Football

Denis Onyango: First Lady, Parliament to honor Cranes skipper

Obua said that Onyango’s abrupt retirement left football fans questioning and speculating. “The team captain had already intended to retire,” he said.

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The state minister for sports, Hamson Denis Obua, has said parliament will honor Uganda Cranes team captain, Denis Onyango who recently resigned from international football and national duty.

Speaking before Parliament today, Obua hailed Onyango for being the most disciplined and ex exemplary player to the rest whilst his tenure as Cranes goalkeeper, and therefore, deserves a honourable retirement.

“Let me put it on record; Onyango has been the most disciplined. Denis Onyango will be honoured soon by the First Lady and minister for education and sports. He has had an illustrious career. I’m happy to hear that even Parliament will honor him,” Obua said.

With Onyango’s retirement leaving football fans questioning and speculating, Obua said that “The team captain had already intended to retire.”

“Before the last game we had in Malawi, our team captain wanted to say that ‘I have done my part and I am retiring’. It is also true that part of the reason is the upcoming elections for FUFA. There is that aspect of football politics,” Obua said, adding that it is not the first nor will it be the last time.

“In the last elections, we had issues that ended up in the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). As a ministry, we are studying. But in principle, even me, I joined parliament and now a minister for sports. The time will come for me to quit. It is natural,” Obua told legislators on the education and sports committee at parliament last week. 

The illustrious goalkeeper currently plays for Mamelodi Sundowns, a South African professional football club based in Mamelodi in Pretoria in the Gauteng province in South Africa, Hassan Wasswa plays for Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian football team in Jeddah while Micheal Azira plays for New Mexico United, an American professional soccer team.

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The minister said that the Uganda Cranes is currently facing management problems and football politics. He committed to investigate the matter and come to its logical conclusion.

Weeks ago, three senior Uganda Cranes football players; Denis Onyango (goalkeeper), midfielders Hassan Wasswa and Michael Azira resigned, leaving football fans wondering and speculating. 

Onyango and Wasswa had been dominant figures of Uganda Cranes squads for the past 15 years while Azira was part of the Cranes at the 2017 and 2019 Nations Cup finals.

Despite hanging up their boots on Uganda Cranes, their club careers will continue. 

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