Stars have chance against Cranes

Monday, April 26th, 2021 00:00 |
Harambee Stars in action against Egypt in March. Photo/File

Harambee Stars deputy coach Twahir Muhiddin has urged the team to take full advantage of playing Uganda Cranes in a neutral venue in the return match of 2022 World Cup qualifiers in October.

Muhiddin said the opportunity will be God-sent given that Cranes have always been a hard nut to crack for Kenya when playing at their fortress in the 45,000-seater Nelson Mandela Stadium Namboole in Kampala.

‘’Uganda have cut an image of invincibles when playing at home against Kenya in Kampala but now that there is a possibility that the match shall be played elsewhere, it will be a good opportunity for Harambee Stars.

Muhiddin, who is also Bandari FC technical director, made the remarks in the wake of reports that the return encounter between the two adversaries might be played at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam after CAF and Fifa declared Namboole unfit to host international matches.

However, Muhiddin cautioned Stars against overly celebrating the prospects considering that Uganda is one of the fastest rising teams in Africa.

He added: “Remember Uganda are leading the ranking amongst East African teams and are among the best in the continent. I expect them to play their hearts out now that they will be bereft of home ground advantage.”

The Federation of Uganda Football (Fufa) has been toying with the idea of hosting the reverse fixture in Dar esSalaam apparently due to its proximity with Kampala.

Playing surface

The impending development will arise after Fifa and CAF banned Namboole Stadium following an inspection visit in March 2020.

Some of the frailties the two bodies noted on the arena was on the playing surface, pavilion, and dressing rooms which do not meet the minimum required standards.

In the meantime, Muhiddin has made a clarion call to Harambee Stars to treat all World Cup qualifying matches with the seriousness they deserve if the team is to qualify for the global showcase for the first time.

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