Uganda Cranes has successfully qualified for the Chan championships four times in a row now, but have always failed to make it past the group stages. Is the right moment for the boys to break the deadlock? With a new coach in Sebastien Desabre and a new genre of home players, some might have hopes that the team can overcome the group stage jinx.
However, on paper this appears a farfetched dream given the pedigree of Zambia and Ivory Coast in the tournament. Both sides have reached the semi-finals in the past and ended up claiming third spot in the 2009 and 2016 editions respectively. Namibia seems to be the only opponent weaker than Uganda, as it is their debut appearance and they rank over 30 places below the Cranes in the Fifa rankings.
Yet as the boys and the Frenchman have barely had room to interact, the tournament is only likely to be a test for Desabre who knows absolutely little about the team.
“I need to first evaluate my players. I know the Zambian team as well as Ivory Coast. They are strong opponents. I am going to check out Namibia and thereafter prepare my team very well. The ultimate target would be to win the competition, maybe it is possible maybe it’s not but we will work very hard to do well in the competition,” Desabre said before the team jetted out to Morocco.
The tournament kicks off this Saturday but the Cranes will play their first game against Zambia on Sunday at Stade de Marrakech, Morrocco.