By Leilah Bbaale
The U-23 national team, the Kobs has been drawn in pot A alongside DR Congo and Tanzania in the 2021 CECAFA u-23 Championship scheduled to kick off on July 17th, 2021 in Ethiopia. The draws were conducted on Tuesday afternoon.
Group B includes Ethiopia, Burundi and Eritrea while group C has Djibouti, South Sudan, and Kenya. Ahmed Hussein, the Communications Director of the local football governing body FUFA, says that the team will depart for Ethiopia on Wednesday to have some training time before the final kickoff of the games on July 17, 2021. The Uganda squad is camped in Cranes paradise hotel in Kisaasi where they are doing basic physical fitness exercises due to the COVID-19 nationwide Lockdown.
However, the team will have two day’s training in Ethiopia before the final games. Recently, the Uganda Kobs held two build-up games against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh as they prepare for the CECAFA games. Saudi Arabia won one of the games while the other ended in a draw. The CECAFA U-23 championship was initially supposed to take place on July 3rd 2021. However, the organizing committee pushed it to July 17th, 2021 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The change was necessitated by some of the member associations, which are in lockdown due to the COVID- 19 pandemic. The change was also made because the South Sudan technical bench and some of their players are currently quarantined in Doha, Qatar after attending the Arab FIFA Cup and will only travel on July 7th, 2021 while the League in Tanzania is also still ongoing and will be completed on July 18th 2021. Some of the players will only be available for travel after completing the league.
Each team will only be allowed to use three senior players. In the recent buildup games against Saudi Arabia, Uganda used two senior players namely Charles Lukwago and Saidi Kyeyune