joel Muyita

Joel Muyita is a senior staff writer at Kawowo Sports.

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think