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Former Cranes Coach Williamson Makes Shocking Revelations

Scottish coach Bobby Williamson has spilled shocking revelations during his spell as Uganda Cranes coach.

Williamson was named Cranes coach on August 19, 2008 to replace Laszlo Csaba before being sacked on April 8, 2013.

During his stay, he won four CECAFA championship in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

He almost took Uganda to Africa Cup of Nations but the Cranes lost to Zambia on penalties in the playoffs.

Williamson, in an interview with Nation Sport, says that his work in Uganda was made difficult by the FUFA officials then!

“My job was made more difficult when officials at the federation tried to unsettle and sell players before a major tournament (the 2014 Africa Nations Championship) behind my back,” Williamson told Nation Sport.

“One particular official worked to bring in my successor behind my back. At times, players would go partying before matches and the media appeared to know and protect them,” .

Bobby Williamson (left) during a Uganda Cranes match at Namboole. Courtesy

He recounted the ugly moments when star player David Obua walked out on President Museveni.

“Obua walked out on President Museveni who’d come to camp to visit the team before a crucial game. I agreed with (then) Uganda FA President (Lawrence Mulindwa) that he had to be punished.

“I removed him from the squad. He was not going to play anyway as he’d not trained all week. He was not getting too much play-time at his club. He was unfit.”

Williamson added that the FUFA officials then also back stabbed him before appointing his successor Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic.

Williamson On Shocking First Night In Uganda:

“I’d just left (coaching English side Chester) and was waiting for the next chance. An agent told me there could be an opening in Uganda after (Romanian coach) Laslo Csaba quit to join (Scottish side) Hearts. An interview was organised in London with my employer. I didn’t know much about Uganda. So I told him ‘if I am to coach Uganda wouldn’t it be better if I did the interview in Kampala?’

“We arrived in Kampala a few days later and I was handed the job. I insisted on having a look at the training grounds before signing the contract.

“A driver came to pick me from the hotel at 6pm and drove me to the main stadium (Namboole)

“The night was creeping in and (at the time) there were no street lights, people had lit bonfires at the side of the road, probably to provide lighting. At the stadiums, there were several policemen sleeping on the tarmac, terraces and even on the pitch without mattresses.

“The driver informed me of a recruitment drive involving the police. So the stadium acts as a recruitment centre, training ground, and match venue. I thought about it and decided not to take the job.”

“I informed my agent who informed the federation I had turned down the job. The following evening we drove to the airport in Entebbe to catch a flight back to the UK but for some reason we couldn’t board. I think the flight was full. So we settled in at a hotel in Entebbe to wait for the next available flight.

“That night, I switched on TV and watched a replay of a Ugandan league match. I was amazed by how the players were talented, controlling a football on bumpy pitches as passionate crowds cheered them on. In the morning. I took a walk at the (Lake Victoria) beach outside my hotel and saw a very beautiful country, scenery, weather, the people, everything was amazing. It was like I was in another world. I changed my mind and decided to stay. Thankfully, the management again agreed to hand me the job.

(Additional Reporting from Nation Sport)

Bobby Williamson’s Fact File

Playing Career
1980-1983: Clydebank
1983-1986: Rangers
1986-1988: West Brom
1988-1990: Rotherham
1990-1995: Kilmarnock

Managerial Career:
1996-2002: Kilmarnock
2002-2004: Hibernian
2004-2005: Plymouth
2007-2008: Chester City
2008-2013: Uganda
2013-2014: Gor Mahia
2014-2016: Kenya


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