Cranes striker Geoffrey Massa reacts to a missed chance in a past campaign.

Cyprus-based Ugandan international Geoffrey Massa has been ruled out of the Uganda Cranes’ international friendly against Egypt on February 26 at the Gouna stadium, Hurghada within the Red Sea Resort City.

Cranes’ head coach Bobby Williamson told a technical meeting at Mandela National stadium, Namboole on Saturday evening that the striker has a club fixture on the same date but will join his teammates in Congo Brazzaville.

Uganda takes on the hosts on February 29 in a fresh bid to qualify for the continent’s biggest football showpiece-Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after 34 years of trying so hard.

In a correlated development, the Ethiopian based trio of Sula Matovu, Isaac Isinde and Mike Sserumaga who ply their trade for Saint George will not make it to Cairo due to club engagements during the week.

Second placed on the Ethiopian league table standings, Saint George will be up against eleventh placed Defence on February 23 and will later face sixth placed CBE SA on February 27.

A press release from football’s governing body-Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has indicated that the Ethiopian club has shown interest in denying the trio the right to play in the AFCON qualifier.

FUFA has henceforth petitioned the complaint to the continent’s governing body-CAF to intervene and see the players feature for their country, which is nationalistic enough.

Two points behind table leaders EEPCO who currently have 25 points, Saint George has three games in hand but the Ethiopian club will do anything to get hold of the top position on the Ethiopian league table standings.

The Cranes who are expected to travel to Cairo on February 21 will leave for Brazzaville on February 27 after the friendly encounter on February 25. The Pharaohs will take on Kenya’s Harambee Stars on February before taking on the Cranes three days later.

Meanwhile, Cranes goal keeper Denis Onyango will also miss the friendly against the Pharaohs as his team-Mamelodi Sundowns will be visiting the Moroka Swallows on the same date but will join the team in Brazzaville.

Cranes’ coach Williamson has included only five locally based players to the AFCON qualifier.

Uganda Cranes Team List to Cairo:

Abel Dhaira (Iceland), Ali Kimera , (Bunamwaya),  Simeon Masaba, (URA), Geoffrey Massa (Cyprus), Geoffrey Sserunkuuma (South Africa), Steven Bengo (Uganda), Mike Mutyaba (Sudan), Emmanuel Okwi (Tanzania), Tonny Mawejje (South Africa), Henry Kalungi (USA), Musa Mudde (Kenya), Andy Mwesigwa (Khazerstan), Dan Wagaluka (Rwanda), Habib Kavuma (Rwanda), Moses Oloya (Vietnam), Ochan Patrick (DR Congo), Godfrey Walusimbi (Uganda), Hassan Wasswa (Turkey), Denis Guma (Uganda), Brian Umony (Vietnam), Martin Kayongo Mutumba (Sweden).

International Friendly:

Egypt v Uganda (Feb 25)

Congo Brazzaville v Uganda (Feb 29)

By Usher Komugisha, The New Vision

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