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Inside Desabre’s 555 Days As Uganda Cranes Coach

FUFA and Sebastien Desabre, on Saturday 6 July 2019, parted ways to end a period of 555 days since the Frenchman was appointed – on December 28, 2017.

According to FUFA’s statement posted on their official website, the shocking agreement was reached a day after Uganda lost 1-0 to Senegal in a game that eliminated the Cranes from the AFCON at the round of 16.

We take a journey back to look at the Frenchman’s period in charge of the Uganda Cranes.

The Appointment

Weeks prior to his appointment, everything remained a secret, with local media(s) claiming that it was Belgium’s Luc Eymael who was set to be named.

FUFA set up a committee to oversee the appointment, led by Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya, Edgar Watson, Bernard Ogwel among others.

The Frenchman was all smiles on arriving in Mengo. Observer

About 93 coaches applied for the job Desabre, Moses Basena and Emilio Ferrera and John Mckinstry.

FUFA later confirmed that Desabre has taken on the job – on Thursday, December 2017 – in a three year deal. A day before, Desabre was on touchline when his side Ismaily lost 5-0 to El-Raja in the Egyptian league, before he announced his resignation hours later.

The Frenchman arrived at Entebbe Airport aboard Ethiopian Airways where he was received by FUFA’s Hassan Kirunda before travelling to FUFA house in Mengo where Journalists were eagerly and anxiously waiting.

After he was unveiled to the press, Desabre was driven to Namboole where he met with the National team that was training for the 2018 CHAN.

First handshake with Maria Lule. FUFA

Portrayal In Media

Desabre’s appointment did not come with high praise with some Journalists criticising FUFA for not putting trust in local coaches.

He was never a popular figure as compared to his predecessor Micho who was a down to earth person.

His interviews with the fourth estate always left a lot to be desired due to his ineloquent English.

The Frenchman facing the press

He will be remembered for dropping Vipers striker Mzee Dan Sserunkuma, citing that the target man will be good for the future.

On the Touchline

Desabre’s first competitive game in charge was a real baptism of fire – a humiliating 3-1 loss to Zambia in CHAN ( Morocco), a game that was highlighted by goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan’s blunder.

Consequently, Uganda bowed out of group B with just a point, which came in a goalless drawn with Ivory Coast. The team had lost 1-0 to Namibia.

The biggest high. FUFA

Desabre’s biggest high came on November 17th, 2018 when he guided Uganda to AFCON after beating Cape Verde 1-0 in Namboole thanks to Patrick Kaddu’s header.

He has been in charge of Uganda Cranes for 21 recognized matches, which also include nine friendlies – won 6, lost 8 and had 6 draws in total.

He will, according to many, be remembered as the coach who guided Uganda to AFCON knockout stages for the first since 1978.

Mixed Reception From The Fans

He was loved and loathed, as any human.

The Women, I mean the slay queens, loved him the day he was unveiled at Mengo. With some running to social media to unleash their love for a new Frenchman.

His biggest critics have come from fans who showed their discontented with his selection and summoning of the national team.

His decision to drop fans favourites Juma Balinya and KCCA FC’s Allan Okello still lingers in many people’s memories.

As of recent, he has been credited for giving players like Abdul Lumala, a chance on the National team.

L-R: Gor Mahia Coach, Erisa Ssekisambu, Desabre and Shafic Batambuze in Kenya

vous souhaite le meilleur, Desabre

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