The Uganda Cranes is a perennial football failures and a national embarrassment, that is my conclusion from years of observing Ugandan football. You have players and leadership whose real understanding and real skills end at win village trophies, throng onto national gamesmanship and they they don’t know the difference, so they disguise and dupe the public. They are worthless in every sense of the word. That’s not to say Ugandans don’t have the football skill, they do, but it is by far NOT DEVELOPED, and no one knows how to develop it. The same way we don’t know how to mine and purify our own oil in our soil. It is an advanced skill.
I’m not even a typical soccer fan, because I could never watch a foot ball match on a screen for 10 minutes. And yet I love the game! I play the ball, on a personal level. And I’m a nationalist as well.
Something needs to change drastically, in the character of Ugandan football. Losing is the hallmark of Ugandan football. It has been accepted by fans, as the status quo. They know that the players don’t play beyond certain leagues. Its a village level team. and they have proved that every time they step out of the country.
We chose the wrong animal for the team SYMBOL. The name could deal with the perception and character of the game they play. I suggest we call them “Uganda Rhinoceros” instead of “Uganda Cranes”.
And as an initiation ritual, each player who make the team, should take a ride to Kabarega National Park with the wild rhinos, find and stand in-front of a wild Rhinoceros, as if to take it on, in order to build an image of what type of enemy they are to face on the pitch. Should the rhino sense fear in the player, and therefore charge at him, he should run faster than it and escape, and of-course such a player could not be put in front positions. But should the rhino sense a fearless adversary, it’ll plan its retreat long in advance. A Rhinoceros is described as:
A massive powerful herbivorous odd-toed ungulate of Africa and Southeast Asia, having very thick skin and one or two horns on the snout.
Imagine such a name, being read by the opposing player. Ofcourse the players will try to live upto the name, you can’t be called Rhinoceros while killing rats, because then you’d be better off called “Cats”
“Cranes” seems a bit of lull, for players who are supposed to strike. The Crested Crane, whether it wins or loses, its totally irrelevant because it’ll still be beautiful; its power is that of looks, beauty and grace. That’s not the character of the game of football. Maybe we transfer the name to the Ugandan women team of the game: Hockey. It’d help them because it’d be decribing them.
And we even help them cheers that idea. This is an admission that we don’t have it in us to win and maintain winning on a big screen. We cannot prominently feature and grace the big screens of Europeans. And yet we hope our players to be crucial and real internationals, so that, game becomes another outlet for Uganda’s relevance to the world. Right now Uganda’s only relevance outside is the supply of security guards and house maids. If we add to that list, football players, then that will raise the bar a bit, and come with some respect in the world.
I do not blame the Uganda players for playing lousy game, because the entire picture from the way the game is organised nationally, does not allow the very best players to be found. Players come up in a lousy manner, are given a lousy game to play. But failure is failure
Losing means failure to keep,maintain or ceasing to have, either physically or in an abstract sense.
We have been doing that a lot, no just on the football pitch, but on the political freedoms of Ugandans. Could it be that the losses on the national game are related to loss of political freedoms in the country? The players, can’r fight hard on the pitch while they hate the regime that has taken all the political freedoms of their brothers at home? Winning would be claimed as the dictator’s regime the victory? Of-course the people – both supporters and players alike are concerned about the political space.
Maybe the games will be won, after the political liberties are won, but as it is today, there is no hope to fetch foreign football glory – the whole game is down.
Both the political leadership and the current environment, have no concern for developing sectors which bring together and unite the people. They are interested in those which make the people isolated, any form of unity could lead to use of such power to influence politics. Personal rule does not co-exist with institutional power. It might be worthwhile to work for free political order first, where free cooperation and ideas can form strong community of football.