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World Cup qualifying: Change of dates will not affect Uganda plans – McKinstry

12:44 GMT+4 24/01/2020
Uganda win Cecafa.
The Northern Irish coach insists the Cranes will not be affected by the date changes and they will be ready to do well

Uganda coach Johnny McKinstry has stated the country will not be affected by the decision to change qualifying dates for Afcon 2021 and the 2022 World Cup.

The dates were moved after Caf’s decision to bring forward the 2021 Nations Cup finals in Cameroon from June-July to January-February because of unfavourable weather conditions in the host country – Cameroon – during mid-year.

As such, Afcon 2021 qualifiers which were due to resume in August will now be played in March, June and August/September, with auditions for the 2022 World Cup moved to October.

McKinstry believes the decision will not have any adverse effects on Uganda’s preparations.

“Ultimately,” McKinstry, whose team drew Kenya, Rwanda, and Mali in the 2022 World Cup qualifying draws this week, told Daily Monitor.

 “It doesn’t have much of an impact really, because we always knew when the Fifa windows were.

“Previously we had anticipated we would be having World Cup qualifiers in March and June, with the Afcon games resuming in September, so we were expecting competitive games.

“Now with Afcon games being brought forward, this means that as soon as that happened, we were able to start preparing for South Sudan games; in terms of various analyses - their strengths and weaknesses.”

The Northern Irishman, 34, added: “So really if anything it has allowed us to get going in terms of our in-depth preparation a little bit earlier for those March games than we would have been earlier.

“Overall, in the early part of the year, we had already started putting together schedules and rough plans. We not only have games in March but after that, we have Chan in Cameroon.

“So, March and April are going to be extremely busy months. In fact, during March there will be a period when our Chan team and senior team are in camp at the same time during the Fifa week.

“So making sure all the arrangements and logistics are done effectively will help players to focus on the football because there will not be any hiccups."

The 2021 Afcon finals will start on January 9 and end February 6.