- The big talk in Uganda has been of Uganda Cranes players refusing to train over apparent promised incentives. Explaining their drastic decision in confidence, one of the players said they wouldn’t continue being valued below the famous white van that travels with Old Leo everywhere.
I was meant to lie low from the moment I arrived in Cairo a day after the opening game. I got here just in time for Uganda Cranes to legally steal minerals, timber and even carry off Congolese women. And that was all after eating their pigmies.
In a post-match interview, goalkeeper Ley Matampi admitted they had underestimated Uganda.
“We’ve always been told a typical Ugandan is capable of sneaking around you and stealing minerals and women, but we rubbished it as loose talk. Now I couldn’t believe as I saw Kaddu do it and then…” he said.
Bafana threaten to pull out
From the South Africa team camp, the Bafana Bafana have grown increasingly frustrated with their wobbling performance on the continent. An angry chubby keeper Itumeleng Khune told his team mates that it is below their dignity to continue playing in Afcon. The others appeared to agree.
Baffled, I moved closer to seek the reason. One of them said the South African Premier League is the best in Africa and that it literally helps the bulk of the players who are making a name in Egypt.
“South Africa is not in Africa. We just share a bizarre name. We have winter, summer and all that, while the rest of Africa deals with farming seasons,” one of the players said.
“We can’t keep playing in this meaningless tourney. SAFA should apply to join European Championships and we leave this cheap tournament behind,” another chipped in.
The Bafana Bafana were whining after they shocked themselves by losing to Morocco by a solitary late goal in a match they were expected to concede like their Proteas boys are conceding wickets at the Cricket World Cup.
The result left Bafana Bafana having to rely on a real proud African side in Mali to progress.
Kenya players thrown out of hotel
Meanwhile, during a visit to a journalist friend from Rwanda, I walked into a movie-like scenario. The hotel management had called in security expert Dickson Bond Okello thinking he was a jaluo from Migingo to come and help the situation.
Apparently, the hotel owner had tried to explain to Harambee Stars players that their welcome in Cairo was expired but they insisted they were still with slim hope of extended tourist visa.
Addressing a mean-looking Okello, the hotel manager said: “These plump guys eat funny food, they mingle some stuff on sigiri and make too much noise after eating grass-like things. But they were to leave yesterday, I don’t know what more they want to tour in Cairo, see them off.”
But Victor Wanyama stepped in and announced that ugali na sukuma wiki wasn’t some funny food. “We’re not yet out and I can buy your hotel if you joke. I play for Spurs, I played in Champions League final. Don’t joke,” he said.
“I don’t care whether you are Messi or Einstein, leave. I feel like lifting all 23 of you to the airport with my two hands.”
The hotel manager, his bald pate gleaming with perspiration, added that the Kenyans had to wash plates and pick cigarette filters discarded by smokers. “Bouncer, these guys were passing weird wind all night. The hotel is still stinking. You would think the goals Mane was scoring went into their stomach,” he added.
The big talk in Uganda has been of Uganda Cranes players refusing to train over apparent promised incentives. Explaining their drastic decision in confidence, one of the players said they wouldn’t continue being valued below the famous white van that travels with Old Leo everywhere.
“Forget the van, can you imagine Ugandans emulate Nigerians across many fronts but not on the soccer pitch?” the fellow said rhetorically.
“We are now as good as Nigerians in fraud, just look at our pastors… our corruption level is well documented even at the UN. Have you ever heard of a Nigerian fixing ‘gift’ meeting at the UN headquarters in New York?”
The player said it is Uganda that has achieved that so it was time to do a Nigerian thing with the national team.
“West Africans know how to get things done, so now that the nation is happy with our performance, we also have to make big demands. The boss is here with his girl, but for us, we have only soap in camp. We are humans too,” he said.