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The Cranes will play South Sudan in November hoping to collect maximum points to qualify for the biennial competition

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) president Moses Magogo has confirmed Uganda will not have the services of players who ply their trade in the United States of America and Israel for their upcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The East Africa nation will camp in Dubai in October to prepare for the qualifiers scheduled for November. However, as the administrator revealed, coach Johnathan McKinstry will have to do without some of his key players.

“We will camp in Dubai as the team gears up for the South Sudan doubleheader,” Magogo told Super FM.

“However, we will miss four players due to travel restrictions in their countries, that is the USA and Israel to be more specific.”

Magogo’s revelation means McKinstry will have to plan without the services of Luwagga Kizito, who turns out for Israel’s Hapoel Kfar Saba, the same as Timothy Awany and Fahad Bayo, who are contracted to FC Ashdod.

Mike Azira, who plays for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Chicago Fire will also be absent.

The Cranes will host the Bright Stars on November 9 while the second leg will be played eight days later.

Uganda – like other nations – will have to honour the World Cup and their Afcon qualification matches in a condensed calendar late in the year and in 2021.

The record Cecafa champions are also set to participate in the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in Cameroon.

“We believe that taking the team to Dubai for nine days helps us to achieve a lot of things. We get quality time with the players in class and on grounds which you wouldn’t get before,” McKinstry said in an earlier interview.

“Logistically, most of our players are playing across 17 different countries and with restrictions of travel, it would be easy for them to get to Dubai where most of the restrictions have been lifted.

“It is not straightforward as well but it gives 80% of our players a chance and will be available. It’s been a long time since we last played in November last year and obviously, the camp is timely.

“When you look back at the last time we played in November last year against Burkina Faso and Malawi, we only had three training sessions coupled with travelling and playing two games in a space of four days.”

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September 28, 2020
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