Like accurately reported by Kawowo Sports a couple of days ago, Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) has eventually confirmed the sacking of Uganda Cranes head coach Jonathan McKinstry.

On 17th April 2021, Kawowo Sports had exclusively reported about the end of termination of contract for the Northern Irishman by the local football governing body.

A few hours later, FUFA came out with a statement vehemently denying the development.

On Monday, 19th April 2021, FUFA has finally emerged out of the shell and confirmed McKinstry’s sacking.

A statement published on the official federation website confirmed the development.

The Head Coach of the Uganda Men’s National team, Johnathan McKinstry, has today reached an agreement with FUFA to bring an end to his 18 months at the helm of the Uganda Cranes. FUFA would like to thank Coach McKinstry and his staff for the work and dedication to developing the Uganda Cranes during their tenure. Coach McKinstry departs Uganda having won 2 in every 3 games played, recording a 67% WIN rate from the 18 games he has overseen – including 12 wins, 3 draws and only 3 defeats. In addition to this, Coach McKinstry guided Uganda to victory in the CECAFA Challenge Cup 2019 where Uganda won all of the games contested, for only the second time in their history. We would like to thank Coach McKinstry for the professionalism demonstrated during his employment with FUFA, and we wish him well in all his future endeavors.

FUFA Statement on Johnathan McKinstry
Johnathan Mckinstry in an exclusive interview with Kawowo Sports.

McKinstry managed 12 wins with 3 draws and defeats apiece in the total of 18 matches he managed since his arrival date on 1st October 2018.

The highlight of his tenure the CECAFA 2019 senior challenge Cup victory in Kampala.

He unearthed a couple of local and foreign based talents to the national team with the likes of Joackim Ojera, Karim Watambala, Elvis Bwomono, Alexis David Bbakka, Uche Mubiru and others all entrusted because of his involvement.

The nitty gritty of the financial compensation to McKinstry as regards his remaining months on the employment contract however remain muted.

Kawowo Sports had established that the premature sacking of the coach would mean FUFA will have to pay US$255,000 (Shs943m) as compensation.

In March 2021, FUFA asked McKinstry to step aside at the start of last month (March) following dismal performance at the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

He was suspended for a month and the team handed to his assistant Abdallah Mubiru alongside Charles Livingstone Mbabazi and goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba Kisitu for the two final qualifying games of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations against Burkina Faso and Malawi.

The trio (Mubiru, Mbabazi and Kajoba) failed to guide the Uganda Cranes to the promised land – AFCON finals after a home goalless draw against Burkina Faso at St. Mary’s Kitende before falling to Malawi 1-0.

McKinstry on duty during a pre-CHAN tournament in Cameroon

Since the end of his suspension at the start of this month, Mckinstry has been in constant engagement with FUFA with the last coming on 6th April when he met FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo and FUFA CEO, Edgar Watson.

FUFA is yet to come up with the choice of the next coaches with the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers looming in June 2021.

Uganda Cranes takes on traditional arch-rivals Kenya in June.

Uganda is in group E alongside Kenya, Rwanda and Mali.

For starters, McKinstry was the first Northern Irishman to handle Uganda Cranes, replacing Frenchman Sebastien Desabre.

McKinstry Games with Uganda Cranes

  1. Ethiopia 0-1 Uganda – Friendly
  2. Burkina Faso 0-0 Uganda – 2021 AFCON Qualifier
  3. Uganda 2-0 Malawi – 2021 AFCON Qualifier
  4. Uganda 2-1 Burundi – 2019 CECAFA
  5. Uganda 2-0 Somalia – 2019 CECAFA
  6. Uganda 2-0 Eritrea – 2019 CECAFA
  7. Uganda 4-1 Djibouti – 2019 CECAFA
  8. Uganda 1-0 Tanzania – 2019 CECAFA
  9. Uganda 3-1 Eritrea – 2019 CECAFA
  10. Uganda 1-0 South Sudan – 2021 AFCON Qualifier
  11. South Sudan 1-0 Uganda – 2021 AFCON Qualifier
  12. Cameroon 1-1 Uganda – Pre CHAN Tournament
  13. Uganda 2-0 Zambia – Pre CHAN Tournament
  14. Niger 0-3 Uganda – Pre CHAN Tournament
  15. Uganda 0-0 Rwanda – 2020 CHAN
  16. Togo 2-1 Uganda -2020 CHAN
  17. Morocco 5-2 Uganda – 2020 CHAN
  • Games – 17
  • Wins – 11
  • Draws – 3
  • Losses -3
  • Goals For – 27
  • Goals Against – 12

Uganda Cranes coaches since 1965:

  • Alan Rogers (England) – 1965–1966
  • Robert Kiberu (Uganda) – 1967–1969
  • Burkhard Pape (Germany) – 1969–1972
  • David Otti (Uganda) – 1973–1974
  • Otto Westerhoff (Germany) – 1974–1975
  • Peter Okee (Uganda) – 1976–1981
  • Bidandi Ssali (Uganda) – 1982
  • Peter Okee (Uganda) – 1983
  • George Mukasa (Uganda) – 1984–1985
  • Barnabas Mwesigwa (Uganda) – 1986–1988
  • Robert Kiberu (Uganda) – 1988–1989
  • Polly Ouma (Uganda) – 1989–1995
  • Timothy Ayieko (Uganda) – 1995–1996
  • Asuman Lubowa (Uganda) – 1996–1999
  • Paul Hasule (Uganda) – 1999)
  • Harrison Okagbue (Nigeria) – 1999–2001
  • Paul Hasule (Uganda) – 2001–2003
  • Pedro Pasculli (Argentina) – 2003)
  • Leo Adraa (Uganda) – 2003–2004
  • Mike Mutebi (Uganda) – 2004)
  • Mohammed Abbas (Egypt) – 2004–2006
  • Csaba László (Hungary) – 2006–2008
  • Bobby Williamson (Scotland) – 2008–2013
  • Milutin Sredojević (Serbia) – 2013–2017
  • Moses Basena (Interim, 2017)
  • Sébastien Desabre (2017–2019)
  • Abdallah Mubiru (Interim, 2019, 2021 – March)
  • Johnathan McKinstry (1st October 2019 – 19th April 2021)

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

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