Uganda Cranes have turned the guns onto the World Cup after losing out on what seemed as one of the easiest paths to the African Nations Cup ended in tears early this week.
It was pain and despair for Ugandans on Monday when the national team lost to Malawi’s Flames for a chance to play at the most prestigious men’s tournament on the continent.
Having picked only one point out of the possible six in their last two games, it meant that Cranes finished third in Group B on eight points, two behind Malawi that qualified as the second placed team in the group.
However, all is not lost and the national team has now turned the focus onto the World Cup as the bigger picture.
“The Uganda Cranes will shift focus to the forthcoming Africa 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers that will get underway in June this year. The quest for a first ever appearance at the global showpiece will begin with a trip to Nairobi to face Kenya between 5th-8thJune 2021,”local football governing body, FUFA said in a statement.
Uganda is pooled in Group E alongside neighbours Kenya, Rwanda and Mali.
The Cranes will return to action with a home fixture against Mali set to be played between June 11 and 14 in Kampala before a double header with Rwanda between September 1 and 4 and the return leg in a space of two to three weeks.
Uganda will then host Kenya in the first week of October, before the penultimate group game with Mali in Bamako set for October 10 and 12.
The group winner after six games will go into the final qualifying phase that will have nine other group leaders.
There will be a draw for the final ten teams and the five winners on aggregate will represent Africa at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar next year.