Uganda Cranes to camp in UAE ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

KAMPALA

Uganda Cranes will conduct their ultimate preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Daily Nation Sport can reveal.

Cranes will be making a return to the Cup of Nations since 1978 in the showpiece set to be held in Gabon on January 14 to February 5.

Addressing the media at Mengo, Cranes coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic emphasised the need to take preparations seriously if Uganda are to put in a decent shift on their return to Africa’s premier showpiece.

“We have already done the 25 percent by qualifying. Now we are appealing to Uganda to give us the other 25 percent in support, and Uganda – the country – another 25 percent in logistics to facilitate a top class international camp.” said the Serbian.

“The final 25 percent will be us completing the product by competing favourably in Afcon. We have the capacity to produce results at Afcon if supported well.”

The Serb, 47, added: “Our first phase of preparation in Kampala is on December 19-24, then we take a Christmas break and resume on December 26-31.”

“The final phase is an international camp from January 2 to 14, where we shall play three to four friendly matches.”

Uganda’s opponents for the friendlies are yet to be confirmed but any team that is not in the Cranes group that also includes Egypt, Ghana and Mali is a potential candidate.

REMAINED NON-COMMITTAL

Micho was non-committal on where the international camp will be but a source revealed to Daily Monitor that the team will shift base to the UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), where several Gabon-bound teams like the Ivory Coast will also be based.

Most of this will be made possible if government grants Fufa the over Sh5b budget needed for Cranes preparations.

Elsewhere, Fufa have partnered with travel company, Breeze Travel and Safaris Limited, to transport fans to Afcon finals in Gabon.

The company’s package accommodates fans that will watch from one to three group matches involving Uganda.

Breeze Travel has previously transported fans to the 2010 South Africa World Cup and Ghana for an Afcon qualifier in 2008 among others.

CUP OF NATIONS DRAW

Group A: Gabon, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau

Group B: Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Zimbabwe

Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo

Group D: Ghana, Mali, Egypt, Uganda

Group D fixtures

Jan 17: Ghana v Uganda

Jan 17: Mali v Egypt

Jan 21: Ghana v Mali

Jan 21: Egypt v Uganda
Jan 25: Egypt v Ghana
Jan 25: Uganda v Mali

This article first appeared on the Daily Monitor website.

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