Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    10 / 24   City Forecast


Ugandan president visits national team ahead of Nations Cup qualifier


11:15, October 08, 2011

KAMPALA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday made a surprise visit to the country's football team, Cranes, ahead of the crucial 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya.

The visit is meant to morale boost the team as it goes all out to try and beat their archrivals neighboring Kenya on Saturday at Namboole Stadium about 10km east of the capital Kampala.

Museveni who kicked a ball in the air as a sign of morale boosting donated 50 million shillings (about 17,860 U.S. dollars).

He told the team that the government is going to pay more attention on leisure activities like sports.

He said the government will support National Sports Teams by improving their welfare and that of their families.

Team coach Bobby Williamson said they were humbled that the President had visited the team and motivated them to win.

"We are going to play our hearts out to get all Ugandans happy," promised Williamson who has won two trophies with the team since taking over two years ago.

Several top government officials and opposition leaders have visited the team to morale boost it.

On the pitch, the Cranes' men have vowed to fly past Kenya with goalkeeper Dennis Onyango saying they are ready to win the game at all costs.

"This is the time all Ugandans have been waiting for and we cannot afford to blunder," said the South African based professional.

Geoffrey Massa who scored a beautiful goal in the 2-0 win over Guinea Bissau three months ago at the same stadium said he knows they will win the game because the motivation and eagerness to win is so much.

"I will try to score the goals that will take Uganda to the next level, but if I also create for someone else to score then that will be good," said Massa who torments defenders because of his good pace and quick reactions.

Coach Williamson who has maintained that a quick goal will kill the nerves of the Kenyan team told Xinhua that he is sure his boys will rise up to the occasion and win the game.

"We have not lost any game at home and since this game means a lot for us and the fact that we lost the recent game against Angola, the team is hungry to win," explained the Scottish born coach.

While Ugandan needs an outright win to qualify for the event that has eluded them since 1978, Kenya will also pray that they win and hope a miracle happens for other contenders Angola to suffer defeat in Guinea Bissau.

The Cranes currently lead Group J with 10 points and need only a win to qualify, while Angola who are second with nine points are also hoping Uganda are held or fall so that they could win and progress.

By Ronald Ssekandi


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Corn harvest in central China

  2. Wozniacki out of China Open

  3. Floods threaten historic temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand

  4. China's highest-level equestrian tournament concluded

Most Popular

What's happening in China

Marriage is in the air during holiday

  1. Minimum wage goes up as prices still increasing
  2. Chinese Muslims prepare for pilgrimage to Mecca
  3. Passenger volume continues rising in golden week
  4. Liaison offices targeted again
  5. 35 killed in north China road crash

PD Online Data

  1. Challenge to the traditional view of love and marriage
  2. House means happiness? Young Chinese' home-owning dream
  3. Fighting AIDS,China is acting
  4. Worldwide Confusius Institutes
  5. Chinese Qingming Festival