Africa-Press – Uganda. When the draw for this month’s Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations was made last week, it confirmed the worst fears of the national team – Sand Cranes.Debutants Uganda were placed in Group A alongside hosts and title favourite Senegal and neighbours Tanzania. DR Congo complete the group draw.However, there is no fretting from Sand Cranes coach Salim Muwonge about what already seems like a herculean task.
“We have a tough draw but we know how we shall handle the matches,” Muwonge admits.“Senegal is very tough and playing at home. Tanzania are our neighbours and we have played them many times. Congo is new to us. We know little about them.”
The Sand Cranes are set to enter residential camp in Njeru Fufa Technical Centre this week in preparation for the tournament that commences on May 23. “My players will be ready for the tournament and we shall carry out a lot of technical analysis on them before we travel to Senegal. We shall surprise teams during the tournament,” Muwonge adds.Tanzania and Uganda are familiar with each other having played many times, mostly in Dar es Salaam.
“It will be a tough game since we have faced it a lot but this time it will be different since we are both on a neutral ground,” he said. There is hope in adversity for a sport that was only officially launched here in 2009. “We have to treat every game with respect so that we can be out of group stages,” Muwonge commits. “We shall be in Senegal to show people how much beach soccer had improved in Uganda. We shall also be happy to face other teams in the tournament. Senegal, Morocco and Egypt are top favorites.”Uganda got a bye after West African opponents Ghana withdrew. Incidentally, Ghana and Ivory Coast had twice dashed Uganda’s hopes of Afcon.
2021 BEACH SOCCER AFCON
Group A: Uganda, Senegal, Tanzania, DR CongoGroup B: Mozambique, Egypt, Morocco, Seychelles