'Uganda's pride must be protected, respected' - Fufa's Magogo amid Aucho's dismissal storm

Moses Magogo of Fufa of Uganda.
The federation official has explained the code of conduct that governs members of the national side ahead of Afcon qualifiers

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations president Moses Magogo has called for the respect of the national team ahead of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Magogo, who visited the players during the Sunday training session, made the statement as the storm that was generated by Khalid Aucho's dismissal failed to subside.

"The national football team [Uganda Cranes] is the pride of every Ugandan and shall always be protected and respected by all of us. As Fufa we are just custodians and handlers of the team," Magogo wrote on his Facebook page.

"We are aware that the team includes officials, staff, players and coaches coming from different divides of life. We are extremely sensitive to the religious, tribal, gender and political inclinations of the individuals that compose the team.

"Each member of the team is free to belong to any of those inclinations by choice or by birth. Team membership is strictly by merit and adherence to the rules of belonging.

"The conduct of the national team members is in accordance with the national teams’ code of conduct, circulars and camp rules.

"These have widely been shared with the team members. No team member is above these provisions. The overall objective of these rules is obtaining the sporting result for the team that many Ugandans would wish to get."

The Fufa top official also reiterated that the federation will not be intimidated when it comes to the implementation of the rules set out.

"Administrative and punitive actions will always be taken against members of the national team who fail to observe the rules without fear or favour," he added.

"There is no amount of intimidation and distortion of facts that can ever make us managers of the team relent from applying the rules as they are. We are living in trying times and football rules on Covid-19 are very stringent.

"If you noticed, we have performed very well with having Covid-19 cases in all the national teams [U17, U20, Chan and Uganda Cranes] in international competitions. A basic example is when the last camp, Allan Kyambadde flew in from Egypt and went home on returning to join the camp tested positive for Covid-19 and the team missed his services."

Although Aucho's dismissal was linked to his perceived political affiliations, Magogo has dismissed such claims.

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"Any person drawing tribal, religious and political affiliations as the basis for any national team technical or administrative decision that is good for the entire team is either ignorant of how sports are managed or just following a bandwagon or an enemy to the sport," he concluded.

"I call upon the well-intended Ugandans to remain calm as the people in charge are tried and tested in these matters and will always deliver the overall objective."

Uganda are still waiting for key players ahead of the African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Burkina Faso, on March 24, and Malawi on March 29.