Uganda Cranes coach, Jonathan McKinstry has blasted South African giants, Mamelodi Sundowns for stopping goalkeeper Dennis Onyango from joining the national team’s training camp in Dubai.
The shot-stopper was one of the 26 players summoned by McKinstry for a nine-day training camp in Dubai but his club in South Africa refused to grant the Cranes captain permission to join the team.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Carnes coach said whereas Onyango has always been willing to join the training camp during the international break, his club deliberately stopped him.
“Whilst they have released other team members for international duty for their respective nations; they communicated to us on Monday of this week (2 weeks after receiving notification of invitation for the player) that they wished to keep Denis Onyango with them on the basis that he would have to quarantine upon return to South Africa,” McKinstry said.
“As a national team, we have been clear that we would not call players to this camp who would have to quarantine on return to their respective clubs.”
The Northern Irishman said whereas they got from Sundowns information regarding quarantine regarding tourists to South Africa, the same does not apply to residents as the case with Onyango.
“Upon further checking on our side, the South African government position would appear clear regarding any potential quarantine in that exceptions exist for business travelers with rare and critical skills, diplomats, investors, repatriated individuals and professional athletes,” he said.
According to McKinstry, despite efforts to speak to staff at Mamelodi Sundowns, nothing much has come out of the same.
He insisted that this was a case of lack of professionalism on the side of the South African Premier League defending champions.
“Mamelodi Sundowns are one of the leading clubs in Africa, and this situation, in our opinion differs greatly from the levels of professionalism we have come to expect from them over the years,” he said.
Onyango joins a host of other foreign-based players including Derrick Nsibambi, Timothy Awany, Fahad Bayo, Mike Azira and Kizito Luwagga who won’t be part of Cranes’ nine-day training camp in Dubai ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against neighbours South Sudan in November in Kampala.