Israel based defender Timothy Awany and Fahad Bayo have been included on coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s 32-man squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The duo have grown into mainstays in the Cranes set up but have missed a number of games recently as they have struggled with fitness and travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
The former KCCA defender missed the final two AFCON qualifying games against Malawi and Burkina Faso in March through injury despite travelling to Kampala for the games.
Micho did not consider Awany for the opening two World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Mali last month because there were travel restrictions due to the health situation in the country then.
Bayo also returns to the Cranes fold since missing the Malawi AFCON qualifier through injury, and like Awany, was overlooked for the opening World Cup qualifiers because of travel restrictions from Israel.
Besides Awany and Bayo, seven other foreign based players have been included on the team. These include; goalkeepers Ismail Watenga and Charles Lukwago.
Left backs Isaac Muleme, Mustafa Kizza, Yanga SC midfielder Khalid Aucho and Simba SC’s Taddeo Lwanga alongside SuperSport United’s Moses Waiswa are also included.
Lukwago who moved to St. George in September, has cut his orientation in Ethiopia short and has already travelled to the country, while the other foreign based players are expected to join the Cranes camp on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Cranes captain Emmanuel Okwi who is still without a club since leaving Egypt’s Al Ittihad FC has been overlooked for the qualifiers against Rwanda.
Striker Derrick Nsibambi who as recently completed a move to Ethiopia’s Sidama Coffee SC has also been overlooked despite making the squad for the opening two qualifiers.
KCCA FC forward Charles Lwanga has been among the 23 local based players who remain from the initial 35-player squad that started the preparations on Monday.
The Uganda Cranes will play rivals and neighbours Rwanda in a Group E qualifying double header. The Cranes visit Rwanda on October 7, before hosting them on October 10 in Kampala.
Uganda Cranes has two points from the first two games in group E, earned against Kenya (away) and Mali (home).
Uganda Cranes Squad
Goalkeepers: Charles Lukwago, Ismail Watenga, Joel Mutakubwa, Alionzi Nafian
Defenders: Paul Willa, Innocent Wafula, Aziz Kayondo, Isaac Muleme, Mustafa Kizza, Enock Walusimbi, Timothy Awany, Najib Fesali, Livingstone Mulondo, Geofrey Wasswa
Midfielders: Denis Iguma, Bobosi Byaruhanga, Mahad Kakooza, Khalid Aucho, Taddeo Lwanga, Moses Waiswa, Shafik Kagimu, Rogers Mato, Milton Karisa, Julius Poloto, Ibrahim Orit, Martin kizza
Forwards: Yunus Ssentamu, Steven Mukwala, Cromwell Rwothomio, Fahad Bayo, Sadat Anauku, Charles Lwanga