Is Mayanja The Answer To Crane's Problems?

this web geneva;”>Williamson’s position became untenable as soon as the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) started making public utterances about his poor performance with the side and days after the 2-0 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier defeat away to Liberia elevated a three-man team to assess and temporary handle the squad.

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order geneva;”>It was only a matter of time before the axe fell and thankfully FUFA moved with unusual haste to finalise the matter ahead of the upcoming World Cup and CHAN qualifiers.

The Uganda Cranes side that fell to Liberia in March

And while Mayanja has not been confirmed as Bobby’s heir, Fufa spokesman Rogers Mulindwa asserts Fufa could not afford to leave a coaching vacuum. “If we get any fixture before a new Cranes coach is appointed and confirmed, he will definitely be in charge,” says Mulindwa.

So the question is now whether to look abroad for a new tactician, or within Ugandan football, a decision that is likely to be made in months to come.


But one name is jumping out as a likely candidate and it is sure to get a mixed reaction from Uganda Cranes fans,

Mayanja with Cranes skipper Andy Mwesigwa.

Cranes first assistant coach Jackson Mayanja is likely to be interim for a while and may likely see out the three remaining World Cup qualifiers before a new Cranes coach takes over with a clean slate and finish the job he started in 2005, with a number of factors pointing to this.

Firstly, the fact that his original technical team of compatriots Leo Adraa and Fred Kajoba has also been retained suggests that the first assistant is set to slot in at the top.

Secondly, after initially saying in the local press that he would be interested taking over the vacant Cranes job, Mayanja has lately acted as if he is not interested, preferring to keep a low profile. The silence of a man who has been told to lay low by his new employers.

Thirdly, the ease with which Bobby Williamson has moved aside, with no loaming court suits or counter accusations suggests that he has vacated the position for the man who initially deputised him, Mayanja.

Fourthly, Mayanja would be the common sense choice (not FUFA’S strong point, admittedly!) given that he has experience of Continental football, playing in East and North Africa for years and knows most the of the players and the culture of Ugandan football, having spent almost his playing and coaching career here.

Mayanja (back to camera) takes Cranes through Drills

Put simply, why hire and highly pay a new coach when the campaign is already doomed to fail? With The Cranes sitting bottom of the table, Fufa may prefer to stick with Mayanja and company in the meantime.

This is perhaps a veiled concession that Uganda has no business fighting for a World Cup place. Meanwhile, Fufa also have the matter of Williamson to resolve. Sources add that Williamson, who is still in the country, is holding out to be paid the remainder of his contract that was due to run out in 18 months despite Mulindwa’s denial that there is any trouble regarding the former’s severance package.

Given his $10,000 monthly salary, that would mean a whopping $180,000. Negotiations between the two parties are reportedly ongoing but in every sense, this could have affected Fufa’s plans to hire a new coach.

Meanwhile, FUFA says it will scrutinize and evaluate the performance of its technical committee.

The six-member committee headed by FUFA’ vice president in-charge of technical, Livingstone Kyambadde worked closely with sacked Cranes coach Bobby Williamson.

“We are going to evaluate the performance these members. If any of them fails to meet the required mark after evaluation, then they will follow Bobby,” FUFA’s head of Communication, Rogers Mulindwa told

FUFA’s technical committee has been responsible for helping the Cranes coach identify players and also organize training and camping schedules.

After the Scotsman’s sacking who had been in charge of the Cranes since 2008, the technical committee has come under attack from the public who have demanded that it should also be reevaluated or step-down because they have been working alongside Bobby.

When contacted, Kyambadde said that it will be correct to subject his committee to evaluation in the interest of rebuilding.

Jackson Mayanja (3rd from right) is popular among the players

“It is a case of trying to put right certain things which have been wrong,” said the ex-Cranes player.

The other members of the technical committee include the FA’s Vice President in-charge of the league and a former Cranes squads-man Mujib Kasule.

Others are technical director and former Cranes Coach Asuman Lubowa and ex-Cranes skipper Jimmy Kirunda who also captained Uganda during its last Africa Cup appearance in 1978. Cranes assistant coaches Leo Adraa and ex-Cranes player Matthew Lucha complete the list.

Mulindwa said the committee will be evaluated early enough before they embark on recruiting Bobby’s successor.

Finally, whether Jackson ‘Miya Miya’ is retained as Cranes interim coach or not, it will be left to the local football fraternity to eagerly wait for who steers Uganda’s dream to rejoin the ‘Table of Men’, I mean the African Cup of Nations.

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