BY DANIEL NHAKANISO IN CAIRO, EGYPT
UGANDA national football team coach Sebastein Desabre has dismissed as fake news comments attributed to him two months ago that he had described the Warriors as the weakest team in Group A of the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt.
Speaking at a Press conference yesterday ahead of the two teams’ decisive encounter at the Cairo International Stadium tonight, Desabre said he has always held the Warriors in high regard.
The 42-year-old Frenchman, who on Saturday led the Ugandan Cranes to their first win at the Afcon finals in 41 years when they upset the Democratic Republic of Congo, was in April widely quoted in the Ugandan media writing off the Warriors as the whipping boys in Group A following the draw.
Desabre was quoted in some sections of the Ugandan Press describing the Warriors as the unlucky team in the group.
The Frenchman, however, used yesterday’s pre-match Press conference to set the record straight.
“I have so much respect for Zimbabwe. It is impossible to say it’s the weakest team because they have Billiat (Khama), Musona (Knowledge) and Chigova (George). It is a very nice team with a good coach. Whenever Zimbabwe play Uganda, it’s always difficult for us because they are a good team,” he said.
“We have prepared ourselves knowing it will be difficult for us tomorrow (today), Zimbabwe lost the first game, but played well against Egypt. It’s a good challenge for the two teams tomorrow (today).”
The Warriors need to collect all three points to give themselves a good chance of progressing to the knockout stages.
The Cranes will also be looking to book their place in the second round of the continental showpiece with a win.
A draw sets them closer to realising their dream.
Desabre wants his charges to remain focused and avoid complacency.
“We are focused to have a good game and forget the first game result. We top the table now, but we need to have a minimum of four points to qualify. We’re ready to give our best and I hope we can win,” he said.
“We respect Zimbabwe so much, but we are focused on our team. We need to correct some mistakes from the first game, we played a good game, but
not a perfect one and we need to improve.”