Abbas Dismissal  is no Reason to Celebrate
Mohammad Abbas.
Image Source: news.bbc.co.uk

Abbas Dismissal is no Reason to Celebrate


Are you celebrating?

By Lambert Rusoke
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First published: March 15, 2006


Finally the curtains were drawn on the reign of Mohammad Abbas as national team coach, in a manner that gave room for different opinions from soccer lovers around the country. Various columnists have expressed their views on Abbas' dismissal, and as human nature would dictate, differing views had to take centre stage. It's my desire that I follow the trend.

FUFA's strategy to have Uganda make it to Ghana has got to cope up with so many critical decisions, which of course will always make them accountable to the concerned parties. This was only a duty involving cleaning the house- as a way of getting rid of all the old guard that was responsible for Uganda's football heading to the doldrums. So in a way, it's just a case of taking a risk to achieve what they had planned for in their vision, mission statement and specified objectives. Mohammad Abbas fell prey to all of this, and we have to accept the decision as it was taken. Infact PRO Aldrine Nsubuga puts it right, that they did not employ the man, and that FUFA has the authority to appoint coaches to the national team.

The only undoing though, is the lack of appreciation and respect for a man that has in his capacity as a football lover, tried to work under all the harsh conditions that Ugandan football can offer. All he gets are comments of dissatisfaction- that the Cranes players learnt nothing from the man's stay in the country. This is unbelievable.

I fail to really understand what a football coach has to teach his players. He cannot teach them how to dribble, because some are not good at it. He cannot teach them how to have a wonderful first touch on the ball- that is a skill that only few palyers can have to make them outstanding from the rest. People talk of how one couldn't tell what formation Abbas was using on his team. But this is missing from most African teams, and Uganda in particular, as we lack the quality of players to adjust to such techniques.

Well then, at least the coach, or should I say trainer, must have taught the boys some discipline. Remember the days he expelled players from camp, just because they failed to keep measure with certain curfew hours. What about the fitness of these boys, as we had a couple sent home for not being up to standards? So it remains unfair to utter that Abbas impacted nothing to the boys. At least from the press reports, David Obua, Dan Obote and Geoffrey Massa, who are all playing proffessional football, don't share this view.

The results on the pitch were not the best; in particular to the qualification for Egypt 06. But should we blame Abbas entirely for all our failures? We lost to Congo because some other committee and not the coach selected the team. A dubious penalty decision cost us at least a point in Durban. The rest of the losses were due to something that has been missing from even the best Cranes sides-a good return away from home. Those who angrily reacted to such losses to the extent of even branding the man a mere 'Egyptian clown,' were really being too harsh.

So talk of how he was fired should never make headlines again for its now history and we have to look up to the future. Now that the man has been gotten rid of, its not just a matter of wanting a foreigner from countries like England, Germany, or France. For if we cannot hire a competent coach, its better we remain with our local breed since they know our players well. Even Abbas was now used to the boys, and knew them well. We can only hope that the new man for the job will find the five months needed to get our players into shape as we prepare for Ghana. We should not be celebrating Abbas' dismissal.

By Lambert Rusoke
more from author >>
First published: March 15, 2006
Lambert Rusoke is a student at Makerere University Business School.
rlamptey2003@yahoo.com.