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Who is Paul Put, the man handed the Cranes job?

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Paul Put, the man who has just been fired by Guinea, a man previously banned by the Belgian Federation for Match Fixing, the same man that fell out with the Fraternity of Congo comes to Uganda as the new Cranes Coach, replacing a ‘crafty’ one in Micho who was let go recently after an unsuccessful AFCON 2023 qualifiers campaign.

Put becomes the 11th foreign Uganda Cranes coach, following a line of predecessors including Englishman Alan Rogers (1965-1966), Burkhard Pape (Germany) – 1969–1972, Otto Westerhoff (Germany) – 1974–1975, Harrison Okagbue (Nigeria) – 1999–2001, Pedro Pasculli (Argentina) – 2003), Mohammed Abbas (Egypt) – 2004–2006, Csaba László (Hungary) – 2006–2008, Bobby Williamson (Scotland) – 2008–2013, Milutin Sredojević (Serbia) – 2013–2017, and Frenchman Louis Serge Sébastien Desabre (2017–2019).

But who is this Paul Put?

Put is a football coach born in Merksem, Belgium, in 1956. While little is known about his playing career, he has an extensive coaching background with various clubs and national teams in Europe and Africa.

He started his coaching journey in Belgium, managing four professional clubs in the first and second divisions. His coaching career began with Verbroedering Geel before moving to Sporting Lokeren for two seasons between 2001 and 2003. He then spent a year at Lierse before joining R.E. Mouscron.

However, his time at Mouscron was brief, as he was charged and banned by the Brussels Correctional Tribunal court in connection with a significant match-fixing scandal that occurred between 2004-2005. It’s alleged that Put allowed a Chinese businessman, Zheyun Ye, to bribe players while he was the coach of Lierse.

Paul Put returned to coaching in 2008 when he was appointed as Gambia’s Head Coach for three years, serving from 2008 to 2011. In March 2012, he was named as the Burkina Faso national team Head Coach, replacing Paulo Duarte, who had been sacked earlier that year. A year later, he guided Burkina Faso to the AFCON final in South Africa, where they finished in second place after being defeated by Nigeria 1-0.

Put with Adama Traore during his time as Burkina Faso Head Coach | Courtesy Photo

In February 2015, Put left Burkina Faso following the team’s poor performance at the 2025 African Cup of Nations hosted by Equatorial Guinea. Less than four months later, he was announced as Jordan’s new coach for a one-year period. However, he resigned from his position as Head Coach after being suspended for two weeks by the Jordan FA following a Brussels court of appeal ruling related to Put’s match-fixing scandal, which occurred between 2004-2005.

After a ten-month hiatus, Put returned to coaching in October 2016, managing USM Alger, an Algerian top-flight club. After one season, he returned to international football to manage Kenya in 2016. However, his tenure with the Harambee Stars was short-lived, lasting only three months as both sides failed to agree on several administrative issues.

Put’s Kenyan tenure was short-lived| Courtesy Photo

Just days after resigning, the Belgian became the manager of the Chinese club Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard by signing a three-year contract. A month later, he was appointed manager of the Guinea national team. He spent one year at Guinea before being sacked and given a lifetime ban by the Guinea Football Federation following a breach of the institution’s code of ethics and its code of discipline.

His next role as a National Team manager came in 2021 when he was appointed as Congo Brazzaville’s coach to oversee the nation’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying phase. He left Congo earlier this year after experiencing conflicts with a section of Congo-Brazzaville officials due to recurring administrative problems in the national team setup, which led to him recording only two wins in 14 matches under his watch.

With over 20 years of experience, the question remains: is Paul the right man to Put Uganda amongst the best?

Paul Put in Cranes Head Coach role

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