Uganda Cranes captain and number one goalkeeper Denis Onyango has announced he has retired from international football.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from international football. After much consideration, my family, managers and I, decided it was in my best interest to hang my gloves on my beloved Cranes. Big thanks to every Ugandan over the years,” Onyango has tweeted.
On Sunday, this website quoted Onyango’s tweet in which he paid tribute to his assistant Hassan Wasswa who retired from the national team early last week.
In the tribute, the captain said he was following suit soon.
“Thanks for everything my brother, Hassan Wasswa.
On and Off the field, you were one of the best guys around. Congratulations on a great 13year Cranes career and know am soon following suit. But first, enjoy your retirement and be proud.
All the best team warrior and fighter,” Onyango tweeted on Sunday.
Onyango’s revelation followed a leaked audio in which he was heard swearing never to play for the Cranes again as long as Moses Magogo remains the head of Uganda’s football governing body, Fufa.
Onyango showed dismay to how Magogo responded to the players’ concerns about their un paid allowances and bonuses.
The Fufa president last week said the players who represented the country in Cameroon at the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) played “shitty football” and therefore, had no right to demand for payment. This didn’t go well with the Cranes captain.
“I am really tired of making money for those Fufa guys, let him [Magogo] start another team that will not play ’shitty’ football and make the money for him,” Onyango is heard saying in Luganda
“I do not know who will play for him [Magogo] in the World Cup qualifiers because me I do not have the time for that,” he added.
Another ex Cranes player Mike (Sulaiman)Mutyaba was Friday beaten and arrested by security personnel as he tried to stage a peaceful demonstration to demand accountability for the players’ allowance and bonuses.
But Onyango said the leadership of Fufa acted unprofessional.
“Mike Mutyaba has just exposed them, they embezzle players’ funds that is the truth because national team players were supposed to be paid one million shillings each month but nothing has come out.”
The Mamelodi Sundowns first choice goalkeeper has been one of the longest serving national team shot stoppers in Uganda’s history and his retirement leaves a huge gap especially at a time when the country is getting ready for Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
After Wasswa and Onyango, it’s also left to be seen whether or not other senior members of the team could join in hanging up their Cranes boots.