December 3, 2021

Kateregga links up with Uganda squad ahead of Dubai trip

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The dreadlocked midfielder linked up with 13 local-based players already in camp as the Cranes prepare to depart for Dubai

Iraq-based midfielder Allan Kateregga has reported to the Uganda camp ahead of their training camp in Dubai.

The dreadlocked offensive midfielder, who turns out for Erbil Sports Club, became the first player from a foreign country to report to camp in Kampala after undergoing a Covid-19 test.

He joined a group of 13 local-based players as the team prepared to depart for Dubai, where they will pitch camp for the next ten days as part of preparations for their Africa Cup of Nations double-header against South Sudan in November.

“Iraq-based Allan Kateregga has joined Uganda camp at Cranes Paradise Hotel in Kisasi,” Federation of Uganda Football Association (Fufa) confirmed on their social media pages. “He joined the 13 local-based stars who reported to camp on Thursday.”

“The team flies out tomorrow [Sunday] at 5 pm for the camp in Dubai.”

The arrival of Kateregga comes as good news for the Cranes, who three days ago, through Fufa president Moses Magogo, confirmed they will not have the services of players who ply their trade in the United States of America and Israel for their Afcon qualifier.

Magogo’s revelation meant coach Johnathan McKinstry will have to plan without the services of Luwagga Kizito, who turns out for Israel’s Hapoel Kfar Saba, the same as Timothy Awany and Fahad Bayo, who are contracted to FC Ashdod.

Mike Azira, who plays for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Chicago Fire will also be absent. The Cranes will host the Bright Stars on November 9 while the second leg will be played eight days later.

Uganda – like other nations – will have to honour the World Cup and their Afcon qualification matches in a condensed calendar late in the year and in 2021.

The record Cecafa champions are also set to participate in the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in Cameroon.

“We believe that taking the team to Dubai for nine days helps us to achieve a lot of things. We get quality time with the players in the class and on grounds which you wouldn’t get before,” McKinstry said in an earlier interview.

“Logistically, most of our players are playing across 17 different countries and with restrictions of travel, it would be easy for them to get to Dubai where most of the restrictions have been lifted.

“It is not straightforward as well but it gives 80% of our players a chance and will be available. It’s been a long time since we last played in November last year and obviously, the camp is timely.

“When you look back at the last time we played in November last year against Burkina Faso and Malawi, we only had three training sessions coupled with travelling and playing two games in a space of four days.”