Pre-Chan 2020: Why Uganda Vs Zambia is a friend-foe, emotional affair

Uganda and Zambia take on each other today for their second games in the ongoing Pre- Chan Min Tournament in Yaounde, Cameroon.

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The Fixtures:

√4th Jan 2021 Uganda vs Zambia (4pm Local Time, 6pm EAT), 

√Cameroon vs Niger 6pm Local Time)

√7th Jan 2021 Uganda vs Niger (4pm Local Time, 6pm EAT)

Johnathan MicKnistry (Left) and Micho|File.

Uganda and Zambia take on each other today for their second games in the ongoing Pre- Chan Min Tournament in Yaounde, Cameroon.

The Uganda Cranes drew 1-1 against hosts Cameroon in the first game while the Chipolopolo of Zambia were held 3-3 by Niger in a game the Copper Bullets surrendered a lead for at least twice.

However, the battle on Monday will be filled with a lot of emotions and a friend-foe affections between the two men in the dugouts for both teams. The Bullets are coached by Milutin Micho Sredojevic, a man who took Uganda to the finals of Africa Cup of Nations in 2017, a tournament that had eluded the country for close to forty (40) years!

On the other hand, the current Cranes gaffer, Johnathan McKinstry has on many occasions testified to being a great friend and admirer of the Serbian Wolf. “Tomorrow, I will come up against an old friend for both Uganda’s football and me personally. My relationship with Micho goes back I think with time while I was with Sierra Leone and he was coach for Rwanda,” McKinstry told Fufa Media on Sunday.

The friendship and respect will remain intact, McKinstry said but added, he wants to keep it professional during the 90 minutes.
“When we arrived here in Cameroon we exchanged New Year’s messages and X-mas Greetings. We have known each other for several years. I am looking forward to seeing him. But for the 90 minutes of the game we will be trying to do the best for our respective teams. After the match we can share chat of old times. We both have objectives for our teams.”

The Uganda Cranes training on Sunday| Credit: Fufa Media.

For his case, Micho has not shied away from praising and showing respect to both the progress of the game in his second home, Uganda and the ability of their current man in command, Johnathan Mckinstry.
“Uganda ,Ugandans and Ugandan football with Cranes lives actively in special suite of my heart. I am so happy that football in Uganda has moved 7 miles into the bright future. Tomorrow is check up for both Cranes and Chipolopolo and nothing else.

I have highest degree of respect for Jothanatn McKinstry, his technical team and equally for the players led by veteran Tony Mawejje, It is perfect balance between maturity, seniority, experience and young upcoming players that have bright future ahead of them,” Micho poured out to Fufa Media.
” It is emotional reunification for me with Uganda Cranes that I need to go over as professional and look at my team to get good performance and result while we both prepare for upcoming CHAN. Let football be the winner,” the Serbian added.

The last time both coaches battled each other in a tournament, was in the 2015 CECAFA Senior Challenge hosted by Ethiopia. Micho won the trophy for the Uganda Cranes while McKinstry as a 26 year old coach for the Mavubi Stars of Rwanda, was voted the best coach of the tournament.

Uganda, Zambia, Niger and hosts Cameroon are using the min-tournament to get ready for the Chan finals scheduled for January 16 to February 2021.

KAMPALA BUSINESS RADIO